Do Deer Eat Carrots?

Every year, billions of carrots are produced all across North America. Their growing season is early spring to late summer. After planting carrots they take around 70-80 days to finish growing. Over time, it has become not just an edible food for humans, but deer are also consuming these vegetables. Deer love to eat carrots, which is bad for farmers and can cost them millions of dollars per year. Case in point, do deer eat carrots? Yes, they do.Do Deer Eat Carrots?

Winter is usually a harsh weather condition for most of us. And not just us. This extends down to other animals. Most times, people are left to wonder, especially deer lovers, how deer are coping with the rigorous of winter. People are tempted to help these lovely animals survive by feeding them. Carrots have proved to be among one of the best vegetables to feed these deer with. They contain vital nutrients such as beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, Potassium, and antioxidants. Moreover, a deer’s stomach will readily digest carrots without much trouble, thereby helping them to survive when other food options prove difficult to source. Deer then get accustomed to eating this delicious and nutritious treat and will come back for more. 

Carrots are root vegetables and can be found in a number of colors such as orange, purple, red, and yellow. Once in a carrot garden, deer will dig up the carrots and eat them. A garden full of carrots is one of the quickest ways to attract a population of deer. The problem is that when deer establish their home range they will continuously come back for more food. In fact for hunters involved in bait hunting of deer, carrots are proving to be excellent hunting food items for these hunters across the United States. Carrots can be used in food plots for attracting and hunting deer. 

Fruits and Vegetables Not Suitable for Deer

These vegetables are often termed deer resistant. This is because deer generally avoid plants that give off a strong pungent smell. If any of these deer-resistant plants are grown in your garden, it may be enough to turn this deer population away from your garden. Some homeowners may invariably grow these plants when the destructive effects of deer on their gardens become far-reaching. You can also try to use a natural deer and rabbit repellent. Deer and rabbit repellents come in both granular and liquid application sizes and can be used to treat large areas such as in farming. These have been used for decades in protecting apples, pumpkins, carrots, soybeans, and other agriculture. 

Also, deer hate plants with thick, hairy, or prickly leaves/stems. Digging up root vegetables such as carrots can be fun for these deer, but that does not mean that they do not eat aerial foliage. The following plants are usually not eaten by deer:

● Onions
● Garlic
● Asparagus
● Eggplant
● Lemon balm
● Chives
● Leeks
● Sage
● Fennel
● Oregano
● Rosemary
● Thyme
● Marjoram
● Lavender
● Rhubarb
● Fig
● Parsley
● Tarragon.

Some other plants that deer don’t like but may eat include:

● Pepper
● Tomatoes
● Potatoes
● Currants
● Cucumber
● Melon
● Okra
● Horseradish
● Borage
● Anise

If you keep a herd of deer, then understanding what fruits and vegetables deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet their evolving nutritional needs, will enable you to harvest a good buck. Furthermore, it is not advisable that you change their diets rapidly, as they need time to adjust to their new feeding system.

What Do They Prefer to Eat?

Do Deer Eat Carrots?

While deer will prefer foods that have been classified as whitetail foods (leaves and twigs of woody plants, grasses, nuts, fruits, asters, and mushrooms), their diet will largely depend on the availability of these foods according to the time of the year and environmental conditions.

Finally, do deer eat carrots? Deer are able to easily digest carrots and so, will welcome such meals whenever it becomes available. If you are looking to repel deer for commercial or home garden use, try Nature’s MACE. Our all-natural repellents provide long-lasting protection and are effective in all seasons. They keep deer and rabbits away using proven technology. 

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Nicholas is a partner and co-founder at Nature's MACE. Nicholas received his Bachelor's in Business Administration from Penn State University. His mission is to create and promote natural substitutes for toxic pesticides. He hopes to prevent people, pets, and the environment from being negatively affected by potentially harmful pesticides.

1 Comment

  1. Michael massaro on February 3, 2022 at 2:37 am

    I give my deer carrots which they have eaten it does seem they find apples more edible will they eat grapes how about green peas or broccoli

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