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What Do Baby Deer Eat?

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Deer and fawn are increasingly visible these days, due to the dearth of deer. This is owing to the abundance of deer, but also because people have encroached on the wild animal territory.

We’ve taken up more and more room, which makes it more likely that we’ll spot creatures in unusual locations.

If you have a license to raise a deer, or if you come across one in the woods and capture it, keep in mind that the nutritional requirements of a fawn are distinct from those of a domestic dog or cat. As a result, you must have an understanding of what to feed a newborn deer.

Deers aren’t as popular as cats or dogs, and you don’t hear of many people keeping them as pets. It is unlawful to maintain a fawn without a license. If you come across an orphaned fawn, contact a local wildlife rescue organization for assistance in providing the fawn with the care it requires. When they’re younger,

So, whether you’re caring for an orphaned fawn or have a wildlife license to raise deer, let’s go through the ins and outs of feeding newborn deer.

What Do Baby Deer Eat?

Milk Replacer
Milk Replacer for Baby Deer

The age of the fawn is very important. The most essential thing in the life of the fawn is the colostrum. It delivers antibodies against diseases that the does have been exposed to or vaccinated for, as well as vitamins, protein, energy, and laxative to stimulate their bowels.

We also think it has components that assist to boost the immune system’s function. If they don’t get colostrum, they’re more likely to have scours necrotic stomatitis, pneumonia, become chronic poor doers, succumb to other illnesses, and die. Colostrum can be obtained from milking out does that have lost their fawns or from someone that has goats, cows, and sheep

Remember, though, that you must have close contact with an infected animal or come into direct contact with infected feces. You should also know whether the place where you obtained the colostrum is free of TB infection.

In the event that you have a newborn fawn to care for, as well as certain A and C vitamins and capsules for nutritional value, you may feed it colostrum replacement.

It is not suggested, however, until you’ve spoken with a veterinarian. They can evaluate the newborn’s physical health and offer supplements as needed.

It’s time to switch your fawn’s milk replacer after it has had enough colostrum. Some individuals advocate goat milk; however, be careful of the source since it might spread infections.

As a general rule to follow, 10% to 20% of the fawn’s weight should be used as food. It is advised to feed the infant 5 to 6 times per day for the first few days. The proportion in each feeding session may be reduced to increase the number of feedings.

Be cautious about the milk replacer’s ingredients. It should at least have 24 percent protein content. Follow the directions on the package to prevent any errors.

The food quantities should be adjusted in line with the fawn’s weight. If the fawn is healthy and regular, you may reduce the number of feedings per day every ten days until it reaches maturity (at six months) or until it weighs 30 pounds (15 kg).

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

You can also give a fawn some hay when it is between 1 and 2 weeks old, as well as purified dirt, clover, dandelions, and other such greens. However, don’t offer them more than 20% of their body weight.

You may start adding solid ingredients to the milk replacer to create a thicker consistency for an older fawn, around 30 to 40 days old. You can use baby rice or even a banana in the milk. However, make sure the texture is similar to that of a beaten-down batter.

What Does Baby Deer Eat in The Wilderness?

Fun Fact: Baby Deers Love Eating Hay!

In the wild, deer fawns would drink exclusively Mother’s milk until they are approximately 12 weeks old. At around 4-5 weeks old, they will begin to eat grass, which is mostly to assist their switch from drinking milk to eating solid plant material.

They begin experimenting with and consuming tiny portions of leaves, small soft branches, various berries or fruits, and seeds as they are approximately 6-8 weeks old in the wild.

How To Feed a Baby Deer?

Baby Deer
A Baby Deer in The Wild

Unless you have convincing proof to the contrary, assume a deer calf is healthy and its mother is close unless you come upon it alone in the wild. Only then should you act. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator and follow their advice, which could include feeding the fawn an electrolyte drink for hydration, followed by goat’s milk or a milk substitute for nourishment.

Step 1:

To a bottle, add two to four fl oz (59-118 ml) of a pediatric electrolyte beverage. If the fawn’s shoulder is roughly level with your knee while it is standing, it will drink this amount each feeding. Increase the amount for an older, bigger fawn (up to about your waist) to 4–6 fl. Before feeding the fawn any milk, a wildlife rehabilitator who you should contact first will most certainly recommend giving it electrolytes for hydration. If they give you conflicting advice, accept their judgment and follow their instructions.

Step 2:

Warm the bottle to body temperature. Fill the bottle with hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid inside is approximately 98–100°F (37–38°C). However, if the bottle is warm to the touch but not unpleasant to hold, it should be fine for feeding. When heating baby formula, don’t put the bottle in boiling or near-boiling water to speed up the process; doing so may harm nutrients found in whatever liquid is inside, such as infant electrolyte solution.

Step 3:

To encourage the fawn to drink, drizzle some liquid on its lips. Face the fawn and tip the bottle from above at an angle. To mimic mother’s suckling, put the bottle nipple against its lips and then gently squeeze it. This usually entices the fawn to attach itself to the breast and begin sucking. If the newborn is too weak to feed or otherwise refuses, notify your local wildlife rehabilitator.

Step 4:

Hold the bottle above the fawn, just enough so that it has to pull up its face to drink from it. To feed, keep the bottle raised so that the fawn must stretch its neck and mouth out to receive it. It may appear distressing, but this is a typical feeding position for a fawn. Allow it to eat until the container is empty

Step 5:

To determine if the fawn is properly hydrated, pinch its skin between its shoulder blades. After administering the first bottle of pediatric electrolyte solution, use 2 fingers to pinch the skin between the fawn’s shoulder blades for about 1 hour. The skin should drop immediately when you release your grip if the fawn is adequately hydrated. If the fawn is still dehydrated after you let go, its skin was pinched up for a moment. The skin turgor test is used to detect dehydration in numerous species of animals. Conducting this examination only if instructed to do so by the wildlife rehabilitator

Step 6:

If directed by the wildlife rehabilitator, provide extra electrolyte bottles. The turgor test result may suggest that you give the fawn one or more additional bottles of pediatric electrolyte solution based on the results. If you have a fawn that is underweight or dehydrated, your veterinarian will most likely advise you to offer it a bottle every 1-2 hours and perform the skin turgor test between each feeding. The wildlife rehabilitator may ask you to begin feeding the fawn goat’s milk or a milk replacer once the deer has sufficient hyd

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Deer?

Deer aren’t generally thought of as being at the top of the food chain. Instead, they’re regarded as nervous, delicate creatures with a lot of natural predators.


They may be found seeking out baby deer. Wolves hunt in packs and target larger animals. A single kill can feed many wolves comfortably, as deers weigh up to 150 pounds on average. Wolves search for a variety of vulnerable creatures, including newborn deer. In addition to humans, wolves are also known to prey on horses and cattle.


They are similar to wolves in that they are meat-eaters, consume a wide range of species, and lack powerful competitors. Coyotes, on the other hand, are one-of-a-kind in that they mostly hunt alone. As a result, they prey on rabbits and squirrels because they are small animals. In other words, something that they may easily overpower. Despite this, when hunting for a larger animal like a deer, Coyotes will do so as a pack


Deers are the preferred food of mountain lions. Deer are, in fact, the primary source of food for mountain lions! These stealthy, opportunistic predators hunt from dusk to dawn and ambush their victims from behind. A single deer is hunted by a mountain lion every week since that is all the nutrition they require.


Like mountain coyotes and lions, Lynxes are predatory omnivores that prey on a variety of species. Lynxes hunt deer, which are a major target for them. Each week, an adult lynx consumes about one deer compared to a mountain lion’s one per week.


Bears commonly hunt and consume newborn fawns, but this isn’t quite as frequent as one might believe. Plant foods make up about 70% of their diet. Bears will prey on poorly-protected fawns, which are the main kind of deer they eat. These deer are extremely defenseless, sluggish, and rely on the protection of


The relationship between deer and hogs is strange. Both species live in the same regions and don’t get along well. It’s not something that happens all that often, but wild hogs have been observed killing deer as well as consuming dead deer. Deer are usually able to avoid being eaten by wild hogs, although it can still happen.


Alligators are notorious for hunting deer, consuming far more than most people would believe! When deer approach a lake to quench their thirst, alligators lie just beneath the surface and spring out to capture a deer while its attention is elsewhere.

Are Baby Deers Healthy To Eat?

Baby Deer
A Baby Deer

Autumn is the season for deer hunting, and if you’re a hunter, there are several things to consider about being safe both out in the field and when you return home with your trophies.

The meat from deer is known as venison. It’s a lean red meat that’s comparable to beef and is commonly eaten in stews, meatloaves, and chilis. The term “venison” can refer to any sort of flesh derived from an animal within the deer family, including antelope, caribou, reindeer.

Venison has a greater number of nutrients than beef, including niacin, zinc, and vitamin B12. Local venison is also thought to be a more sustainable source of protein that may help maintain deer populations in check to protect woodlands and crops from damage.

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