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Do Deer Eat Peanuts? (Can Peanuts Attract Deer?)

Deer eat every part of a peanut plant, and they sure enjoy peanuts while also gaining the necessary protein content for growth. Deers particularly love raw unshelled peanuts more than they love the roasted and salted ones. They also love peanut vines since they are a great source of protein for the deer.

Now that you know that deer love peanut, it is natural to be curious about other aspects of the relationship between deer and peanuts. For instance, do you think deer like peanut butter? When is the best time to feed peanuts to deer?

This article answers such questions and more to have a comprehensive guide on peanuts and deer.

Deer eating peanuts

What Parts Of Peanuts Do Deer Love Most?

Generally, deer love various nuts, and peanuts are not an exception. Deer will consume the whole peanut plant, although multiple parts have more nutritional value than others.

Deer will eat the leaves and vines of peanut plants with angst since they are a great source of protein. Most people who try to feed peanuts to deer for the first time often claim that deer do not take to the peanuts as fast. 

A vital factor to note is that deer will take on peanut foliage faster than they will accept actual peanuts. However, this phenomenon does not indicate what part of a peanut deer loves more.

Therefore, if you intend to introduce peanuts to deer, give them enough time to familiarize themselves with the nuts, and they will love them.

In contrast, deer do not love peanut hay as much. Other available alternatives will determine if the deer will eat peanut hay. If you feed deer with peanut hay, the deer will probably eat the loose nuts and wander off to other food sources like cabbage, bananas, and carrots.

Additionally, peanuts work best as feed supplements hence why they are an ingredient in most deer feeds.

Can Deer Eat Just the Shells of Peanuts?

Yes, deer can eat peanut shells without the peanuts. Although peanut shells have very little nutritional value, feeding them to deer is not as beneficial as one may think.

Additionally, it is tough to attract deer with peanut shells without the nuts because of the weak aroma from the shells. You can give the deer peanut shells mixed with other supplements such as molasses to ensure they eat them.

However, feeding deer with peanuts in the shells is beneficial since they will get extra fiber in their diet.

Can Peanuts Kill the Deer?

Just like in humans, peanut products with aflatoxin will cause eventual liver failure and death. Therefore, feed deer with peanuts that you can trust and do not overly rely on chemicals when planting the peanuts.

Uncontaminated peanuts are not harmful to deer. Deer can feed on peanuts all year round without side effects, mainly because they need the protein and fat content.

The only way peanuts can harm deer is if they exclusively feed on peanuts which is impossible. 

However, feeding peanut butter to deer encourages deer to deer contact since they feed on it by licking it. Contact is dangerous since the deer can transmit diseases and eventually wipe out a whole herd.

Should I feed deer with Dry or Soaked Peanuts?

Deer will prefer dry peanuts over soaked ones when it comes to peanuts. Peanuts are soft and easy for the deer to eat regardless of their state.

Peanuts are not like teeth-breaking walnuts therefore, ensure you feed the deer with dry peanuts or green peanut foliage and not soaked beans.

Can Deer Eat Peanut Butter?

Indeed, deer can eat peanut butter, and they love it. However, when feeding peanut butter to deer for the first time, you must be patient. 

Patience is necessary since deer are picky eaters, and they will cautiously observe the peanut butter before eating it. 

To feed peanut butter to deer efficiently, unscrew the jar and nail the lid 2 to 3 feet off the ground. After screwing the jack back on the cover, cut the bottom part off so that the deer can smell the peanut butter and easily access it.

If the deer seem adamant about feeding on the peanut butter, you can mix it with molasses or corn. That way, the deer will try the peanut butter, and it will be a favorite for them in no time.

An essential factor is to place the peanut butter in such a position that only the deer will reach it. Placement is vital because other animals like raccoons, rats, and even bears can smell the peanut, and they will try to eat it. 

Can Deer Eat Roasted Peanuts?

Salted or unsalted the deer will eat roasted peanuts. The aroma from roasted peanuts can work as an attractant or bait for deer familiar with peanuts.

If roasted peanuts are used for the first time, provide plenty since other critters will probably get to them before the deer. 

Deer prefer peanuts in whatever form, but they have been observed to enjoy shelled peanuts more than peanuts still in the hull.

Can Deer Eat Rotten Peanuts?

Deer will eat about anything; however, it depends on how much food they can access. If there is food scarcity, they will eat the peanuts if they are not too rotten.

Therefore, do not expect them to be as excited as they would be if you fed them with rotten fruits or pumpkins.

Additionally, deer will eat peanut plants on the farm when they are green and void them when they are yellow.

In summary, deer have a sweet tooth; therefore, they will run to rotten fruits more than they will crave rotten legumes. Also, remember rotten peanuts could be susceptible to harmful substances like aflatoxin, especially if exposed to water.

How Healthy Is Peanut for Deer?

The major nutrients in peanuts are proteins and fat. 

The table below shows the essential nutrients deer get from peanuts.

NutrientNutrient value/ 1 oz.
Calories161
Carbohydrate 4.6g
Protein7.3g
Fat1.4g
Fiber 2.4 g
Folate 68 msg

Do all Deer Species Like Eating Peanuts?

All deer species like peanuts; however, the Whitetail deer is more fond of peanuts than other species like the Roe.

Generally, peanuts can grow in any habitat where deer thrive at a particular time of the year. 

What is the Best Time of Year to Feed Peanuts to Deer?

The best time to feed deer with peanuts is during the fall or early winter. During this period, the deer are preparing for the harsh winter conditions. They will therefore need the fat and proteins.

For the best foliage, perineal peanuts such as the Florigraze and Arbrook in the spring are preferable. If there is adequate rainfall, you can feed them to deer. 

Best Ways to Feed Peanuts to Deer?

The best way to feed deer with peanuts depends on whether they are familiar with the legume. If they are unfamiliar, dress different feeds with peanuts, then gradually increase the peanut ratio. In no time, the deer will prefer peanuts over other legumes.

Deer used to peanuts will eat them however way you serve the peanuts. They will even overcome their shyness and get close if you throw the nuts on the ground close to you.

Also, if you wish, you can let the deer eat peanut foliage from the farm. Directly feeding deer from the farm ensures you interact with the crop as little as possible. If you touch any deer feed and the deer catch a whiff of your scent, they may avoid the food altogether.

When feeding deer with unshelled peanuts, pour them in a heap on the ground. You can also do this with shelled peanuts, but the way is to use a gravity feeder.

When feeding peanut butter to deer, ensure it is legal in your area. Some states may consider it baiting; therefore, research your state law specifications.

How to protect My Peanut Farm from Deer?

If you do not take the necessary measures, deer will ravage your peanut crop, mainly after it produces leaves. If the crop is in its cotyledon stage and is eaten or trampled by the deer, it will not regerminate. 

You can use a physical barrier such as a fence or obstacles on the path leading to the farm to protect the crop.

Alternatively, use natural plant repellents such as catnip, cayenne pepper, and snapdragons. Generally, deer will stay away from fibrous leathery plants with unpleasant odors. Therefore, commercial repellents such as Deer & Rabbit MACE will also work.

You can also use dogs to scare deer out of the farm as soon as the dogs spot them.

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