Just wanting to hear from anyone that has used black eyed peas instead of corn in their deer feeders. Had a wildlife biologist come out and survey our property and put together a plan for us. He suggested we feed black eyed peas in place of corn (along with many other things to do). We have been doing it for almost a year now. This is what we use: https://alternativewildlifenutrition.com/ works great in a broadcast corn feeder. Had some trouble getting them to eat it at first but they seem to be taking to it now. Tons of benefits and much cheaper than traditional protein pellets but still more expensive then corn.
What I really like to know is if anyone else has done this and what kind of results youíve seen if any? I know it takes time and management to grow big antlers but curious of your opinions. Let me know your thoughts please and maybe some pics if you have any.
interesting concept that I would think should work pretty well. I have never done black eyed peas thru a feeder but have planted in food plots, the deer tear those up. What is the cost of buying bulk black eyed peas???
"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."
Fed black eyed peas straight for 10 years about 40 years ago. Reason, was higher in protein and we got it in bulk at cheaper than corn prices. Deer ate it good. I honestly cannot say if it increased body or horn size. Stopped doing it because we lost that lease and on the next one could not find a supplier who would do it cheaper than corn. Of course this was back before high fence and protein and the big horn craze we have going now. But it will not hurt anything to try.
I fed the splits and whole peas on a ranch back in the early 90's. I bought them bulk from Peas Inc in Pleasanton. The splits can be anything from halves to cracks to whole peas. They may be clean or may be full of trash..hulls, pods or stems. They could be any variety of pea or bean also. I fed them out of free choice feeders in 95-96. I had a friend who fed them from the early 90's into the 2000's when they were cheap. He fed them free choice from Jan till end of August all those years. He had great deer for the Hill Country. He kept his numbers low and had good habitat. IIRC I paid $90/ton plus freight. Mumme's in Hondo sells them bulk or bagged. Not sure if they are cleaning them. I know guys that fed them out of spin feeders and some deer at them as soon as they found them while others had the peas rot on the ground. Turkeys do like them. Last time I priced them in early 2000's they were $140 per ton plus freight. We bought some out the Lubbock area also. Farmers may correct me on this, but I was told there are now varieties of corn that are planted that are aflatoxin resistant. I fed the splits on one large area of the ranch to deer that had not been on feed but one year. That was the drought year of 95-96 and the deer made really good jumps compared to the year before. Those deer looked better than the deer across the fence. Those deer on that ranch on the peas did not look or do as good as the deer on the rest of the ranch that had been on protein pellets for 5 yrs. Minerals are just as if no more important than the protein levels in the feeds. If you have correct densities numbers, good habitat and normal rainfall your deer can get enough protein most years, they just need minerals.
In the early 1980's, dad leased an 80 acre field on our place to a farmer who had a contract with Del Monte for black eyed peas. About the time the peas were ready for harvest, the weather turned wet for a few weeks and the peas "rusted", brown spots on the peas. Del Monte refused the peas and the farmer never harvested them. Until that time, we had never seen a deer on our place, but by late September we had deer rooting through the peas. Also, the quail were all over the peas. All during quail season, every quail you cleaned had peas in the craw? It looked like a golf ball under the skin. Deer would have eventually showed up on the place, but I think the peas sped up the process for the does and where there are does, bucks will follow.
I have fed peas with corn for the last 5 years. Deer in my area love them along with the turkey and quail. I haven't noticed any improvement to the herd, but have been told many times that the peas are high in protein.
I switched from 16% protein to a Roasted soybean, black eye pea and corn mixture in March. This has a TDN of 78.8%, Net Energy Gain 0.79% and Net Enfergy Maintenance of 0.53%. Yes we did get some good rains in North Texas through early July and our deer herd is looking better than I've seen in some time. I feed free choice and through 31 July was going through a ton every 2.5 to 3 weeks. The utters on the doe look like milk cows walking around and the bucks mass is pretty impressive.
Last edited by LE59; 08/12/1902:35 AM. Reason: Editorial correction!