There are a number of concepts and ideas that should be considered before choosing a deer feeder. These include:
- How many deer are in the area?
- What Kind of feed you are planning to use?
- How often will you be able to visit and refill the deer feeder?
- Other animals that might benefit from a deer feeder.
- Other food in the area for deer to eat.
The answers to these questions and additional considerations in this post will help you decide on what kind of a deer feeder to consider.
How many deer are in the area?
If there are a lot of deer in your area where you intend to place the deer feeder, your food is going to be cleaned up quickly. In some areas there can be one deer for every 5 to 10 acres. They roam freely and will quickly find your deer feeder.
An automatic feeder only dispenses so much deer feed at a time. Deer can gorge themselves on a gravity feeder. If there are not too many deer in your area, some feed may not be consumed. If it gets wet, it can begin to get moldy and also rot as well as plugging up the feeder blocking feed from being dispensed.
What Kind of feed you are planning to use?
A corn – soybean mix provides around 16% protein which is considered a decent food for deer. This mixture will also flow through deer feeders well and will be eaten quickly by any deer in the area. If there are alternatives, such as acorns, this mixture could sit for awhile. Corn diets for deer can change their stomach bacteria and cause problems for them.
Adding some kind of pellet to the feed is better, however it can get quite expensive depending on the number of deer you have. If you need to control the amount of food consumed, an automatic feeder is better.
How often will you be able to visit and refill the deer feeder?
An automatic feeder can be programmed to only allow so much feed to be consumed every day. You can have a better idea of how long the feed will last; however, it may not provide sufficient feed to properly sustain the deer in the area. Gravity feeders allow the deer and other animals such as raccoons to feed as much as they need.
Gravity feeders can run out in less than two weeks if there are a lot of deer in the area. Some consumers will install cameras, so they can get some idea of how many animals are being fed and what kind. Use an automatic feeder if you are unable to visit on regular intervals.
Other animals that might benefit from a deer feeder.
Other animals such as raccoons, crows, squirrels and even turkeys will take advantage of your deer feeder. If your also adding pellets, this can be expensive to feed all of these different animals. Many people will turn to automatic feeders to attempt to control this to some degree.
However, again depending on the number of deer and other animals in the area, an automatic feeder may not provide enough protein for the deer to grow healthy horns and lactate well.
Other food in the area for deer to eat.
Review the area where you plan to install your deer feeder. You will want to try to get some idea of the number of deer in the area. Also check for food sources. For example, apple trees, acorn trees and other food sources will attract the deer. While the existence of these food sources will decrease the food eaten by deer in the area, your feed could get wet and rot if not eaten. Automatic feeders can control this to some degrees.
Although they can be more expensive, some consumers will purchase combination gravity and automatic deer feeders. This gives them many options depending on where they plan to place the feeder, estimates of deer population in the area, food sources, etc.