Did you know deer will consume bananas if the fruit is available to them? Bananas are not a regular part of a deer’s diet. However, if someone puts the fruit out for the deer, they will likely not refuse the offer.
A banana offers copious amounts of potassium and fiber. However, beyond that, the fruit does not contain any nutrients that a deer would require.
Now you know that Deer have no problem eating bananas but why do they like bananas so much? and how to properly feed them this sweet thing? If you want to know the answer to these questions and more then keep reading the article.
A fact of the matter is Banana is just one of their favorite meals from their long list that contains apples, carrots, and many more that you can check here to increase your knowledge on feeding deer (deer don’t like to eat just everything)
Why Deer Like Eating Bananas? (Scientific Explanation)
Deer like consuming bananas because the animal has a very strong sweet tooth. In addition, deer do not possess the upper incisors, which are the teeth used by animals for chewing on hard foods. Hence, the banana’s softness is another reason the fruit is attractive to deer.
You can find deer pretty much anywhere in the world, with Antarctica and Australia perhaps being the two exceptions. If deer come across banana trees or plants, they are likely to make a snack out of the fruit.
Banana plants are most often found in tropical areas like Central and South America, Africa, China, and India. This means that several out of the 40+ types of deer found today reside in areas where banana plants are found. These deer types include the Barbary stag, Chinese water deer, and Yucatan white-tailed deer.
Read Also: Should You Feed Halloween Pumpkins To Deer?
When in captivity, deer are usually fed hay. However, since deer-like feeding bananas, the fruit might be offered to them as a special treat every once in a while.
Is It Okay To Feed Bananas (or Other Foods) To Wild Deer?
There are several reasons that animal experts do not encourage feeding wild deer. One reason is that if you feed deer, the animal might stop relying on the natural environment and instead start depending upon humans.
This dependency will ultimately cause deer to become fearless of humans. This is not a good thing since it is the fear of humans that allows deer to remain safe in the wild.
Another reason to avoid feeding the animal is that the feeding sites (that is, the sites where people leave out food for deer to consume) might attract deer in unusually high quantities. This could result in various diseases being transmitted around these animals.
In addition to that, it also attracts predator animals (like mountain lions, wolves, and coyotes) towards these sites, which further puts deer in jeopardy.
If the deer in your area are already reliant on humans, you should start feeding them the kind of foods that the animals are likely to find in the wilderness.
For instance, if the forest floor has been covered by snow, you could leave out some nuts and leaves for the deer in your area. Having said that, feeding them a banana now and then will not cause any problems.
Can Deer Eat Banana Peels?
If you offer a full banana (peel included) to deer, they are likely to eat it. However, this does not mean that deer are meant to eat the peel. Even though a banana’s peel will not prove toxic, it can cause digestion problems.
In addition, you need to consider the fact that peels take up considerable space inside the stomach while providing close to zero nutrients.
This means that the peel will make the deer’s stomach feel full, discouraging the animal from searching for more nutritious foods. Hence, there is a risk that the lack of nutrients might cause the deer to turn malnourished.
Can I Feed Dried Bananas To Deer?
Dried bananas are not good for deer owing to their high sugar content. Once you remove water from bananas, there is nothing much left in the fruit except for sugar.
Deer’s digestive system struggles to break down such large quantities of sugar. Hence, if deer consume dried bananas, they might end up developing stomach pains and other digestive issues.
How To Feed Bananas To Deer
Feed The Fruit In Moderate Amounts:
When introduced to a new diet, deer usually take around 2-4 weeks to adjust. In addition, remember that bananas are not a regular part of their diet. For these reasons, you must not feed too many bananas too soon. You could, for instance, start by giving 10% of the whole banana, along with various other regular deer foods.
Mash And Mix The Bananas:
If you want deer to consume bananas, you must make its consumption easy. When you break bananas into small pieces, it will be easier for the deer to break down and digest the food. If you can feed mashed bananas, that is even better. Also, mashing allows you to add some other deer food to increase the overall nutrition.
Use An Above-ground Surface While Feeding:
Using an above-ground surface can make it harder for pests to reach the banana. Even though pests still might end up reaching the banana, it at least eliminates any non-climbing creatures from this equation.
You could use a shrub or a table to feed the banana. Another option is to even use the bush twigs to place small banana pieces. However, if you do opt for the twigs option, make sure that the twigs are not sharp or pointed, or the deer might end up getting hurt.
While deer do eat bananas, you should feed them this fruit gradually and in moderation. This is because bananas are not regulars in a deer’s diet, and the animal’s digestive system has to work harder to digest the fruit. Although deer can eat banana peels, it is best to remove them since the peels are hard to digest and offer minimal nutrients.
Read Also: How Much Do Deer Like To Eat Walnuts?