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> Feeding Deer With Alfalfa, Alfalfa
alwayshuntn
post Jan 17 2009, 12:31 AM
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Season is almost over here and was wondering if anyone has ever used hay/alfalfa as a suppliment for helping the deer get through the winter. I have access to some alfalfa hay but wanted to make sure that its effective and the deer will eat it. Compared to corn right now, i can get the hay cheaper, but dont want it to be wasted either. Any experience with this? I know when deer are hungry they will eat just about anything, but still I would like to know if there is any experiences with this stuff out there. Thanks


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Jeepin Bowhunter
post Jan 17 2009, 12:45 AM
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That would be a NO. Deer nat eat it if nothing else is available, but they will not be able to digest ti. I read a study in Canada a while back where deer actually died of starvatiion with a full stomach of alfalfa. I'll try to dig it up yet tonight. It has something to do with the way their stomach enzimes adapt do the change in food.


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post Jan 17 2009, 01:29 AM
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QUOTE(Jeepin Bowhunter @ Jan 16 2009, 06:45 PM) *

That would be a NO. Deer nat eat it if nothing else is available, but they will not be able to digest ti. I read a study in Canada a while back where deer actually died of starvatiion with a full stomach of alfalfa. I'll try to dig it up yet tonight. It has something to do with the way their stomach enzimes adapt do the change in food.



Agreed


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Savage Dude
post Jan 17 2009, 02:03 AM
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Go down to the creek bank cut bunches of willow brush and move it to where the deer can feed. Deer will most definately eat alfalfa and strave to death in the process. Browse not forage.


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alwayshuntn
post Jan 17 2009, 11:13 PM
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you know, now that you guys mentioned that, i recall hearing that somewhere. Glad I asked!!! Thanks, looks like its going to be corn then


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alwayshuntn
post Jan 21 2009, 03:24 AM
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Ok, something doesnt make sense to me. I asked one of my friends today about feeding alfalfa. I know that no-one is an expert, BUT, this man raises whitetails, has a ton of land which has a TON of deer on it in the wild, and he tells me that he feeds it all the time. infact, when it comes to his "raised" whitetails, he says he finds the closest thing to pure alfalfa he can and feeds that. Whats really crazy is that he named off 10 people who do the exact same thing. Not really understanding, i called a couple after I talked to him and they said the same thing. I know that pen raised and wild are a little different in some aspects, but to help the wild deer make it through the winter, he hauls in alfalfa for 2-3 months. And he doesnt seem to have any deer dieing either. I am by no means trying to tell anyone they are wrong, just wanted to share my lastest info and now I am going to do some digging myself. I want some evidence so I can show him, or so i can convince myself. Does anyone know where I can get info on this matter........Thanks

This post has been edited by alwayshuntn: Jan 21 2009, 03:25 AM


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187Elk
post Jan 21 2009, 03:44 AM
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You are not supposed to introduce a food to deer that they normally don't have. They need different enzimes in their stomachs to digest their food. Do not feed deer through the winter. It hurts them more than it helps them.

I Saw the same study talk about above, it has to do with deer not feeding on their way to the new food source, they do not get what they need to survive.

They are suppose to forage for food, the mixer gives them the correct ballance of enzimes. If they are not used to it, that is when it is the worst. Here lots of deer eat it, but they eat willows and other grasses on the way to the fields. It can happen if you interduce straight grain and nothing else too. Any foreign food can do it if that is all the deer are feeding on. This is what I remember from the study.

As they said be safe and don't feed the wild animals. It is illegal in Montana anyway!

This post has been edited by 187Elk: Jan 21 2009, 03:50 AM


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alwayshuntn
post Jan 21 2009, 04:11 AM
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187Elk, See, here in Ohio, you are allow to, and to tell you the truth, Most do. I'm not talking about hunting over a food pile. If I remember right, there was a post here recently with someone talking about how much they hate snow, and it was in Washington, eastern. They talked about deer and what 6 feet of snow can do. Let me ask, what do you think a bale of hay, feeder with corn, or for that matter a bag of apples would do to a deer who cant find anything to eat because its under 6 feet of snow. What I am getting at is I like to manage, and try to manage the deer I hunt. I do that by supplimental feeding, expecially this time of year. There is nothing for them to eat. Me putting out a food plot, a deer feeder with corn or a bale of hay cant be bad. All the things I put out are things they eat all year round, if its available. I just make it available, and in turn, keep the deer on my property for the next season. I dont view it as "feeding wild animals", more like ensuring i have a hunting season for the next year. I was just wondering why some feed alfalfa, some dont, some say it doesnt work, some say its great and so on. Just trying to figure out the "why's"


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deerlover
post Jan 27 2009, 09:51 PM
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Hey Jeepin....you seem to be a pretty knowledgable companion out here and I like 99% of your posts. I am confused on the alfalfa post. In Montana, that is their main food source, but maybe that is because that is their number 1 summer food. Is it just baled alfalfa you are talking about?

Just curious. We have put bales out before here in IL, but they don't seem to touch them much. Should probably try this down at our river ground since there is zero food down there and put a trail camera on it.

Just trying to understand this more...


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GreeneCoDeerKiller
post Jan 27 2009, 10:26 PM
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Yeah I know around the milk river deer flock to alfalfa feilds, and in Canada they put out pilles of alfalfa hay for deer to eat. It also is supossed to be a good source of protein also. I don't totally understand this either.

This post has been edited by GreeneCoDeerKiller: Jan 27 2009, 10:26 PM


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