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#5487730 - 12/19/14 12:28 PM Advise on protein
BMowatt Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 7352
Loc: Bradenton Florida
Need some help. Tried the protein pellets out of a gravity feeder. The deer won't touch it, any ideas? Dumped the entire feeder on the ground and they still won't touch it.

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#5487763 - 12/19/14 12:45 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
Big_Ag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1010
Loc: Denton or Knox County
A couple of questions. Did you just start trying pellets this fall? I have found the ideal time to try and start them on protein is in the Spring. I have never had a problem with deer getting on it at a new place when I started in the Spring. Some say they have had to mix it with corn to get them used to it, but I never have. Also keep in mind that at this time of year, their dietary needs have changed to craving carbohydates, so they may just be turning their nose up in preference to carbohydrate alternatives that are available.

Protein will also spoil and moisture accelerates the spoilage. Have the pellets gotten wet? Even high humidity will cause them to get moist. If it has soured or gotten stale, the hogs will love it, but the deer not so much. Any other info you can share? Others I'm sure will have some more input.


Edited by Big_Ag (12/19/14 12:46 PM)

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#5487771 - 12/19/14 12:48 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
Stompy Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 3883
Loc: Breckenridge Tx
When I started my protein I stuck a corn spin feeder in the pen with the gravity protein feeder. They took to it right away. Took the corn feeder out after 6 weeks.
Also my deer don't eat a lot of protein in the Winter months.


Edited by Stompy (12/19/14 12:50 PM)
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#5487772 - 12/19/14 12:49 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
R. Edwards Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 01/05/14
Posts: 47
We have done the corn mix for years. Started with 50/50 mix, then 25/75 then 100% percent protein. We feel as if it's an acquired taste, and yes they will hit it harder certain time of the years than others. We feed protein from pretty much during the antler growing season only. It may not be the ideal situation, but saves some coin.

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#5487892 - 12/19/14 01:59 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
kyle1974 Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 2047
it takes them a while sometimes to figure out it's good for them. you can try mixing corn in it to get them started.
I tried a couple different protein types before finding one they'd hit really hard.

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#5487895 - 12/19/14 02:01 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Never fill a feeder completely full when starting protein feed with deer that do not know what it is. Like stated above put a spin feeder in the pen with a protein feeder. I mixed 50# bag of pellets with 25# of corn and put it in each protein feeder. When that was completely gone I put in 100# of protein pellets when that was gone then I put in what would last a month or so in the feeders.
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#5487957 - 12/19/14 02:37 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
kyle1974 Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 2047
have you seen that deer eat old protein less? there's definitely a stronger smell when you first open a bag versus the stuff that's the oldest in the feeder. I used to feed bulk, but now since I feed such a small place, I just use sacks. I never really noticed the difference before.

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#5487960 - 12/19/14 02:41 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: kyle1974]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: kyle1974
have you seen that deer eat old protein less? there's definitely a stronger smell when you first open a bag versus the stuff that's the oldest in the feeder. I used to feed bulk, but now since I feed such a small place, I just use sacks. I never really noticed the difference before.

That is why I like to feed all the feed through I feeder I have in 6-8 weeks. A bit longer in cooler months and less time in warm months. Humidity is not a friend of deer pellets. I fed some Hill Country deer year old 24% protein one summer and consumption was very good. All those deer had their best growth that year with some going up 35" in one year. Go figure.
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#5488000 - 12/19/14 02:58 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
kyle1974 Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 2047
I tried 20% antlermax and L&E, but they didn't eat it very well. For whatever reason they're eating the 16% (breeder) antlermax better than anything.

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#5488007 - 12/19/14 03:01 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Rains and lot of green weeds now are having them want some fiber in their diet I would guess. Breeder ration is high fiber vs standard pasture ration. Deer will almost always eat more 16% protein than 20%, a lot more IME.
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#5488084 - 12/19/14 03:57 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9305
Loc: Bandera, Tx
A few years ago I fed the deer PF blocks and beef grower from Lindners. They did pretty good. I am trying it again this coming year. Beef grower is a textured feed so you have to put it in troughs.
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#5488141 - 12/19/14 04:44 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: stxranchman]
kyle1974 Offline


Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 2047
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Rains and lot of green weeds now are having them want some fiber in their diet I would guess. Breeder ration is high fiber vs standard pasture ration. Deer will almost always eat more 16% protein than 20%, a lot more IME.


you think there are any downsides to it? other than less protein? seems like overall usage is up (way more than 4%), versus less protein per serving.

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#5488259 - 12/19/14 06:27 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: kyle1974]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: kyle1974
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
Rains and lot of green weeds now are having them want some fiber in their diet I would guess. Breeder ration is high fiber vs standard pasture ration. Deer will almost always eat more 16% protein than 20%, a lot more IME.


you think there are any downsides to it? other than less protein? seems like overall usage is up (way more than 4%), versus less protein per serving.

No downside to using 16% if it is low fiber with a good mineral/trace mineral package in it. If you feed it in good times when protein level in natural forage is as good or better. In the end them eating more will cost you the same amount if not more than feeding 20% IMO.
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#5488276 - 12/19/14 06:39 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
billyhunt Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 2268
Loc: granger,tx
stx, im having the same, at first there were a few bucks, two, they aint touched it since November, and I mixed 50/50 corn protein. I have a lot of browse here all year long. Just wondering if its worth it, know you don't know the area.

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#5488298 - 12/19/14 06:54 PM Re: Advise on protein [Re: BMowatt]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Deer will always prefer natural high quality forage over bagged feed most any time. With all the rain in November and fresh green winter weeds I have my feed consumption is way down. That is what you would expect.
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