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Do Deer Eat Soybeans? (9 Things To Know)

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Indeed, deer eat soybeans; it is among their favorite foods, together with corn, green beans, and pumpkin. Deer eat soybeans from when they are germinating to when ready for harvest. The beans are nutritional for deer, especially with proteins from the pods and roughage from the soybean plant.

Knowing that deer eat soybeans is not all you need to know about the deer-soybean relationship. Deer, like all animals, have preferences on how they like the beans and what time of the year beans taste best. Keep reading this article as it extensively looks into all the facts about deer and soybeans.

Do deer eat soybean seed or plants?

Deer will eat every part of the soybean. Right from germination to harvest as they are a ready protein source for lactating doe and antler growth. Deer love soybean leaves when the leaves are green and juicy.

Deers, however, love the green soybean plant more than they love the seed, but they will not spare the seeds, especially when they are dry and brown. Soybean forage is rich in water, and deer get more water from their food than from directly drinking water.

Do deer eat soybeans that turn brown?

Deer will surprisingly eat soybeans all year round. However, they do not like brown beans the same way they love other crops like corn or acorns. Deer will eat brown soybeans if they have no alternative but give them other options, and they will pick it over beans.

It is important to note that deer will eat roasted soybeans faster than soybeans beans in any other form. The aroma from the beans attracts deer, and roasted is good as it allows for a larger nutrient intake.

If you intend to feed deer with brown soybeans in a feeder, ensure to soak the beans in water as the deer will shun the beans if they are dry.

Read Also: Can Deer Eat Cabbages?

Will soybeans grow back after deer eat them?

Soybeans are great for deer, mainly because they are a source of various nutrients and can regrow after the deer browse them. Germinating seedlings will regrow as long as they have the cotyledon intact. Cotyledons are the first two leaves that come out with germinating legumes.

More mature soybean crops will regrow and spread out too if eaten by deer. The beans will not regrow that quickly, though, if the deer uproot the plant. Some soybean seed manufacturers have seeds that keep producing forage even after flowering or losing leaves to deer.

Do deer eat soybean meal?

Deer eat soybean meal; however, they do not like it as much as they love other feeds. Deer are pretty cautious about their food intake; thus, they will eat a small amount of the meal. The extra protein in the feed is also not good for deer. Therefore, only a moderate amount is suitable.

As a workaround, you can mix soybean meal with corn and gradually increase the soybean meal. Switching works especially for deer not familiar with the meal or those who seem reluctant to try it.

Will deer eat soybeans in winter?

Deer will eat soybeans during winter, especially the seeds. The fat content in the beans is enough to push the deer through the rut and the winter until spring.

Deer will reduce their carb intake during the winter and increase protein such as soybeans since they need to bulk by getting the proper nutrition. Deer will also eat soybeans because natural food resources are scarce during the winter.

What is the best time of year to feed soybeans to deer?

Generally speaking, the best time to feed deer soybeans is when there are soybeans. Soybean foliage is a favorite for deer during the spring. 

After the rut during winter, when weight gain is necessary for the deer is a good time to feed them soy meal or soybeans. During winter, deer will readily eat the beans as their food choices are narrow. However, it is not advisable to provide for deer during the winter as it can spread diseases or cause social stress with the deer.

Deer have organs to select their food, so if there are no soybeans available they have other choices like carrots, pumpkins, cabbages, bananas, kidney beans, and even some nutritional grasses that deer like to eat.

How to plant soybeans for deer?

The variety of soybean you plant will determine the steps to follow. Ensure to test the soil for the proper Ph levels (5.9 to 7.0) and that the soil has appropriate nutrients. The soil temperature should be over 60 degrees.

If you plant by broadcasting, ensure to broadcast seeds at a rate of about 80 pounds per acre. For drilling, use 50 pounds per acre. The seedbed should be free from rocks, weeds, or branches.

For those who prefer no-till planting, ensure to clear weeds using a pesticide at least three weeks before planting. Do not forget to inoculate the seeds before planting.

For better yield results, consult your seed supplier as there are varieties for different places, the type of soil, and how fast you want to harvest.

Is soybean healthy for deer?

The primary nutrient from soybeans is protein. Other nutrients are in the healthy seeds for deer, especially growing fawns. The table below shows the nutrient composition of soybeans.

Dry matter %   In Soybeans
Crude protein37.8%
Crude fiber 5.12
Starch 4.66

Read Also: How Much Do Deer Love To Eat Bananas?

How to properly feed soybeans to deer?

You can use a deer feeder by suspending it in the middle of the farm. If the soybeans are dry, ensure to soak them in water. You can use roasted soybeans as deer love those and will jump over a fence if they catch even a whiff. For soybeans forage, ensure the food plot is accessible and deer will feed themselves.

Do deer like corn or soybeans better?

Deers love corn better than soybeans. Luckily, they tend to accept soybeans after getting familiar with them. Too much corn also causes acidosis and death; thus, mixing up corn with soybeans is essential for survival.


We have seen that deer are picky eaters when they have a variety; they choose soybeans over other foods. The beans have valuable nutrition for proper deer growth thus are an excellent feeding choice for the deer.

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