Do Deer Eat Alfalfa? (ANSWER and Tips)

I never knew just how much deer love to eat alfalfa until I discovered it firsthand. Do deer eat alfalfa? Absolutely! And not only do they devour it, but it’s also a high-protein food they crave. Keep reading to learn more about deer’s love for this nutritional powerhouse and why it’s so important for their growth and survival.

Do Deer Eat Alfalfa?

Deer are known to eat alfalfa, as it is a good source of protein and nutrients essential for their growth and survival. Alfalfa is often used as deer feed and they will readily consume alfalfa hay if it is available. However, it is important to note that deer have a diverse diet and their preferences for certain types of food may vary depending on several factors, including region and availability.

During winter, they have to adapt their diet to include other food sources, such as forage crops like alfalfa. Alfalfa is an attractive option as it’s palatable and rich in fiber.

Benefits of Supplementing Deer Diet with Alfalfa

Deer are fond of alfalfa and it benefits them greatly as it provides the required nutrients and protein. This nutrient-dense plant improves deer’s health, especially for pregnant does and fawns. It helps them in recovering from harsh winter conditions and nourishes their body after the breeding season. Sometimes, deer feed is vital in situations when other natural food sources are scarce. Adding alfalfa to their diet can supplement their nutrition and is an excellent solution.

Risks of Feeding Alfalfa to Deer

During the winter, it’s not a good idea to offer deer alfalfa or any other type of food. Deer are used to the food they normally find in their environment, and introducing alfalfa can create issues with their digestion and make them dehydrated.

Additionally, feeding any type of food to the deer during winter is not safe because it attracts predators, making them easy targets and putting their lives at risk. Instead, it’s best to let the deer get through the winter season without any added food, so they can adapt and thrive in their natural habitat.

Best Practices for Feeding Deer Alfalfa

Storage and Serving Size Recommendations

First, it’s important to find high-quality pellets that are rich in nutrients and made explicitly for grazing deer. Alfalfa hay, second-cut alfalfa, and alfalfa pellets are great choices when they are stored correctly. Inappropriate storage leads to spoilage, which can be harmful to the deer.

It’s best to store the pellets in a dry, cool place, and avoid moisture as it leads to spoilage.Serving size is another important factor to consider when feeding deer alfalfa. Overfeeding deer alfalfa can lead to over-nutrition and obesity, making them easy prey for predators. Therefore, it’s vital to provide a balanced and varied diet, with alfalfa as a supplemental food source.

Planting An Alfalfa Food Plot For Deer

If you have enough land and you prefer to plant an Alfalfa food plot for deer, then the video below can help you to get you started:

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Is feeding deer alfalfa during winter harmful?

During the winter season, people often feel the urge to provide deer with high-protein foods such as alfalfa. Nevertheless, it is essential to dodge abrupt shifts in their diet routines which might severely impact their health. While alfalfa can be utilized as a forage for the deer, it can also bring harm to the crop yield, making it necessary to use it sparingly. Thus, it is always better to feed deer with organic foods that do not pose any health hazards.

Ideal diet for wild deer?

The most appropriate diet for wild deer is their natural food. Offering high-energy or high-protein foods such as corn or alfalfa hay can have severe health consequences for them. Although alfalfa is a common forage for deer, it can also harm crops, so caution must be taken when using it. Avoid startling their system with a sudden alteration in their diet.

Do deer experience bloating from eating alfalfa?

Overfeeding deer with high-energy or high-protein foods, such as alfalfa, can result in severe health problems such as bloat. It’s crucial to avoid sudden changes in their diet to prevent shocking their system.

  • Deer can suffer from bloat if they consume too much protein or energy-rich food like alfalfa.
  • Sudden changes in their diet can also shock their digestive system, leading to health issues.
  • To prevent health problems, it’s best to gradually introduce new foods to their diet and not overfeed them with high-energy foods.

Can deer safely consume alfalfa hay?

It’s a common query whether or not it’s secure to give deer alfalfa hay. The fact is, alfalfa may serve as deer forage; however, its usage has several negative risks. A dramatic shift in the dietary routine of a deer may lead to severe ailments, and alfalfa needs to be used carefully. Instead, it would be best to feed deer with organic feeds and prevent serving high-energy or high-protein snacks like corn, which could be detrimental to their health. When caring for deer’s dietary needs, make sure to refrain from abrupt adjustments that might impact or shock their system.


So, you may be wondering: “Do deer eat alfalfa?” The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, they absolutely love it. With its high protein content and essential nutrients, alfalfa serves as a key component of a deer’s diet. However, while deer may have a fondness for alfalfa, they are not picky eaters and have a diverse range of food preferences depending on the region and availability of food sources.

So, the next time you come across a deer grazing on alfalfa, know that it’s not just any ordinary meal for them – it’s a high-protein feast that they crave. And who knows, perhaps their love for alfalfa is just one of the many reasons why we are so fascinated by these majestic creatures.

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