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Mar 25th, 2012
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Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? #5271939 08/26/14 01:36 AM
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Ok, we have a gravity fed protein feeder and it has been up and running since March. The bucks have been hitting the feeder every night and have been consuming about 120 pounds of protein each week. Soon the bucks will be shedding their velvet and I am wondering if we need to stop the protein and move them to corn? The only bad thing about the protein feeder is that the bucks only feed after dark!

If I move them to corn, I will be use a spin feeder and can control the throw times. I was wondering if that might help in getting the buck to feed more in the daylight hours? Or should we keep the protein feeder up and either continue with protein or fill it with corn?

Any thoughts or opinions?


Greg




Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5271946 08/26/14 01:42 AM
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I have fed protein 365 days a year for the last 25 yrs now on various ranches. Never stopped. I just start with corn feeders in Aug and feed normal daylight hours. Bucks feed at night due to heat so don't worry about nocturnal deer once it gets cooler. If the deer live on your lease or land then they will move in daylight once the rut gets closer. I have found that feeding protein year round the bucks raised on it prefer to eat it over corn up till the really cold weather hits and the rut. From what I have seen in South Texas they will walk over corn to eat protein up until November. I use a road feeder exclusively to feed corn in areas to allow mature bucks access to feed/cover quickly. 2cents



Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: stxranchman] #5272005 08/26/14 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
I have fed protein 365 days a year for the last 25 yrs now on various ranches. Never stopped. I just start with corn feeders in Aug and feed normal daylight hours. Bucks feed at night due to heat so don't worry about nocturnal deer once it gets cooler. If the deer live on your lease or land then they will move in daylight once the rut gets closer. I have found that feeding protein year round the bucks raised on it prefer to eat it over corn up till the really cold weather hits and the rut. From what I have seen in South Texas they will walk over corn to eat protein up until November. I use a road feeder exclusively to feed corn in areas to allow mature bucks access to feed/cover quickly. 2cents


Thanks for your insights. I was hoping the bucks were nocturnal due to the heat. The good news is that the bucks do seem to live on our lease. We have feeders and water on the lease.


Greg




Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: stxranchman] #5272073 08/26/14 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: stxranchman
I have fed protein 365 days a year for the last 25 yrs now on various ranches. Never stopped. I just start with corn feeders in Aug and feed normal daylight hours. Bucks feed at night due to heat so don't worry about nocturnal deer once it gets cooler. If the deer live on your lease or land then they will move in daylight once the rut gets closer. I have found that feeding protein year round the bucks raised on it prefer to eat it over corn up till the really cold weather hits and the rut. From what I have seen in South Texas they will walk over corn to eat protein up until November. I use a road feeder exclusively to feed corn in areas to allow mature bucks access to feed/cover quickly. 2cents


Good info up


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Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5272110 08/26/14 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted By: GPS
Originally Posted By: stxranchman
I have fed protein 365 days a year for the last 25 yrs now on various ranches. Never stopped. I just start with corn feeders in Aug and feed normal daylight hours. Bucks feed at night due to heat so don't worry about nocturnal deer once it gets cooler. If the deer live on your lease or land then they will move in daylight once the rut gets closer. I have found that feeding protein year round the bucks raised on it prefer to eat it over corn up till the really cold weather hits and the rut. From what I have seen in South Texas they will walk over corn to eat protein up until November. I use a road feeder exclusively to feed corn in areas to allow mature bucks access to feed/cover quickly. 2cents


Thanks for your insights. I was hoping the bucks were nocturnal due to the heat. The good news is that the bucks do seem to live on our lease. We have feeders and water on the lease.

Bucks can be "nocturnal" if they have to travel a distance to get the feeders. The deer I have on TC that live on my place feed right just after dark, right after midnight and right before daylight. The bucks that do not live on my place feed from midnight till about 4-5 am mainly. Not every deer does this same thing every time but that is their main routine. I also have some bucks that show up right around 7 am every morning at a feed location but they are going to or coming from a water trough. There is not a lot of water available and it the waters sources are spread out around me so it changes deer movement patterns when it gets really hot and dry.
Some other thoughts. I have seen young deer raised on protein on LF ranches have a smaller core area as they grow up. They tend to not roam as far from those feeders( or year round food plots for that matter). I have seen yearling bucks stay put and not leave their home range also. Not everyone will do that but some will. Having feed out year round can help hold deer closer to your land/lease.
IME feeding protein year round is expensive if you are not addressing all the management aspects of the herd. If it is just a supplement for deer when they need it then it will not be as costly unless you hit a bad drought. The good part about feeding is it takes away the peaks and valleys by caused by rainfall. You still can only grow deer as big as your genetics are capable of no matter how much feed you put out. The protein can help them to do that when it is used as a supplement. I also like the fact that it can help increase fawn numbers in drier times with the increased nutrition to the does. This can increase buck numbers in the future if hunting pressure stays constant. Increased buck numbers can increase age structure also. Again these are just my observations and experiences. Other people might have different ones or some of the same experiences.



Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5272183 08/26/14 03:25 AM
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We just swapped over the corn from protein. Once the bucks start shedding velvet, the next pallet is corn. We will run corn until Jan-Feb then April starts protein again.


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Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5272349 08/26/14 05:02 AM
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Stxranchman. I think you just nailed it yingyang


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Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5272601 08/26/14 01:42 PM
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I feed both when they are in velvet but when they velvet sheds I only feed corn but the trick is I feed year round an empty feeder is just unacceptable.


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Re: Should we STOP the protein and move to CORN? [Re: GPS] #5272624 08/26/14 01:54 PM
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I feed protein from April till August then switch back to corn. However, I also plant wheat and the deer have plenty of acorns to eat. If I did not plant wheat I would keep at least 1 protein feeder out their for them.


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