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#6487355 - 10/09/16 12:00 AM Alfalfa instead of a food plot?
EddieWalker Offline
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Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1171
Loc: Tyler, TX
It hasn't rained in a few weeks, and there isn't anything in the forecast for rain. Acorns are falling and my corn is just sitting on the ground. I'm getting some pictures and I can see tracks through my food plot because it's all dust. Nothing is growing, and it doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.

Has anybody ever put out bales of alfafla for the deer? My horses and goats go crazy for it, and in other parts of the country, alfalfa fields are always full of deer. It doesn't grow here, and it's a bit pricey, but if the deer like it, it will be worth it.

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#6487357 - 10/09/16 12:02 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
poisonivie Online   happy


Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 7053
Loc: Bridgeport, Tx
They have to be trained to like it. It takes a while
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#6487436 - 10/09/16 07:11 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Pitchfork Predator Offline
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Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10768
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
It can be hit or miss with it, but if they try it they like it.

If you decide to, get a all seasons bale feeder so it gets it off the ground and keeps it dry.
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#6487472 - 10/09/16 08:07 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
EddieWalker Offline
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Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1171
Loc: Tyler, TX
Thank you. I'll pick up a bale this week and see what happens.

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#6487478 - 10/09/16 08:11 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Western Offline
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Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23577
Loc: Wise County Texas
Eddie, I have tried it will so-so results (baled/dry), probably didn't give it enough time though (one season) I have also grown it and the difference is night and day to acceptance IMO.

The best results I got with hay though, came after I put a coffee can of corn on the hay flakes, then they would stir is around, I think they just don't like the stemyness, could have been I had poor alfalfa hay as well.. My horse at the time loved the heck out of the last half a bale though grin $15 to find out if those Tyler deer like it though, no big deal.
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#6487518 - 10/09/16 09:07 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Mr. T. Offline
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Registered: 11/05/14
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Loc: Fort Worth - Hunt in Eastland ...
Did not work for me the one time I tried it.
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#6487549 - 10/09/16 09:32 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Jimbo Offline
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Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 4405
Loc: The last LF ranch in S. Texas
It takes them a while to get used to it, but it seems to work better during really dry years or later in the year when there is less for them to eat.
Also try to find a bale that is fresh cut from this year and not one that's been dried out in a barn for a year or more.
Bale should feel heavy and have a light colored green to it and a strong smell. Also break it into quarters and not just dump a whole bale out there. Also throwing some corn into and around it helps train them as well.


Edited by Jimbo (10/09/16 09:40 AM)

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#6487554 - 10/09/16 09:39 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
rickym Offline
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Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 3861
Loc: texas
They dont care for the stems and wont eat them if they start to dry out and harden a little. It takes awhile, but once they realize its good to eat, they will eat as much leafy material off of it as they can.
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#6487571 - 10/09/16 09:59 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
stxranchman Offline
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Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
I have had varied luck with it. Drier the year the better luck. I buy "clipping" alfalfa hay or horse hay if I can find it. Smaller stems and more leaf. Also look at TSC or Purina Feed Store for their Premium Alfalfa, it is in a white (or used to be) plastic bag. Bit higher in price but better leaf to stem hay. Much fresher smelling also. Like Western posted, I put a little corn on top of it. I never put out the whole bale at first. I just break a small leaf or two off and put that out. Shake it apart and then put a little corn on top of it. The smaller the stem the more they will eat of it along with how much other green they have to eat. I quit trying to use it since I had to much waste for the money paid per bale. It made the price higher than protein pellets at that time. I now use protein feeders to draw in deer by feeding year round. Less waste and readily available. Right now I am seeing 3 bucks per doe at my feeders due to the bucks wanting the protein to fatten up for the rut. Does do not want to be around that many bucks right now.
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#6488223 - 10/09/16 07:06 PM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
John Humbert Online   content
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Registered: 12/13/10
Posts: 1620
If your deer are on acorns, it will be tough to pull them off them, IME.

My deer on both ranches love alfalfa - but if there's acorns they stay on them until they are all gone or they start to rot.

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#6488758 - 10/10/16 06:32 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Dave Davidson Offline
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Registered: 06/24/06
Posts: 4273
Loc: Hurst, Tx
I expect the hogs would love it.
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#6488804 - 10/10/16 07:32 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
cva34 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/28/14
Posts: 61
Loc: Matagorda County
I know up in Wis etc They love Alfalfa fields,,so hay should do it ...But years ago up in East Texas lease I tried High Dollar Alfalfa Hay..Put bales out on higher ground on big stumps...where I could watch from afar..It was still there when season was over..Maybe it was bad hay but didn't work for me ..

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#6488875 - 10/10/16 08:36 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1171
Loc: Tyler, TX
I really appreciate the advice and will add a little corn to it for sure, even thought they are also avoiding my corn right now. I have so many acorns on the ground that it's dangerous to walk under some of my trees because my footing isn't stable!!!! Probably wasting my money, but I have to try anyway.

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#6488896 - 10/10/16 08:51 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
westtexaswatkins Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 05/31/07
Posts: 6765
Loc: Anton, TX
I've tried it a few times over the years and have yet to have a deer touch it. It usually just rots away. Hope you have better luck than I did.
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#6489089 - 10/10/16 11:20 AM Re: Alfalfa instead of a food plot? [Re: EddieWalker]
Russ79 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 390
Loc: Nacogdoches, Tx
Try chaffe hay- it's alfalfa with molasses. Sometimes they will hit it before straight alfalfa.

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