Will Deer Eat Potatoes?

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Will deer eat potatoes? This is a question that many people have, and the answer is not straightforward. While deer may not specifically go out of their way to eat potatoes, they will consume them if available.

Potatoes are not a part of the Deer’s natural diet. However, they are a source of carbohydrates and other nutrients that deer need. Generally, they eat the leaves, not the tuber underground.

The tops of root vegetables, such as potatoes, are often less desirable to deer. However, the tops of sweet potato plants are loved by deer.

Deer dig root vegetables when they are hungry, including beets. So, if potatoes are the only food source, Deer will eat them.

Do Deer eat Potato Leaves?

Deer are notoriously finicky eaters, and their diet often changes seasonally as different plants come into bloom. While Deer typically eat just about anything when desperate, they prefer to feast on tender young leaves and shoots.

This means that mature plants are usually safe from deer browse, including potatoes. Potato leaves are thick and tough, making them unpalatable for most Deer.

However, if the leaves are young and tender, deer may be willing to try them. In general, deer are likelier to leave potatoes alone than chow down on their foliage.

Also, what deer will eat or not eat depends on the area. I remember reading somewhere that deer in Northern Michigan will be digging potato fields all winter long looking for the tubers. So, potatoes may be a more important food source for deer in some areas.

Are Potatoes a Preference for Deer?

No. Potatoes are not a natural part of a deer’s diet; however, they will eat them if available, and nothing else is around if, given a choice, Deer usually choose other plants over potatoes.

a deer standing in a meadow

Are Potatoes Dangerous for Deer to Eat?

While potatoes are not poisonous to deer, they could cause digestive problems if consumed in large quantities. Deer are browsers, meaning their diet consists mainly of leaves, twigs, and other plant matter.

Potatoes are starchy and high in carbohydrates, which can be difficult for deer to digest. In addition, potatoes contain solanine, a chemical that can cause stomach upset in deer.

If you have a potato crop attracting deer, consider fencing it off or planting other crops nearby that will act as a deterrent.

Are there any Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes for Deer?

Though potatoes are not typically considered a deer’s natural food source, they can provide several nutritional benefits. Potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates, which can help deer to maintain their energy levels.

They also contain various vitamins and minerals, including potassium and vitamin C.

While potatoes may not be the first food that comes to mind when considering a deer’s diet, they can provide many nutritional benefits.

Conclusion

Will deer eat potatoes? In general, deer prefer other plants and foods over potatoes. Sweet potatoes are another story, as deer love these plants’ tops.

But deer typically eat just about anything when desperate; they prefer to feast on tender young leaves and shoots. This means that mature plants are usually safe from deer browse, including potatoes.

In general, deer are likelier to leave potatoes alone than chow down on their foliage. Are Potatoes a Preference for Deer? I believe not, but depending on your area, they may be a more important food source for deer.

While potatoes are not poisonous to deer, they can cause digestive problems if consumed in large quantities. If you have a potato crop attracting Deer, consider fencing it off or planting other crops nearby that will act as a deterrent.

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