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#5555821 - 01/21/15 12:04 PM alfalfa for deer
Steven Bates Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/16/14
Posts: 160
Loc: Arkansas
I have noticed that the breeders feed bales of alfalfa to their deer as part of their feeding plan. How many of you feed this to wild deer and what are your results?
Curious to see if this would work for me......
never even thought about it before my hunting trip to Texas....
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#5555843 - 01/21/15 12:10 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
If you have good browse and get good rainfall you don't need it.
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#5555850 - 01/21/15 12:12 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25956
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
they feed it because usually room is an issue and they must feed roughage along with pellet feed. And alfalfa is about as quality as it gets.. vetch also but not as available
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#5555858 - 01/21/15 12:16 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Dadeo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/12/14
Posts: 57
It depends on the year.

Last year really dry they ate it.

This year really wet, they don't even look at it.

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#5555868 - 01/21/15 12:18 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Dadeo]
jshouse Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 6243
Loc: Rockwall
Originally Posted By: Dadeo
It depends on the year.

Last year really dry they ate it.

This year really wet, they don't even look at it.


this..and i had them start on it in late december last year but i only fed one bale so not sure if they would have kept on it.
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#5555884 - 01/21/15 12:23 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Steven Bates Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/16/14
Posts: 160
Loc: Arkansas
good info to ponder.... thanks guys.
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#5555895 - 01/21/15 12:26 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Steven Bates Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 12/16/14
Posts: 160
Loc: Arkansas
native browse here is good. Genetics are not awful but the biggest challenge is growing mature deer. Too many folks around here won't think twice about shooting a two year old 6 point. I was able to have 3 2 and 3 year olds survive this season and I'm hoping I can pump them full of protein and keep them close until they turn into something I want to shoot.
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#5555907 - 01/21/15 12:28 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25956
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
Originally Posted By: Steven Bates
native browse here is good. Genetics are not awful but the biggest challenge is growing mature deer. Too many folks around here won't think twice about shooting a two year old 6 point. I was able to have 3 2 and 3 year olds survive this season and I'm hoping I can pump them full of protein and keep them close until they turn into something I want to shoot.


You would be surprised... I bet there are some good smart old deer that know them Arkansas hills well. Are you running cameras? and not just at feed areas?
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#5555911 - 01/21/15 12:29 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
I would just try to feed free choice protein year round. Alfalfa depending on quality has a lot of waste, waste you pay for and deer won't eat. In the end it will cost you as much or more than pellet feed.
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#5555914 - 01/21/15 12:31 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Navasot Offline
Natty Love

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 25956
Loc: Normangee/Navasota TX
You mean they don't like them cheaper stemy bales?
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#5555928 - 01/21/15 12:35 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
Our deer eat it up. Bales, that is.
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#5555944 - 01/21/15 12:39 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Navasot]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Originally Posted By: Navasot
You mean they don't like them cheaper stemy bales?

When fed with protein, they pick the leaves out. Those are the highest protein and it is tough on their gut. They actually will slow eating due to a "belly ache" for a day or so. That is why I am not a fan of feeding free choice alfalfa hay.
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#5556037 - 01/21/15 01:10 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 3022
Loc: Conroe, TX
We've put out bales in Terrell County several times in a two year span and it disappeared quickly. Didn't witness any action other than a few dominate bucks pissing and bedding down on it. We'd always see does coming towards it, but the buck would run them off the alfalfa when they got close. Never understood the reasoning for it. confused2
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#5556055 - 01/21/15 01:16 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
Mule Deer love alfalfa hay and I am sure that out in West Texas that alfalfa would not last very long in dry times...which is most of the time with any deer or exotic.
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#5556167 - 01/21/15 02:17 PM Re: alfalfa for deer [Re: Steven Bates]
CB09 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 386
We feed it year round(val Verde County) and the deer love it. I can tell from my game pictures that the bucks mainly stay on it even over the corn once the feeder goes off. Another good thing is the coons and such don't touch it so you don't have to worry about them eating the deer's food. We found with protein block and such as soon as the coons eat it the deer tend to stay away and we wind up with the fattest coons in south Texas.

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