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Mar 25th, 2012
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They will not eat on the protein feeder!! #5566608 01/27/15 04:40 AM
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billyhunt Offline OP
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I know I have a different situation than most, here they have browse all year long. During the winter they have wheat, and or oats. After, they have corn, maize and all of the hay fields to browse on. So what im asking is WHAT can I do to make them come to the protein feeder? Any and all advice is appreciated.

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5566795 01/27/15 01:23 PM
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Tough one with that many groceries available for them. May be wasting your money on protein


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5566841 01/27/15 01:55 PM
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Start them out on sweet feed. Gradually change to protein feed after they regularly eat the sweet feed.


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #5566858 01/27/15 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted By: Pitchfork Predator
Start them out on sweet feed. Gradually change to protein feed after they regularly eat the sweet feed.


this ^^^

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5566888 01/27/15 02:27 PM
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Yes, sweet feed may get them started, but if there is an abundance of good browse, they may be slow to start on protein. Could take a year or two depending on weather.


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5566907 01/27/15 02:37 PM
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My deer wouldn't touch protein until it got so dry, my oak trees started dying. Now they eat it pretty good, more during lean times, but they eat it. I like the sweet feed idea and I didn't try that, but when I had cows, they would always come into the feed area i had fed my cows.

I would mix some protein right in with the sweet feed and get them used to it right off the bat, then start lessening the sweet feed over time. Or maybe try mixing some molasses with some protein pellets in a ground trough/pan below your feeder.


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5566911 01/27/15 02:38 PM
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I put a protein feeder in the pen with a corn feeder. I mix corn with protein(50/50 mix) and only put a 5 gallon bucket or two in the feeder to start. Keep adding the mix till they eat all the mix. Then straight protein. I never fill a feeder to train deer to eat out of it. On a place where I knew the deer would be hard to train, I put 50# of straight corn in the protein feeder the first time to train the deer to eat out of it. Then put in the corn/protein mix the next time and gradually weaned the deer to straight protein. Jan-Feb or July-Aug can be the best months to train deer since usually range conditions and habitat can be the poorest. If you have a coon problem then expect problems of feed on the ground around the feeder with the corn/protein mix.



Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5567375 01/27/15 06:42 PM
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It took the deer on my side of the ranch about 6 months to start eating the protein out of my protein feeder. I have an automatic feeder with corn right next to this protein feeder. The deer at first would only eat the corn and ignore the protein (I started feeding protein at the beginning of April). By October, I had a 9 pointer eating protein (only deer on camera eating protein). By November, I had 20 deer (does and bucks) eating protein. Here it is now, January 27,2015 and I have deer eating protein every day. We still have corn feeding and green oatpatches scattered around but they sure want those pellets. Just keep feeding it. I put vasaline petroleum jelly on the legs of my protein feeder and the raccoons cannot go up the legs to get the pellets. It works!

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5567451 01/27/15 07:23 PM
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Why do you want to feed protein when you have home grown groceries? Bunching animals up to feed them just promotes the spread of disease. I am not against supplemental feeding at all and do it myself in Dec/Jan/Feb when the natural groceries are low or hidden by snow.

I am really interested to know why. Wondering if I am missing out on something.

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5568136 01/28/15 01:31 AM
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Thanks everybody, I do. Gonna try some of what has been suggested. Pittstate I just want to try to help the bucks with some antler growth and the doe's might could use it. I understand what your saying, they might not even take to the protein but it might be worth while, cant hurt. Again thanks.

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5568298 01/28/15 02:35 AM
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If you consider protein as a "supplement" and they do not eat it...maybe they don't need it. On the other hand, they just may not have the game figured out yet. When I start a new location, I place a corn spinner in the pen with the protein feeder and let it run for awhile. I then add a corn/protein mix to the protein feeder and they will begin to sample it. Gradually switch over to 100% protein and finally, shut off the corn feeder. Make sure you have a game camera on the pen to monitor progress.


Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5569374 01/28/15 07:05 PM
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I'm thinking if they've really got that much to eat at all times...there's really no point in trying to supplementally feed them. they're not going to show much interest in your corn feeders either with all that other stuff. they're already doing well nutritionally form the surroundings.

I'd set my stands up on the grain fields and other food sources that they are currently using...not worry about any feeders...and just focus on other areas of management. like water sources, habitat manipulation, herd density and composition.....no doubt with that much groceries you've probably got some outstanding birth and survival rates.


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570048 01/29/15 01:40 AM
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Erich they do come to my corn feeders, but just not to the protein feeder. But like you said and that's what I was wondering if they just don't really need it.

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570090 01/29/15 02:03 AM
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Give them time and they will hit it. It took 2 months on one of our places to get them on it. 50/50 corn protein is a good start.

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570166 01/29/15 02:42 AM
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Thanks luke072. up

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570366 01/29/15 04:53 AM
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Deer will also be seasonal hitting the protein.



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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570396 01/29/15 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted By: billyhunt
Erich they do come to my corn feeders, but just not to the protein feeder. But like you said and that's what I was wondering if they just don't really need it.
Billy, we've talked about this. Don't waste your hard earned $ on protein. Those deer around you are like deer around Kansas or other places in the Midwest. They have plenty of food choices with all the farming around you. Corn, sweet feed, water, cover, is all you need around your feeder area. And don't forget to walk that wheat field looking for trails to set up on. cheers


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Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5570608 01/29/15 01:57 PM
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They will eat the protein someday when it gets dry again(it is Texas and the next drought started the last day it rained) and they need it. Once they do you will be wanting them to stop eating so much. grin Protein along with food plots will help keep the deer closer to your property and be a supplement when they need it. Anything you add should a supplement.



Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5571827 01/29/15 11:41 PM
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upErathkid, boy I sure thank everybody!!!

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5572515 01/30/15 07:12 AM
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Try antler max... I tried several different brands and my deer smashed the antler max. Find what their pallet prefers

Re: They will not eat on the protein feeder!! [Re: billyhunt] #5574133 01/31/15 02:23 AM
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Nothing wrong with giving them something that they may need every once in a while. I would set up mineral sites close to water every 100 acres or 40 deer capacity.

I am just real cautious about feeding a deer 20% protein when there is natural groceries with 30% or better protein growing around them. Deer are not smarter than a 16 year old kid....if given the chance, many will eat McDonalds over better food choices. So, as you can see, I don't believe the argument that deer will always eat what is best for them.

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