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Mar 25th, 2012
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Protein Feeding #7652337 11/05/19 02:15 AM
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BlackSnake Offline OP
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I’m 57 and I’ve been hunting since I was 6 years old. Never hunted in my life from a blind or used feeders until about 11 years ago. I grew up scouting game trails, scrapes, etc. Once in a while I’d throw a few cups of corn on the ground to stop the deer. So, after learning the blind and feeder I’m wanting to learn more about protein feeding. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I get the gist and purpose of feeding protein. So my real question is, what protein should be used. This is where I get confused. Bucks need it for energy and weight gain after the rut. Does need it for their pregnancy and the fawns need it at birth. Usually by mid summer, protein is usually ready available by nature. I’m also reading that cattle cubes are just as good as the deer protein. Only difference is the picture on the bag weather it be a cow or a deer. Unless it’s specifically filled with additives for reasons other than pure protein.
So educate me on your process as well as what you use. Thank you



Re: Protein Feeding [Re: BlackSnake] #7652738 11/05/19 03:26 PM
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A decent quality deer pellet will contain macro & micro nutrients & minerals specifically chosen & blended (designed from the start) for optimum nutrition to deer / other antlered animals.

Supplemental deer feeding is not about just a protein source, the other stuff in the pellet is at least as important and on hard years more important than protein content.

Someone saying cattle cubes are just as good doesn't understand the very basics, of either cattle or deer nutrition. The vitamin, mineral differences & protein sources alone would tell anyone with a slight bit of understanding they're not at all interchangeable.

There are several quality deer specific pellet feeds available, to name a few widely available;
Purina Antlermax. - I use antler max 20% because it is available locally at the feed stores I use to buy cattle products, one stop shop.
Lyssy & Eckel
Gorman / Red chain

These are highly researched & developed feeds specifically for deer & other antlered animals.

Supplemental feeding is a long term deal, it can take 2 - 5 years to see significant antler size results, it will help doe & fawns within a few weeks and improve herd health as the younger weaned fawns utilize the feed & the herd as a whole get accustom to it.
You'll see better recovery from the activities of rut even the first year. Both bucks & doe.
Harsh winters & drought the deer utilizing your feed source will maintain body condition better, or at the very least won't lose as much during lean time as others not being supplementally feed.

The whole point to supplemental feeding is for it to be consumed when needed / free choice, no harm in stopping the feed cycle during hunting season as long as it is restarted at season end & continued up till a month to a week prior to the following season.
During times of good range conditions consumption will go down, poor range conditions consumption will go up.

There are some folks that like timed trough type feeders and those that prefer free choice type ( I only use free choice type).
For deer pellets a spin cast / slinger /corn feeder is always a bad idea. No matter how you set it they will not dispense enough feed to make any difference, most will be lost to non target species & moisture, sooner or later you will get a clog with pellets in a corn feeder & it will rot/mold you'll have to dump it out & scrub the barrel.

Always best to have a large sturdy feed pen to place a 'protein' feeder in, to exclude pigs, livestock etc.
I use 34" x 16' hog panels arranged in a circle, I consider 12 - 16' panels a minimum, I usually use 14 - 16 panels & T posts every 8' to build feed pens.

To start a new 'protein' feeder in an area that hasn't had one, I mix 50% corn with 50% protein & dump it in the feeder to fill a quarter to half way, then top off with deer pellets.

Everyone has a preference & it depends on your deer population, wallet & acreage - loose rule of thumb - 1 free choice feeder per 150 - 350 acres.
Even one near the center of a medium to large property is better than none.

Re: Protein Feeding [Re: Rustler] #7652767 11/05/19 03:56 PM
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Thank you. Great info



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