Using Corn Feeders to Put Deer on a Supplemental Diet

Although deer are attracted to corn, they must also consume protein to meet their nutritional needs and maximize their antler growth. However, deer do not naturally take to eating protein pellets, especially when the pellets are dispensed by a feeder. You can use spin corn feeders to throw grain at timed intervals to attract deer and eventually compel them to eat pellets from free-choice feeders, so they will follow a supplemental diet program when natural food sources are scarce.

Setting Up the Spin Feeder

The ideal place to put corn feeders is where deer frequently travel. Program the feeder to toss 2 pounds of corn at 6-hour intervals. At this level of corn distribution, it should take 2 weeks to 1 month for deer to visit the feeder daily. The time it takes to attract deer depends on the area’s alternative food sources, population size, and season.

Adding a Free-Choice Feeder

When deer come to the spin feeder every day, you can add a free-choice feeder to the area. After filling the free-choice feeder with corn, toss more corn around the feeder to spark their interest. In about 1 week, the deer should start to eat out of the free-choice feeder.

Changing the Feed

Once you observe the consistent use of the free-choice feeder, you can change the feed’s mixture, so they can reap the benefits of protein pellets. Create a mixture that is approximately two-thirds corn and one-third pellets. If the deer leave some of the pellets behind, increase the amount of corn in the mixture. When they start eating all the protein pellets, you can gradually reduce the amount of corn until the mixture consists of one-fourth corn and three-fourths pellets, so the food flows smoothly through the feeder and the deer can get adequate nutrition.

Attracting Deer to Protein Pellets

By following a gradual process and using corn feeders, you can get deer to eat the protein they need for proper growth and nutrition. To make sure the deer continue to eat from the free-choice feeder, make sure the feeder stays clean, and never add new feed to old or wet feed as deer have a keen sense of smell.

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