Spring is here! The air and soil temperatures are rising, and new vegetation is emerging in the fields and woods. Whitetail deer require a balanced diet throughout the year and, as the seasons change, so do the nutritional requirements of bucks, does, and fawns. Their diets will vary slightly but protein is critical to all three. It is important to plan for these needs in order to provide them with the nutrition they need, when they need it. In the spring and summer, protein requirements increase for both bucks and does as they shift from survival mode to growth mode.
Springtime is recovery time for bucks. They are still rebuilding strength from the rut and the preceding winter. During this time, bucks need to restore lost muscle and protein is essential. Antler growth is beginning, as well, which calls for a high protein diet, especially to produce antlers that reflect their genetic potential. Protein feeders act as a supplement to natural forage and insures that the bucks are getting the nutrients that they need to maximize antler growth.
Does are fast approaching their fawning dates and prepare for nursing. Protein is critical in order to aid in the development of the growing fetus and to give the fawn the best chance for survival. According to the University of Missouri Extension, “lactation imposes the greatest protein demand on females, as white-tailed deer milk averages 8.2 percent protein. The quantity and quality of milk will likely decrease in females that don’t get enough protein during lactation. Females that produce twin fawns have an even higher protein requirement.” (MU Extension) Protein feeders boost the does natural protein intake resulting in stronger, healthier does and fawns.
Successful management practices incorporating protein feeders at this time of year can insure that these protein requirements are met, regardless of any fluctuation in local food sources. Texas Hunter Products gravity feeders provide unlimited intake of protein which is beneficial to the deer and can be continued into the summer, when bucks are growing antlers, does are nursing, fawns are developing muscle. All Texas Hunter Products Protein Deer Feeders and Fawn Feeders are available from 300 to 2,000-pound capacities to accommodate your individual protein feeding program. The Adjustable Feed Flow Baffles, a Texas Hunter Products exclusive, give you complete control over your feeding program.
Protein feeder placement is an important part of your protein feeding program. The deer must be able to find and access the feeders in order to become part of their daily routine. Choose an area with good deer traffic that is close to a water source and provide cover and an escape route which will allow the deer to feel protected and to leave the area undetected. The low profile of Texas Hunter Products protein feeders and their lightweight design makes them easy to set-up, fill and move. Texas Hunter Products engineered and patented the most innovative protein feeders ever designed based on more than 65 years of experience and expertise. The roto-molded construction keeps feed dry, fresh, and cool, plus they will never rust. Get your protein feeder program started by viewing our complete line of Texas HunterProtein Feeders or call 800.969.3337. All products are in stock and ready to ship to you or available for pick-up at select dealers nationwide.
“Nutritional Requirements of White-Tailed Deer in Missouri.” University of Missouri Extension, extension2.missouri.edu/g9487.