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Old 01-16-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default Soybeans in feeder?

I read an article saying that it is better to feed deer soybeans than corn from feeders. They cautioned that you could sicken or even kill deer during the winter stress months if they don't have this quality feed to start with. Anyone have any info on the reality of this? I use feeding to get pictures of deer/ bear during the winter months and don't put out much feed, just enough to draw game on a daily basis.

Also, will soybeans be as appealing to coons and squirrels? They have taken over and waste a lot of space on my memory cards. I'm trying to deter coons and squirrels with the switch, will it help?
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:59 PM
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I can't help you on your squirrel or coon problem, but as to the soybeans, they are more nutritous than corn. I totally agree with you 100%. I never thought about it though, but do agree with you. Corn has a low nutrient content, unlike beans and peas. Corn can disturb and damage the digestive tract if eaten too much, unlike beans and peas. Beans in a feeder is a great idea. I don't think it would be as attractive to the deer as corn, but they will eat it once they realize that beans taste just as good as corn.Hunt those squirrels and coons down man. Good Luck.
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Old 01-16-2007, 09:09 PM
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Many farm stores around here sell "Soybeans for Deer Feeders" because its way better for them in the summer as well. Coons do not seem to bother it, nor do bear. Thats one advantage down here is the bear will tear a feeder down for corn but will not eat the soybean. The problem with soybean is $11 a bag . This year I don't think I filled a feeder with corn, or anthing, they just hung empty since I had more food plots and the improved natural forage from this springs thinning.
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:06 AM
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I'm not much into grain feeding for deer, but I'll nit pick you guys a little bit on the nutrition stuff anyway. (sorry)

Beans and peas will also make deer sick if they eat too much. In fact I think it would take more corn to make a deer sick than soybeans...the beans are 20% fat which is 3x or 4x more than the rumen bacteria can handle safely. The good news is that deer have such a varied diet that they are unlikely to overeat one thing unless they are really hungry for some reason (such as in Northern winter deer yards).

Corn has a very high content of digestible nutrients, jamar; that is why US farmers grow 10.5 billion bushels of it every year! It is very high in starch but lower in protein and minerals and fat as compared to peas and beans. Just different nutrients.
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Old 01-17-2007, 12:25 AM
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:12 AM
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Here is a pretty good article on feeding soybean. It also covers the concern of deer being killed due to high protein feeds the bacteria can't digest. I can see this being a problem even with Soybeans in the north.

http://www.deerhunters.net/articles/nutrition.htm


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Old 01-17-2007, 10:15 AM
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I don't do grain feeding on my property, but have given it considerable thought the last few years. After reading lots of info on the subject, I had decided if I ever did do it I would use the spin type feeders so that I could limit the amount of grain the deer could eat each day. By doing that it would help prevent the overeating problems. It would also help on the financial side. BUT, with the hog problem, feed on the ground would attract them too, and I don't want that. SO, I figured the way around that would be to use a sheltered trough with the barrel and timer under the roof, with a guard around the spinner, so that the grain would be deflected down into the trough.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:30 AM
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I had an animal nutrition class in college and there was a phenomenon know as Rumen Acidosis in cattle, which could occur if they were immediately switch to high carbohydrate diet (ie corn) from a non-high carbohydrate diet. This could be the toxic effect of corn you all are talking about in deer. Basically the microbes in the rumen produce acids through fermentation of carbohydrates which decreases the pH of the rumen. This inturn changes the microbial content of the rumen itself and therefore become less efficient. The rumen has a dynamic microbial content that changes throughout the year based on diet, however, a sudden change is definitely a shock to the system.

I am sure this is more common in cattle since we give them their food they eat, probably not a concern, at least I would think for deer.

And I just thought that class was for S's and G's. Never thought I would use it again.

Last edited by HabitatMD : 01-17-2007 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:40 AM
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When I have fed soybeans through feeders, I found that I had to start with a 80% corn 20% soybean mix to get the deer to eat the soybeans. As time went on I would decrease the corn and increase the soybeans until I fed 80% soybeans and 20% corn. For some reason, my deer just would not eat straight soybeans from the beginning. The main reason I quit feeding soybeans was because of hogs and coons. I know some of you said coons would not eat soybeans, but I had different results. Coons on my place will eat anything. Just seemed like a waste for me to spend all that $$$$ to fatten up hogs and coons.

This spring I am going to start feeding supplements, but I am going to use trough feeders with a 25x25 3' high fence built around them to keep the hogs out.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:25 AM
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Thanks for all the info. I'll try to post some pictures I've been getting. The coons have pretty much taken over the night time feeding. This is when I would get all my pictures of deer. I have a picture where a coon is actually running off a bear. I suppose the bear was in and out of hibernation and was too lazy to fight back. Ok, so how do I put a picture on here?
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:14 PM
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asmith, one suggestion I received and really liked regarding slinger feeding is to fence the area around the feeder to preclude the hogs. You may have to build that fence stout. The deer won't have any problem getting in or out. The coons will still get in but you will know where to find them for a quick hunt a time or two.

I have seen deer in fields browsing on peas and corMs for half an hour or longer. I think we can all say we have seen deer in fields at dawn and dusk for half an hour or longer eating only what the deer know for sure. That is a pretty long dwell time in one place for a free roaming browser. I will agree that corn slung from a feeder is not a long "dwell" item.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:20 PM
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one suggestion I received and really liked regarding slinger feeding is to fence the area around the feeder to preclude the hogs.

Curious about this. I am in the process of planning fenced in areas for my trough feeders and all the plans/recommendations I have seen/heard are to make the pens circular and not square. Does anyone know why this is????????
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:34 PM
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I don't know why that matters. I make square pens out of 3' x 16' hog panels. They are $18 a piece at tractor supply. Or if you are going to make alot of them, its cheaper to make them bigger and use field fence. This is what I have to do for my foodplots to keep the cows and hogs out. Hogs sure are a pain.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:36 PM
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Don't have the problem, but I've read where hogs will try to root under a fence. So maybe one thats in a circle is harder for them to root under, maybe it confuses them. Also read a suggestion to put a couple of strands of barb wire at the very bottom near the ground to discourage rooting under it. But circles tend to sometimes confuse animals would be my guess if thats really a benefit.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:59 PM
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Talking Corn bad for deer ?

Yes,I saw that first hand.It had turned them into 300lb brutes with heavy bones on their heads.Especially the ones around the corn fields in Illi.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:11 AM
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Default Hog fence to prevent rooting under...

Install a piece of fence material horizontal at the bottom of the vertical panel that is 1 to 3 feet wide and laid out on the ground. Secure to the vertical piece. Cover under the leaf litter. They will find the intersection and not make the connection to move back a foot or two.

Round fencing may give them pause, but I doubt it would stop them. Difficult to pull a "round fence" tight. Wouldn't really be "round" but a series of straight legs between supports.

Tough that we're on a deer management BB and discussing hogs. Stupid pigs. Something to do between the racks. Now there's a twisted expression.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:50 AM
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Curious about this. I am in the process of planning fenced in areas for my trough feeders and all the plans/recommendations I have seen/heard are to make the pens circular and not square. Does anyone know why this is????????

Got what I thought was a pretty good answer from my buddy that owns a hunting lodge. He said that a hog will continue to walk circles around a circular pen (because it's continuous)instead of trying to push up against a square pen. Makes good sense. Also, digging under the pen is not the biggest concern, pushing down the fence is a bigger concern. I have seen big boars tear down an entire side of a hog pen by pushing on it over and over.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:58 AM
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Isn't it true that the problems with feeding grains to deer is usually during a time of nutritional stress...say post winter in the north, when deer have little else to eat, are in poor shape, and gorge themselves on the "candy" that is avaible to them? Are there any known problems of introducing grains to deer during more stable periods of health? For example, in the U.P. of Michigan here we can't bait for deer until October, and deer have an oversupply of grains to eat by mid-November, yet I can't recall ever hearing of any problems to the sudden shift in "nutrition" even though over 90% of all hunters bait across the entire region.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:17 PM
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Yes, Jeff. I can't comment on Michigan in particular, but the danger to the health of the ruminant animal depends on a couple things...how sudden the feed change is and how large a dose of grain the animal actually eats. Well-fed deer are a lot less likely to get sick from a bait pile because they are a lot less likely to gorge themselves on it.

Like most animals, starving deer are going to be more vulnerable to all sorts of problems.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:29 PM
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I was reading a study on the problem that corn and high protein supplemental feeding can cause in certain conditions. It made sense once you understand the deer digestion process is unique and human intervention can mess up mother natures way it works.

In northern winter conditions the metabolism of deer change as their available food sources are reduced and shift to twigs and woody type browse since all the ground forage is covered with snow or dead. The bacteria in their stomach changes as well to adapt to the change to winter browse. Corn / soybeans / high protein food is not digestible by the bacteria thats been growing to digest the winter browse and due to stress and slower metabolism the right bacteria can not be quickly produced. Therefore the food goes unused but fills their stomach. Their brains also tell them the supplemental food is good and its here so I no longer need to search for food and can hang out and rely on the free meal vs search for or eat anything else.

Since they can't digest it and they'd rather eat it than search, they starve. As Anderson mentioned, it talked about a quick change and the amount as factors. It suggested introduction of supplemental feed if introduced be before the stress/metabolism/browse change so they can develop the right bacteria and it continue vs stop after hunting season.

This from someone who has only been in snow a couple of times, just my interpretation of what I read.
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