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October 05, 2020 2 min read

Do Deer eat eggs? For some who have found nests of pheasant and quail ravaged, it can be shocking to see that Deer might also feed on eggs.

Deer usually feed on fruits, twigs, shoots, seeds, farm crops, shrubs, and other parts of plants. Therefore, it is easy to get caught in the notions that Deer only feed on plant-based food sources. The reality is entirely different. So, when asked – do Deer eat eggs? The answer is simple, off-course deer eat eggs.

Surprised? There is a video evidence documented by U.S. Geological Surveys showing a white-tailed Deer raiding grouse quail eggs. Quails usually nest on the ground, so Deer can easily access them. Further, this research team’s studies showed that Deer within the site of the study (Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center) raided more nests than red foxes.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that Deer sometimes feed on eggs. There are even other reports about deer eating insects, carrion (specifically dead fish), quail eggs, injured birds, and bird nestlings. There have also been reports about Deer feeding on gut piles or even ravage through a mess searching for things they can eat.

However, there is no evidence yet, about whether deer feed on the eggs of ducks or turkey, but their versatile diets, makes it easy to think that such things can happen.

Nevertheless, it is unknown whether this applies to all deer species. The evidence is shown mainly for the whitetail deer as responsible for many of these habits.

Stomach offers reasons for egg eating habits

The stomachs of Deer are just like cows. Their 4-chambered stomach is necessary for their plant-based diet since plant materials are more challenging to digest. Therefore, it is possible. Deer sometimes eat meat as these can go through their stomach without requiring additional chewing. This seemingly unusual habits can especially help the whitetail deer survive in its forested habitat. Furthermore, this ability will help Deer survive, particularly during the harsh winter seasons, when the grounds are hard and frozen and inadequate access to plant-based materials. There are even videos of deer pursuing and killing hatching birds while its parents try to safeguard it.

However, biologists have been mainly concerned about how these habits may lead to adverse circumstances. For instance, if deer feed on animals’ carcasses, it might run the risks of picking up contagious infirmities. However, other scientists also state that Deer may not contact contagious diseases because they do not have a gallbladder. Nevertheless, there have been reported cases of the whitetail deer contracting rabies and raccoon-strain virus. However, the number of incidents are rare.

Concluding thoughts

Do Deer eat eggs? Yes, they do, although their egg-eating habits aren’t by default. Most Deer will eat eggs or other meat protein during the harsh winter months or when unable to find anything else. These immensely versatile creatures can eat just about everything on their part. They are fascinating and full of surprises as they can eat even the weirdest things unimaginable.

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