Yes, deer will eat grapefruit! Some people outside the hunting and agricultural industries are often surprised to learn that deer will eat just about anything. Deer will eat crops, grasses, vegetation, acorns, and nuts. This means that deer can digest a wide range of plant material.

So if you have a grapefruit tree in your backyard chances are that the local deer population has already discovered it.

I’ve spoken with a guy from Florida who said he hunts a lot in orange groves and has seen deer eat fallen oranges. And even though oranges and grapefruit are not precisely the same, it’s safe to say that deer eat grapefruit. There are plenty of sugars in a ripe grapefruit to give deer plenty of reason to visit.

It depends heavily on how many different food choices they have in the area and how many other deer are around competing for food. Will a deer skip over a crop of white oak acorns for grapefruit? That I highly doubt.

What Do Deer Usually Eat?

For most of the year, deer get over 80% of their nutrition from browse, forbs, and mast. But since deer prefer mast, forage selection changes with mast availability (primarily hard mast) during autumn. Due to their smaller and simpler gastro-intestinal tracts, they need higher quality forages than cattle, elk, and moose do.

White-tailed deer consume 6% to 8% of their body weight in green foliage and browse daily. That’s 12 pounds a day for a 150-pound deer! 

Seasonal Food Habits of White-tailed Deer

Diets of white-tailed deer vary throughout the year based on the available food sources. In preparation for rut and winter, it eats a lot of what is available to store fat.

Spring Food

Whitetail deer love woody plant stems and new buds. They eat acorns, too, if they’re in edible condition.

Summer Food

Deer seek broader leaf plants during the summer and will eat new green growth from soybean plants in the agricultural fields.

Fall Food

During the fall, deer are getting ready for the rut and winter. Deer are attracted to ripened fruit and berries early on. 

Winter Food

Once the nuts and locust pods are gone, the deer will have no choice but to live off whatever they find. In the winter, they need to eat a lot of woody browse.

Conclusion

Will deer eat grapefruits? Yes, deer will eat grapefruit. While deer usually eat various things, they prefer mast (hard fruits like acorns). If it is abundant in the area and native, deer will probably eat grapefruits. However, it’s not likely that deer will be immediately drawn to something foreign to them. So if you dumped a load of grapefruit in a field don’t expect the deer to come charging in.

We’d love to hear about your experience if you’ve seen deer eating grapefruit. Maybe you’ve baited them in with a load of grapefruit. Leave a comment below and fill us in! Do you know the answer to these questions:


Do deer eat blueberries?
Do deer eat hedge apples?
Do deer eat pumpkins?

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