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October 22, 2020 2 min read

Do deer eat yams? Sure, they love sweet potato vines and may sometimes eat other potato species but what about yams.

When planning your garden in deer-infested regions, you must be careful with the choices you make. It would be best if you aimed to make your garden easy to grow and manage by cultivating plants deer dislike eating. Therefore, when planning to save yourself the heartache of deer ravaging your acres of hard work, you may ask – do deer eat yams? This question, of course, comes to mind if you have heard stories about deer ruining plots of sweet potato vines in just minutes. Hence, you need to know if the deer in your area will be drawn to your yam plants and what you can do to keep them out.

Deer love yams

Like sweet potatoes, Deer can eat yam, especially the Mexican Yam (Jicama pachyrhyzus). Although the Mexican yams are less sweet than potatoes, it also contains lesser calories and starch and a good source of iron, calcium and potassium. Even so, some growers have reported deer nibbling through the leaves of their yam plants. Therefore, you must consider using protective measures to keep deer away from your yams.


A fence is one of the best ways to keep deer out of your gardens, ensure it is strong and high. However, not all walls are created equal, and some will not stop the deer from coming in. For instance, if you use a fence of about 6-foot or a 5-foot wall with electric wire at the top, it will not be sufficient. Deer can jump as high as 5 to 6 foot and will probably go over your fence with ease if it is short. Instead, we recommend using an 8-foot-tall wall. You can make this an eight-foot plastic mesh or metal wire deer fencing depending on your budget.

Also, consider using an opaque fence, which may not be as high as 8 foot, but being non-transparent may deter the deer from jumping over. A parallel fence is equally good because when you have two barriers not quite far apart, they will not jump over since they cannot see where they will land.


You can also use repellents to deter deer, but this requires constant reapplication. You may also need to reapply after it rains, and they tend to lose their effectiveness after some time. We recommend using repellents alongside a sturdy wall to keep deer off your property effectively. Also, ensure to rotate the repellents you choose to prevent deer from becoming used to their smell or taste.

Concluding thoughts

Do deer eat yams? Yes, they do, although it might not be their first feeding choice. If you plan to cultivate yams, then you should enact sufficient measures to keep them out. You might consider using repellents, but they are not always as effective. A robust, sturdy and high (8-foot tall) fence is a great way to keep deer away from your yam plants.

Additional Article Reading

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