The Importance of Protein Feeders to Healthy Antler Development
With spring upon us, we're heading into peak season for bucks to begin the fascinating cycle of growing their antlers. Covered in velvet skin rich with oxygen and nutrients, antlers are some of the fastest-growing bones in the entire animal kingdom, growing up to a 1/2-inch per day.
Developing a big, healthy herd of whitetail deer — with big, healthy antlers — doesn't just happen on its own. It requires planning and effort not just before and during hunting season, but in the spring and summer as well. Springtime can either bring too much or too little rainfall, resulting in less available plant forage that's crucial for bucks to grow large antlers.
This is where protein feeders play an important role. Many hunters and landowners use them for supplemental feeding during spring and summer months to ensure their herds have adequate nutrition. Due to the stress of coming out of rutting season and the harsh winter weather, it's not uncommon for bucks to lose up to 30% of their body weight during the winter. As they begin growing their antlers again in the spring, bucks need a significantly higher amount of protein.
It's common practice to have supplemental feed available year-round and can be of huge benefit to bucks, as well as to does and fawns.
Protein Feeders = Healthier Bucks, Bigger Antlers
Helping bucks maintain adequate nutrition and body weight using protein feeders while they grow their antlers has tremendous benefits. Primarily, the rate of post-rut recovery is increased. In addition, a protein-rich diet is a large factor in healthy antler development. The use of protein feeders can greatly improve antler growth for the following season, as bucks are able to immediately begin growing their new set once the previous one is shed because they are consistently getting enough protein. Consuming a protein-heavy diet promotes the growth of larger antlers throughout their entire lives.
The Protein Feeder Leader
Since 1954, Texas Hunter Products has made some of the most durable and innovative protein feeders available. Select from several models that range from 300- to 2,000-pound capacity, as well as some specifically designed for fawns and does. Texas Hunter Xtreme Protein Feeders are designed with our patented roto-molded construction and are engineered to keep feed dry, cool, and fresh, plus they won't rust or get sun damaged — ever. Every model is easy to set up, fill, and move, making them ideal for any sportsman or landowner. Email us or give us a call at 800-969-3337 with any questions, to find a Texas Hunter Protein Feeder dealer near you or shop our selection of in-stock, ready to ship protein feeders today.
Picture Courtesy of Moxy Ranch and Jeremiah Morton