Moultrie Products
Eating corn caused deer to die
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
JohnMC 15-Feb-20
Bou'bound 15-Feb-20
Kydeer1 15-Feb-20
Huntskifishcook 15-Feb-20
SDHNTR(home) 15-Feb-20
Grunter 15-Feb-20
ahunter76 15-Feb-20
Jaquomo 15-Feb-20
Woods Walker 15-Feb-20
bigdog21 15-Feb-20
Cornpone 15-Feb-20
Catscratch 15-Feb-20
keepemsharp 15-Feb-20
Stubbleduck 15-Feb-20
skookumjt 15-Feb-20
Shuteye 15-Feb-20
JL 15-Feb-20
Treefarm 15-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 15-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 15-Feb-20
skookumjt 15-Feb-20
FORESTBOWS 15-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 15-Feb-20
rjlefty3 15-Feb-20
Mpdh 15-Feb-20
FORESTBOWS 15-Feb-20
Timex 15-Feb-20
longbeard 15-Feb-20
gobbler 15-Feb-20
Bugle up 15-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 16-Feb-20
lawdy 16-Feb-20
GF 16-Feb-20
FORESTBOWS 16-Feb-20
lawdy 16-Feb-20
White Falcon 16-Feb-20
t-roy 16-Feb-20
Busta'Ribs 16-Feb-20
keepemsharp 16-Feb-20
pirogue 16-Feb-20
Deerplotter 16-Feb-20
skookumjt 16-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 17-Feb-20
Missouribreaks 17-Feb-20
TurfSideUp70 17-Feb-20
From: JohnMC
15-Feb-20

JohnMC's Link
Saw this on one of the local news website. "According to wildlife officials, when a deer eat corn, birdseed, apples, grain, or other high carbohydrate foods, the stomach balance is upset and too much acid is produced – causing burns to the stomach lining, letting bacteria into the blood and causing diarrhea, dehydration, brain damage and hoof problems like laminitis."

Not debating if feeding/baiting deer good or bad. But has anyone heard before? Seems to me in a lot of areas corn is every where and one of deer primary food sources.

From: Bou'bound
15-Feb-20
Yes I have. Need to be careful. Moldy corn the worst

From: Kydeer1
15-Feb-20
I don't buy it. Some people that hate baiting have started the rumor to try and persuade people to not do it. Evidence: All the ag fields in grain states with corn laying everywhere all winter long and deer are fine

15-Feb-20
From what I've read it occurs most often in areas when deer don't have access to high nutritional value food all winter. In my neck of the woods their food sources become less and less nutrient dense throughout the fall and their gut biome changes as a result. If they suddenly find a gigantic pile if corn mid winter it can have terrible effects. If they have access to corn all winter their gut biome won't go through changes as drastically and they will still be able to process the nutrients.

15-Feb-20
It's true for sure;-)

From: SDHNTR(home)
15-Feb-20
I don’t buy it either. If this were true, there’d be thousands of dead deer all over the state of TX.

From: Grunter
15-Feb-20

Grunter's Link
Yeah it happens.

From: ahunter76
15-Feb-20

ahunter76's embedded Photo
ahunter76's embedded Photo
I can see this in non agricultural areas. If it's not the norm it could cause problems. Midwest, corn, beans are pretty much everywhere & they eat it daily, year round. We have corn field within walking of our home & I have like 8 birdfeeders & corn for up to a Dz or more Squirrels daily in winter. I have Deer almost daily to clean up what the birds & bushytails don't when we have snow. I've had 6 coming here regularly all year & they have no problems.

From: Jaquomo
15-Feb-20
Causes them to die from "Rage poisoning"

From: Woods Walker
15-Feb-20
As mentioned above this can happen to ANY grazing animal that's not accustomed to having a high density food in it's diet. They have to have access to it gradually in order to get their system adapted to it. Here in Illinois or other farm areas it's no big deal because they have access to grain fields all year long. Giving deer that have been living on browse all winter a sudden bounty of corn I can see causing problems.

I have horses and they're no different. If you make a change in their feed, you have to do it over a period of time or they can get colic. In the spring when we get ready to let them return to the pasture after it dries out, we only let them out for about a half hour the first couple of days and then gradually increase it. Letting a horse that's been feeding on hay all winter out full time on rich spring grass can very well cause them to founder or worse.

From: bigdog21
15-Feb-20
When there is a pile of feed and large amounts of food laying they eat to much of one food and fill full causing digestive problems, when grazing in a field yes they still eat corn but not near as much and will find other foods to feed on threw out the day help there digestive system break down the foods.

From: Cornpone
15-Feb-20
So, from what I'm reading is it safe to assume that if standing, unharvested corn is available that's okay because they'll feed on it at their leisure and remain acclimated to it? As opposed to providing a corn pile mid-winter.

From: Catscratch
15-Feb-20
Acidosis has been observed and documented for a very long time. Google it and you'll find as much information as you could possibly want to read.

From: keepemsharp
15-Feb-20
Kinda like an 18 year old on his first night out?

From: Stubbleduck
15-Feb-20
Deer are ruminants. Look up any basic ruminant nutrition text for the issues involved in sudden dietary changes, especially those involving corn or other high starch content feeds such as grain sorghum. The problem is not just the corn, it's generally a sudden increase in the quantity of corn (Or other high starch material).

From: skookumjt
15-Feb-20
Happens all the time. We just had a bull elk killed from this here in WI.

From: Shuteye
15-Feb-20
All the farmers around here have thousands of acres of corn. We have a huge population of deer and they eat all the corn they can hold. I guess they are used to eating corn. I did read where out West they dropped some hay bales to mule deer and it killed them because they weren't used to it.

From: JL
15-Feb-20
AKA....supplemental feeding. As I understand it, northern woodland deer have the biggest issue with this. Switching from natural browse to corn can be an issue if done in sporadic amounts. The way I have heard it done is you can use corn if you start them on it and keep supplying it thru the winter. If you stop and then start up later on is where the problem can occur. It's got to do with the rapid changes in diet during high stress times (winter). I would imagine ag deer do not have as much of a problem with this.

From: Treefarm
15-Feb-20
I only speak of WI, but yes, corn and other grains can kill deer that have transitioned to high-fiber browse. In agricultural areas, this is less of a problem. It tends to happen when well-meaning people dump cheap corn to deer in non-agricultural areas. Best rule; don’t feed deer, they don’t need it. Provide tree tops via hinge cutting and concentrate on habitat improvement like small clear cuts to regenerate browse.

15-Feb-20
Big deer tend to come from Ag areas, doubt it is simply genetics. They may not need grain, but the derived energy sure helps most ruminants with their body condition.

15-Feb-20
And yes, too much grain on a rumen not accustomed can cause acidosis and death. Happens with cattle too.

15-Feb-20
What treefarm said!

From: skookumjt
15-Feb-20
I'm curious where your degree is from because they failed with your education.

15-Feb-20
Every deer in west Texas should be dead

15-Feb-20
Do a search on rumen acidosis.

From: rjlefty3
15-Feb-20
As others have said, it's the change in diet and their ability to process the carbohydrates. Mainly during a real winter where they are surviving on browse and their reserves.

Is winter in Texas is the same as winter in the northern hemisphere? That's why that comparison isn't applicable here.

From: Mpdh
15-Feb-20
Since when did Texas drift south of the equator?

15-Feb-20
Must be Trumps fault

From: Timex
15-Feb-20
Some of y'all are THICK please do a little research before posting. As already said the sudden change in food can kill them the key word beying sudden everything in nature is gradual through the season's. The deer slowly gravitate from one food source to another

From: longbeard
15-Feb-20
The key here is an abrupt change in their diet. Nothing more nothing less. If suddenly all other food sources are not available and the local deer herd shifts their diet completely and solely to corn, then yes there could be problems. That’s a very odd situation and if any or all of the other foods are available in some quantity or another, a deers natural feeding instinct would not be to ingest only one food type, but rather pick at all types available. Hence the verb browsers

From: gobbler
15-Feb-20
It can happen with an abrupt change of diet. Microorganisms need to be present in GI tract to be able to break down the new food source. If it’s the middle or toward the end of winter and deer that have never been fed corn all year suddenly find a pile of corn they can eat it but their gut can’t break it down. If the deer have been eating it all fall and winter they have obtained necessary bacteria to aid in digestion it’s not a problem

From: Bugle up
15-Feb-20
Woods Walker is correct. It also happens to elk here in Oregon when introduced to a dramatic change in diet in the winter when people try to help by feeding alfalfa or even hay. For deer that usually have access to corn throughout the year it’s not a big deal.

16-Feb-20
Deer with access to corn and other grains as supplementation all year round will thrive.

From: lawdy
16-Feb-20
Here the deer eat a lichen called “old man’s beard” in the fall. It gets their gut bacteria ready for hardwood browse. We frown upon corn for supplemental feeding and favor a deer feed that is able to be digested by those same bacteria. Problem up here is that supplemental feeding isn’t supplemental anymore, and corn is cheaper than deer feed. People stop feeding and the deer try to go back to woody browse and they starve. We lose a lot of deer in April and May up here. You feed deer up here, it is an expensive commitment. Don’t stop until the deer migrate back into mountains and Summer ranges.

From: GF
16-Feb-20
I love the way you guys get to pick and choose what you believe based on whether or not it suits your personal agenda....

Like DeGrasse-Tyson said; “The beauty of Science is that it’s true whether you believe it or not.”

If it doesn’t make sense to you, you probably don’t understand it. If you DO understand it and still don’t believe it, then prove otherwise or go away and let the grown-ups finish their conversation.

16-Feb-20
Maybe you guys figured out where all the big bucks are that went missing....... corn gotem

From: lawdy
16-Feb-20
Reading these posts it is obvious that a midwestern deer eating in farmers fields almost exclusively does not have the same gut fauna as a big woods deer. We are basically arguing about scenarios which are totally different. Bring a mid-western corn fed deer up here in mid-winter and send one of ours to the corn belt, and I bet we will be seeing two deer die from starvation unless they have time to adapt and develop new bacteria. This renders the argument about corn moot. Depends on what their usual feed is. We, up here in hardwood browse country run the risk. You in corn country are safe for the most part. IMHO.

From: White Falcon
16-Feb-20

White Falcon's embedded Photo
White Falcon's embedded Photo
We do get cold and snow, in Texas!

From: t-roy
16-Feb-20
Lawdy.....whitetails in midwest ag country certainly spend a big percentage of their time browsing in the crop fields, however, they also do a lot of browsing on a wide variety of forbs, leaves, brush, etc. They will even browse on cedars here, if it is a particularly hard winter. They will hit the tops of trees cut down for firewood or hinge cut. It doesn’t take them long to find them, either. I’ve watched them feeding on forbs out in CRP fields for hours, even when there was standing corn and soybeans within a couple hundred yards.

From: Busta'Ribs
16-Feb-20
I have seen late fawns that were orphaned (does harvested) get locked on feeders late season here in New Jersey. These same deer become skin and bones and ofen die. I've had to put two down myself because they were so weak, wound up in my neighbors yards and I get the call. Both were covered from tail to hoof with diarrhea. I'm not qualified to even guess but if I had to, I'd say that these late fawns had the deck stacked against them to begin with, then didn't have the guidance to get a balanced diet because they were on their own, and got locked on the "easy" food source and didn't get enough nutrition to sustain from corn alone. So, in this instance, in my opinion, corn can kill deer. But this is an isolated example.

From: keepemsharp
16-Feb-20
Around this neighborhood the coons do more damage to corn fields than deer. They pull down the whole dam plant. Or beavers drag the whole thing away.

From: pirogue
16-Feb-20
Fake News from the baiting banned states. Corn doesn’t get moldy in some parts of the South, because feral hogs eat it up before it has a chance.

From: Deerplotter
16-Feb-20
Providing large quantities of corn could be an issue in areas where corn and other ag crops don’t exist. But small amounts will not create this issue. Another excuse from the government to keep my mother from putting her coffee can of corn out in the evening so she can enjoy watching the deer.

From: skookumjt
16-Feb-20
Moldy corn is an entirely different issue.

17-Feb-20
Aflatoxin is a different cause of death than rumen acidosis.

17-Feb-20
And, neither is limited to deer, or corn.

17-Feb-20
Jimmy,

That's a heck of an argument for balanced habitat, especially where agriculture is limited.

From: TurfSideUp70
17-Feb-20
I've never seen an undigested kernel of corn in a deer poo pellet before....

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