What Do Baby Deer Eat? – Feeding Nature


What Do Baby Deer Eat?

Due to the lack of deer, deer and fawns are now more frequently seen. This is due to both the large number of deer and the fact that people have encroached on the domain of wild animals.

We’re occupying more and more space, thus it’s increasingly possible that we’ll find critters in unexpected places.

Remember that a fawn’s dietary needs differ from those of a domestic dog or cat if you have a license to raise deer or if you come across one in the wild and capture it. You must therefore be familiar with what to feed a baby deer.

You don’t hear of many people keeping deers as pets because they are not as well-liked as cats or dogs. It is forbidden to keep a fawn without a permit. If you come across an abandoned fawn, get in touch with a nearby wildlife rescue group for help in giving the fawn the attention it needs. They are younger when

So let’s go over the ins and outs of feeding young deer, whether you’re taking care of an orphaned fawn or have a wildlife license to raise deer.

What Do Baby Deer Eat?

The fawn’s age is quite significant. The colostrum is the single most important component of the fawn’s diet. It provides vitamins, protein, energy, antibodies against diseases the does have been exposed to or immunized against, as well as laxative to stimulate their bowels.

We also believe that it contains elements that help to improve the immune system’s performance. They are more prone to develop scours, necrotic stomatitis, pneumonia, become chronic underachievers, pass away from other illnesses, and become poor doers if they don’t receive colostrum. Colostrum can be purchased from someone who owns goats, cows, or sheep, or it can be obtained by milking out does that have lost their fawns.

But keep in mind that you must come into contact with contaminated feces or have intimate interaction with an infected animal. You should also be aware of the presence of TB infections in the location where you received the colostrum.

If you have a newborn fawn to take care of, you can give it colostrum replacement in addition to some A and C vitamins and pills for nutrition.

However, it is not advised unless you have spoken with a veterinarian. They can assess the infant’s physical condition and provide supplements if necessary.

Once your fawn has consumed enough colostrum, it’s time to change the milk replacer. Goat milk is recommended by certain people, however you should watch the source as it may spread illnesses.

10% to 20% of the fawn’s weight should be used as food as a general guideline. For the first few days, it is advisable to feed the baby 5 to 6 times a day. To increase the number of feedings, the proportion may be decreased at each feeding session.

Regarding the components of the milk substitute, be careful. It should have at least 24 percent protein. To avoid any mistakes, adhere to the instructions on the packaging.

The amount of food should be altered in accordance with the fawn’s weight. Until the fawn achieves maturity (at six months) or reaches a weight of 30 pounds, you may lower the amount of daily feedings if it is healthy and regular every ten days (15 kg).

When they are 30 days old, they can be fed three to four times, and once every two weeks after that.

When a fawn is between one and two weeks old, you can also offer it some hay, clean dirt, clover, dandelions, and other such greens. Offer them no more than 20% of their body weight, though.

An older fawn, around 30 to 40 days old, may benefit from the addition of solid components to the milk substitute to provide a thicker consistency. Baby rice or even a banana can be added to the milk. Make sure the texture resembles that of a batter that has been beaten down, though.

What Does Baby Deer Eat in The Wilderness?

What Does Baby Deer Eat in The Wilderness?

When they are about 6 to 8 weeks old in the wild, they start experimenting with and eating tiny portions of leaves, small soft branches, different berries or fruits, and seeds.

How To Feed a Baby Deer?

If you come across a deer calf in the woods alone, presume it is healthy and that its mother is nearby unless you have strong evidence to the contrary. Then you should take action. Make contact with a wildlife rehabilitator and heed their recommendations, which may include giving the fawn an electrolyte drink to keep it hydrated and goat’s milk or a milk replacement to keep it nourished.

Step 1:

Add 2 to 4 fl oz (59-118 ml) of a pediatric electrolyte drink to a bottle. The fawn will consume this amount of milk at each feeding if its shoulder is nearly level with your knee when it is standing. For an older, larger fawn (up to around your waist), increase the amount to 4-6 fl. You should speak with a wildlife rehabilitator first, who will undoubtedly advise giving the fawn electrolytes for hydration before giving it any milk. Even if they give you advice that seems to contradict one another, trust their judgment and do as they say.

Step 2:

To reach body temperature, warm the bottle. When the liquid inside the bottle reaches about 98-100°F (37-38°C), fill the bottle with hot tap water and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. However, the bottle should be suitable for feeding if it is warm to the touch but not uncomfortable to grip. Baby formula should not be heated by placing the bottle in boiling or nearly boiling water; doing so could damage any nutrients present in the beverage, including newborn electrolyte solution.

Step 3:

Drizzle some fluid on the fawn’s lips to entice it to drink. Tip the bottle at an angle from above while facing the fawn. Place the bottle nipple to the infant’s lips and then gently squeeze it to simulate mother’s sucking. This typically encourages the fawn to latch on and start sucking at the breast. Notify your local wildlife rehabilitator if the infant is too weak to feed or otherwise shows signs of resistance.

Step 4:

Hold the bottle just high enough above the deer for it to have to lift its face to drink from it. Keep the bottle raised while feeding the deer so that it has to extend its neck and mouth to take it. Although it might seem upsetting, a fawn typically feeds in this posture. Let it eat until the container is finished.

Step 5:

Pinch the area between the fawn’s shoulder blades to check for appropriate hydration. Pinch the area between the fawn’s shoulder blades for roughly an hour after giving the first bottle of pediatric electrolyte solution. If the fawn is well-hydrated, the skin should fall off right away as you let go. You should let go if the deer is still dehydrated because its skin was briefly pinched. Numerous species of animals can be tested for dehydration using the skin turgor method. only carrying out this investigation on the animal rehabilitator’s direction

Step 6:

Provide more electrolyte bottles if the animal rehabilitator instructs you to. Based on the findings of the turgor test, you might want to give the fawn one or more extra bottles of pediatric electrolyte solution. Your veterinarian will probably recommend that you give your fawn a bottle every one to two hours and conduct the skin turgor test in between feedings if it is underweight or dehydrated. Once the deer has enough water, the wildlife rehabilitator can urge you to start giving the fawn goat milk or a milk substitute.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Deer?

In most minds, deer aren’t considered to be the top predators. Instead, they are thought of as jittery, sensitive beings with several natural predators.


They could be seen looking for young deer. Wolves pursue larger creatures while hunting in packs. Given that deer can weigh up to 150 pounds on average, a single kill can comfortably feed many wolves. Wolves hunt a range of helpless animals, including young deer. Wolves are known to prey on horses and cattle in addition to people.


In that they are meat eaters, eat a variety of animals, and don’t have strong rivals, they are similar to wolves. Coyotes, on the other hand, are unique in that they typically hunt by themselves. Because they are little animals, they hunt on rabbits and squirrels. To put it another way, something that they might easily defeat. Despite this, coyotes will hunt in packs when pursuing a larger animal, such as a deer.


The favorite prey of mountain lions is deer. In actuality, deer are the main food source for mountain lions! These cunning, opportunistic hunters prowl from dusk until dawn, ambushing their prey from behind. Every week, a mountain lion hunts a single deer because it is all they need for food.


Lynxes are predatory omnivores that hunt on a variety of species, just as mountain coyotes and lions. Deer are a primary prey item for lynxes when they hunt. Compared to a mountain lion’s one deer per week, an adult lynx eats roughly one deer per week.


Although it isn’t quite as prevalent as one might think, bears frequently hunt and eat young fawns. They consume roughly 70% plant foods in their diet. The primary type of deer that bears eat are fawns, which are vulnerable young. These lethargic, incredibly fragile deer are dependent on the protection of


Strange interactions occur between deer and hogs. Both species coexist in the same areas but get along poorly. Even though it doesn’t happen very frequently, feral pigs have been seen murdering and eating dead deer. Although it still happens occasionally, deer are usually able to escape being devoured by wild pigs.


Deer hunting by alligators is notorious, and they eat a lot more than most people would think! Alligators lurk beneath the water’s surface waiting to pounce on thirsty deer as they approach a lake to quench their thirst.

Are Baby Deers Healthy To Eat?

Are Baby Deers Healthy To Eat?

The term “venison” refers to the deer’s meat. Similar to beef in leanness, it is a typical ingredient in stews, meatloaves, and chili. Any type of meat from a member of the deer family, including antelope, caribou, and reindeer, is referred to as “venison.”

Compared to beef, venison contains more minerals, such as niacin, zinc, and vitamin B12. In order to prevent damage to crops and woodlands, local venison is also considered to be a more environmentally friendly source of protein. This is because it may help keep deer populations under control.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author