Hay for Deer supplemental feeding??

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Valley Station, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Valley Station

    Valley Station Cyber-Hunter

    Anybody ever try high nutrition hay(alfalfa/clover) for the deer at their feeders , late winter and spring??? Did they consume it well ?? Switch over from corn to hay, to feed deer instead of raccoons??
  2. owcobro

    owcobro 6 pointer

    Dec 6, 2004
    walton, ky
    I put out a bale of alfalfa December 07 with a bag of corn poured on it. They ate the corn and left the hay to rot.
  3. bgdeerhunter

    bgdeerhunter 6 pointer

    Aug 10, 2008
    warren county
    Yeah, tried a bale of alfalfa to save some money on corn a couple years back, they would smell it and thats about it, but this was in october, they may be less picky now, but i kinda doubt it.
  4. Valley Station

    Valley Station Cyber-Hunter

    I've never tried it myself and was curious.
    Appreciate your experience response.
    Now I'll not waste a bale.
  5. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

    Oct 25, 2002
    Harrods Creek Ky, USA.
    I had the same experience as the guys above. I went so far as to try high protein alfalfa pellets. No dice.

    Someone recommended mixing it in with corn until they got used to the alfalfa, and once they got acclimated to the pellets, you could stop using the corn. The deer picked around the alfalfa pellets and never got "used" to it. They'd just eat the corn and leave the pellets to rot and turn to mush.

    Slickhead Slayer said that he had success mixing corn with Purina Deer Chow works, but I've never tried that combo.
  6. Nozzleman

    Nozzleman Fawn

    Jan 16, 2009
    athens, al.
    went to Texas in September they had a bale of alfalfa at every feeder watched deer eat it up but they dont have very many food choices I would take alfalfa over cactus too.
  7. Never fed it to deer, But A deer is a lot like a goat in many ways. My goats wouldnt eat it unless they were absoulutely out of choices. I think it probably has something to do with palatability. They will graze on it while its growing and young and fresh but not in bales. They just like green browse. I know that in hard climates with little choice they will eat it.
  8. cub4466

    cub4466 Fawn

    Dec 4, 2007
    Cynthiana Ky
    Put out two bales of alfalfa about a month ago. Deer has not touch the hay
  9. maxcam

    maxcam 12 pointer

    Mar 29, 2005
    The only time I have seen baled alfalfa actually used by deer is when we had that 20 inch snow several years ago......... They would rather browse on stem and tree bark it seems than to eat hay.......

    After I made that observation, I started side dressing briar thickets and honeysuckle patches to improve that food source..............This summer when you start seeing 10-10-10 go on sale pick up 4 or 5 bags and try it........
  10. Hoosier5

    Hoosier5 Banned

    Sep 6, 2004
    Northern Taylor Co.
    Deer will only be interested in eating things like woody food materials and acorns. The bacteria, present in their stomach, will not process or digest any type of hay unless it is woody in makeup. Corn and other grains plus acorns are normally the diets of Deer in Winter. Deer, that were fed hay, have been found dead with full bellies. Now when Spring comes the bacteria will be such that they will beable to digest leafy materials, like hay.
  11. mistertwister

    mistertwister 6 pointer

    Jan 18, 2008
    Williamstown, KY

    Question........Was going to buy 10 bales of alfalfa myself to supplement the deer. Dont know why they wouldnt eat it, but thanks to this site, wont waste my time or money.

  12. DoeMaster

    DoeMaster 12 pointer

    Feb 7, 2004
    Lexington, Ky, USA.
    FarmBoss48 put some Alfalfa out around our stands in November. I could't tell that the deer really ate much of it but we were still putting corn out to. That may have had somthing to do with it.
  13. rshearer

    rshearer 6 pointer

    Dec 9, 2007
    Nicholasville, Ky
    Ive hunted in Sask. Canada two years and at every stand i hunted there was a bale of hay and corn and they ate the heck out of both of them.but ive never tried it here.
  14. rackmaster2

    rackmaster2 6 pointer

    Jan 10, 2009
    straight fork
    In Sask canada, the outfitters use alfalfa all the time and deer will eat the heck out of it, but the climate is cold and no humidity.
    Here the humidity will cause it to mold, mildew etc and the deer dont need as many calories as they do in canada to increase body heat.
    Those deer had never seen corn, and would not eat it. Mostly eat oats, and peas with the alfalfa.


    Feb 25, 2008

    HE SAID IT EXACTLY!!! in the winter the rumen "turns over" meaning the microflora in the rumen that digests grasses and such have became very minimal and the bacteria that digests woody stems is plentiful since thats basically all thats left for food this time of year......

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