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Feeding protein #8120302 01/08/21 04:21 AM
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Sewer rat Offline OP
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My place is 330 acres. For the most part it is surrounded by properties of similar size. Feeding corn attracts a lot of deer for me. I have not been feeding protein but am contemplating it. If someone had a high fenced place where they were feeding their deer, or a large property where the deer quite possibly never left their place it seems wise to give them protein but in my situation I wonder if it is worthwhile? I realize any deer I see are transient.

Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8120331 01/08/21 04:37 AM
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I have a place that is 100 acres smaller than yours and I have fed protein free choice year round since 2012. I also do food plots in spring and fall. I take off the does I get MLD tags for every year. It helps keep the feed bill down since with year round feed I draw deer off the neighbors if it gets dry. I have averaged about 5500 lbs of feed per year over the last 4 yrs now. When it rains average or above they almost will quit feed totally. Just like they will hit it really well if it gets dry. Post rut is the key time for consumption here and it sets the bucks up the for spring green up. Late summer can be a critical time if rain is lacking and extremely critical for does with fawns. In the fall it is a good attractant since bucks will hit the feeders really hard going into the rut. Makes archery season really good here with the buck traffic high. I have seen increased body weights on the deer herd overall. I have not seen the fawn survival rate increase like I have on other places but I always have mature bucks to hunt since when yearling bucks move in they do not leave. After the rut the bucks move back in starting mid December here. Not much pressure and they know the food source is here...food plots, protein and corn. With light hunting pressure here the deer do not need to leave. Since I started feeding I have held and see way more bucks than I do does. I have seen bucks increase as much as 20" in one year...those bucks that are raised on feed do the best. I had one buck this year I have 3 yrs of pics from that went from a low 120's 8 pt last year to a 5x5 with one extra kicker that grossed over 144. He was in the protein pen all 3 of those years. He was a 5 or 6 yr old last year, so that makes him 6 or 7 this year. Will all bucks do that? No, but most will increase a little each year. IMO post rut is the most critical time for bucks since they are in bad body condition and it is generally the worst time of the year in a lot of areas...poor range conditions. You can look into timered protein feeders that if you them to can do almost what you can feeding free choice. They can give you a budgeted amount of feed out every day if you wanted it also. Don't look at protein as increasing numbers of deer if you are already at carrying capacity...just as a buffer between dry and rainy periods.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8122194 01/09/21 05:02 PM
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Stx how many protein feeders do you have set up on your 200 acres?

Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8122218 01/09/21 05:26 PM
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Stx do you think the results would be close to the same if feeding cottonseed opposed to protein?

Re: Feeding protein [Re: stxranchman] #8122240 01/09/21 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I have a place that is 100 acres smaller than yours and I have fed protein free choice year round since 2012. I also do food plots in spring and fall. I take off the does I get MLD tags for every year. It helps keep the feed bill down since with year round feed I draw deer off the neighbors if it gets dry. I have averaged about 5500 lbs of feed per year over the last 4 yrs now. When it rains average or above they almost will quit feed totally. Just like they will hit it really well if it gets dry. Post rut is the key time for consumption here and it sets the bucks up the for spring green up. Late summer can be a critical time if rain is lacking and extremely critical for does with fawns. In the fall it is a good attractant since bucks will hit the feeders really hard going into the rut. Makes archery season really good here with the buck traffic high. I have seen increased body weights on the deer herd overall. I have not seen the fawn survival rate increase like I have on other places but I always have mature bucks to hunt since when yearling bucks move in they do not leave. After the rut the bucks move back in starting mid December here. Not much pressure and they know the food source is here...food plots, protein and corn. With light hunting pressure here the deer do not need to leave. Since I started feeding I have held and see way more bucks than I do does. I have seen bucks increase as much as 20" in one year...those bucks that are raised on feed do the best. I had one buck this year I have 3 yrs of pics from that went from a low 120's 8 pt last year to a 5x5 with one extra kicker that grossed over 144. He was in the protein pen all 3 of those years. He was a 5 or 6 yr old last year, so that makes him 6 or 7 this year. Will all bucks do that? No, but most will increase a little each year. IMO post rut is the most critical time for bucks since they are in bad body condition and it is generally the worst time of the year in a lot of areas...poor range conditions. You can look into timered protein feeders that if you them to can do almost what you can feeding free choice. They can give you a budgeted amount of feed out every day if you wanted it also. Don't look at protein as increasing numbers of deer if you are already at carrying capacity...just as a buffer between dry and rainy periods.

Man that is some good solid information... My question on this is what do you plant for spring and summer. I haven't had much luck with plots that time of year. Not much rain here most years.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Wilhunt] #8124617 01/11/21 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilhunt
Stx do you think the results would be close to the same if feeding cottonseed opposed to protein?


If it's one or the other, use protein. Cottonseed is high in fat/protein but provides no micro / macro nutrients found in supplemental protein feeds.

We put cottonseed feeders in the same pens as our protein feeders and the deer just never took to it on our place (Erath County). If they'd eat both, we'd be happy to feed both.

Re: Feeding protein [Re: soonersorlaters] #8125037 01/11/21 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by soonersorlaters
Originally Posted by Wilhunt
Stx do you think the results would be close to the same if feeding cottonseed opposed to protein?


If it's one or the other, use protein. Cottonseed is high in fat/protein but provides no micro / macro nutrients found in supplemental protein feeds.

We put cottonseed feeders in the same pens as our protein feeders and the deer just never took to it on our place (Erath County). If they'd eat both, we'd be happy to feed both.

Hard to beat WCS for post rut bucks putting weight back on...they need the fat and WCS has that. Protein can do that to but it will cost more. About 20 yrs ago there was a coated WCS sold that was bagged in Mississippi. They coated it and added minerals/vitamins in the coating, so it was better than plain WCS. I fed it for a while and it took the deer a couple of months to get used to it. If you can add mineral on top of the WCS as you feed it then it is a good option. Adding a mineral site in the same pen would work also. Just adding mineral is an expense and extra step. I have seen ranches in South Texas that only fed WCS and no protein pellets....they raised some really big deer. Most now do a combo of both...WCS post rut with pellets and then pellets till end of summer. If you have good browse and forbs then WCS as a supplement may work well for you. Adding a mineral site or two would help out also.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: stxranchman] #8125078 01/11/21 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by stxranchman
I have averaged about 5500 lbs of feed per year over the last 4 yrs now.

That surprises me that you dont feed more. We feed about 10,000 lbs a year on 320 acres out of 4 feeders that we fill monthly. When it is super green they wont eat much, but if its dry they will drain them in two weeks and if its average conditions we will have some empty and some almost empty. Im sure we have more deer than we should, but we would be WWIII if we really tried to keep the does in check, none of the neighbors kill does.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8125089 01/11/21 07:35 PM
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They "drain" ours from March 1 to about the end of June when the sun heats everything up. At that time, they seem to prefer cottonseed over the protein. We just recently put cottonseed in and they are "killing" it.

Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8125120 01/11/21 07:59 PM
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Maybe that is part of the difference we dont feed cottonseed.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8135730 01/20/21 12:12 AM
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How do you guys handle hogs/protein? I quit because the hogs are so abundant inNorth Texas.


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Dave Davidson] #8135782 01/20/21 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
How do you guys handle hogs/protein? I quit because the hogs are so abundant inNorth Texas.

Pen them out.

Re: Feeding protein [Re: Jimbo1] #8136328 01/20/21 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo1
Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
How do you guys handle hogs/protein? I quit because the hogs are so abundant inNorth Texas.

Pen them out.

Ten 16 foot hog panels and 20 t-post make a round pen 50' across. About $300


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Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8136428 01/20/21 03:13 PM
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For example (I think this one is 11 panels plus the gate)

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Last edited by Hudbone; 01/20/21 03:14 PM.
Re: Feeding protein [Re: Sewer rat] #8136599 01/20/21 05:30 PM
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Example of a pen keeping hogs out. This is a 10 panel pen.
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