What Do Deer Eat in the Wild | Deer Diet and Ecology

It might seem difficult to regard deer as browsers or grazers. Even though they are less likely to browse they feed heavily on crops and grasses, deer are nevertheless browsers that are forced to eat crops when browse is not available. However, their most favorite food is acorns, but they will also consume apples, berries, mushrooms, and some other fruits.

What Do Deer Eat?

Deer readily eats broad-leafed grasses and forbs even when the grass is available. That is not to say that deer will not feed on grasses.

Deer feeds on many grasses and legumes such as clover, soybeans, alfalfa, and trefoil.

Some species fancy eating corn.

At times, deer may act as an opportunistic feeder because it devours almost any food. In the northwestern United States, deer are known to consume more than 650 different plants.

If deer were to choose freely it will like to browse on new twigs and leaves.

Deer hardly hear anything when they are busy in chewing. As it turns out, they had to gather a lot of food in a less time. Normally they eat for about forty minutes.

Unlike few other animals, deer never make a foraging line. They will enter into a wide open in a haphazard manner. It seems as if they are too hungry to make a foraging line.

Deer never feeds at the same place in fact they keep on moving and thus it prevents overgrazing.

Although deer regularly eats grass, it is not a favorable diet. They are typically browsing mammals and they had to feed on such food. Deer will consume leaves off trees and brush. In fall, they begin to feed on acorns as it provides enough fat reserves.

White-tailed deer fancy eating grasses, lichens, succulents, forbs, mast, and other grasslike materials. They will also browse green twigs of woody plants. Woody plants include shrubs, shoots, cacti, trees, and suffrutescents.

In northern Mexico white tailed deer feeds on 51 plants species. Euphorbiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Bignoniaceae, Malvaceae and Leguminoseae are the most important plants in deer’s diet.

In the tropical forest of Pacific Coast, white tailed deer consumes 140 plants species.

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