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#6202802 - 02/28/16 05:23 PM Protien per deer
ELKMTB Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 118
Loc: DFW
Any way to estimate how much protien on average each deer will eat in punds per month?

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#6202863 - 02/28/16 06:08 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1973
I cannot tell you the answer to your question but I can tell you this. I have looked at thousands upon thousands of trail camera pictures over protein feeders. We set our cameras to take two pictures in sequence every 5 minutes. Rarely is a deer eating out of the feeder for more than ten minutes - the norm is no more than 5 minutes. Now how much a deer can eat in 5 minutes is not something I can tell you either. We will have the same deer come in twice per day to some feeders - but all in all, my guess is a single deer does not actually ingest that much protein per day.
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#6202881 - 02/28/16 06:20 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
It depends on a lot of factors. Number one is how good your habitat is or lack of it. Ratio of bucks to does and body size of those deer. Age of your buck herd, older and larger bucks will consume more than younger bucks or does. Density of feeders and number of feeders per location. How much water is available. Region of the state- South Texas deer do not eat long(in general) compared to Hill Country deer that are needing more protein. Rainfall is a factor. Food plots or farm crops will effect consumption. Livestock type and density.
As a rule, deer starting on protein will average 1-1.5lbs/hd/day. After 3-4 yrs that number will go to 2-2.5lbs/hd/day. I have seen some areas in South Texas and Central Texas where during droughts deer will eat 3-4lbs/hd/day or more if they have a large number of mature bucks and have been feeding year round for 5+ yrs. As a rule I always tell people with normal rainfall, good habitat, 1 to 1 ratio and deer density around CC to expect an average of 2 lbs/hd/day year round. If you are seeing swings in consumptions from less when raining to more when dry then you are supplementing the deer. If that consumption stays the same no matter if it is dry or wet, then you have other issues.
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#6203961 - 02/29/16 12:55 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
Erathkid Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 14616
Loc: Dollas,Taxes Bluff Dale Tx
That pretty much sums it up. Thanks for the knowledge, fellas. I was wondering the same thing. Fixin' to start protein on our place.
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#6203981 - 02/29/16 01:14 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: Erathkid]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1973
STX - so if a deer consumes 2.5 lbs in a day for example, do you think it is possible for them to do so in 5 minutes or under? Or could it be the browse on our ranch is strong enough that they do not need to ingest that much each day? Just seems like a lot to eat in that short of a time frame


Edited by tlk (02/29/16 01:15 PM)
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#6204014 - 02/29/16 01:30 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
IMO a lot depends on the style of feeder and how easy it is for deer to eat. Some feeders are designed to feed deer while others are designed to keep non-target animals off the feeder. That is also limiting consumption. Feeds are based off a daily consumption rate. It also depends on the individual deer, some eat once a night and others eat 2 or more times per night. From what I have seen bucks tend to eat calmer and consume feed better when there are 2-3 feeders per location. Less stress.
I do not think if a deer is eating 2.5 lbs/day or more that they will eat it all at one time at the feeder. Deer feed multiple times in a 24 hr period since their needs require it. If a deer is up and moving they are usually browsing while moving. With good browse/forb growth they will still eat protein but only enough to fit their requirements. Different feeds will get different consumption rates. Some deer just eat more than others and are more likely to visit feeders more often.
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#6204061 - 02/29/16 02:05 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
ELKMTB Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 118
Loc: DFW
That helps alot thanks. This is in the Hamilton area with cattle grazing.

Since hog paneling my feeders in Sept I have 3-5 regular deer coming to my feeder daily for the past several months and as many as 7-9 at a time last year during early summer. Not nearly as many since putting up hog panels up.

I was trying to figure out how long my 300lbs of protien would last (just put it up this weekend). At the rate of 2# per day I'm figuring 30 days or so, then less any spillage/coons or whatever so maybe 25 days. I'm concerned that if the consumption is less than that the weather condensation might ruin it.

I've turned the corn spin rate down to just a few seconds per day which also has soybeans in it.


Edited by ELKMTB (02/29/16 02:06 PM)

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#6204067 - 02/29/16 02:08 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
ELKMTB Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 118
Loc: DFW
Also anyone know what the protien content of corn/soybean mix is?

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#6204121 - 02/29/16 02:59 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
don k Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 9264
Loc: Bandera, Tx
I tried it for a while last year. I realize I have too many deer. That being said they ate over 50 pounds per day. It was more of an experiment for me. I was wondering if it was worth the cost as opposed to what I would make on selling the deer.
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#6204133 - 02/29/16 03:10 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
STXHO Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 5123
Loc: South Texas
Originally Posted By: ELKMTB
Also anyone know what the protien content of corn/soybean mix is?


I am not sure to be exact I want to say corn is less than 6% and soybeans are around 14%. STXRANCHMAN has shared some valuable information with you. I have often wondered how much protein a deer will eat and how found that the factors stxranchman shared are huge in the equation. Right now my deer in northern Stx are eating 1,000lbs of protein a month at each Station. Further South in areas that are dryer the deer are eating twice as much. My philosophy is feed them as much as you can as often as you can. It won't hurt them!
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#6204162 - 02/29/16 03:28 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
ThreePeppers Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/06/06
Posts: 365
Loc: Fort Worth/Kent County
The corn/soybean blend I buy from Bryant Grain in Aledo is 16% protein total.

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#6204327 - 02/29/16 05:25 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
titan2232 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 2998
Loc: Conroe, TX



Looking at my gravity tube you can see that it's clear. I've never tried to do a frame by frame calculation from game camera pictures, but I have several pictures of a deer eating from the tube alone when the feeder is almost empty (you can see the protein level dropping inside the tube with pictures every minute).

I'm sure if someone did the calculations you could figure out what a given deer ate in pounds by how many inches the tube dropped in the time frame that deer ate from it.

i.e. Deer #1 ate for 5 minutes and the level dropped 4 inches inside the 4 inch PVC. Not exact and you could only do the calculations when the feeder is almost empty, but could be interesting none the less.

This clear tube gave me proof my 500#'s of protein only lasted 2-3 weeks with ONLY two feed ports which led to the purchase of a 1500# Lamco.
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#6204344 - 02/29/16 05:35 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
ELKMTB Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 07/18/12
Posts: 118
Loc: DFW
Found out Corn is 7% protien and soybeans between 30-40% protien.

BUT it is mixed 70% Corn to 30% Soybeans so however you figure out that math- lol

So if you could find it in bulk, straight soybeans would be better protien (maybe too much protien?), but it barely has any other minerals which supposedly the protien pellets do have other minerals.

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#6204391 - 02/29/16 06:11 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: ELKMTB]
deerfeeder Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 04/27/07
Posts: 7440
Loc: Southwest, Tx
On the ranches I fed in Val Verde County the average 300 lb protein feeder lasted about 2-2 1/2 weeks, less if the deer density was higher. If you have coons or other non target critters figure on losing at least another lb or two a day plus some spillage.
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#6204414 - 02/29/16 06:25 PM Re: Protien per deer [Re: stxranchman]
tlk Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/25/13
Posts: 1973
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
IMO a lot depends on the style of feeder and how easy it is for deer to eat. Some feeders are designed to feed deer while others are designed to keep non-target animals off the feeder. That is also limiting consumption. Feeds are based off a daily consumption rate. It also depends on the individual deer, some eat once a night and others eat 2 or more times per night. From what I have seen bucks tend to eat calmer and consume feed better when there are 2-3 feeders per location. Less stress.
I do not think if a deer is eating 2.5 lbs/day or more that they will eat it all at one time at the feeder. Deer feed multiple times in a 24 hr period since their needs require it. If a deer is up and moving they are usually browsing while moving. With good browse/forb growth they will still eat protein but only enough to fit their requirements. Different feeds will get different consumption rates. Some deer just eat more than others and are more likely to visit feeders more often.


we get a few bucks (cannot tell on doe obviously) that will come in twice per 24 hour period. We also have cottonseed in most of our pens so that could affect the protein consumption. We have bucks that are regulars and protein pigs and other bucks that we have seen and killed at age 6-9 that have never visited a protein feeder. We have around 25 protein feeders/pens and run 20 cameras so we pretty much cover our feed pens. Strange to me how some bucks will wear the feeders out and others have nothing to do with them
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