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Do Deer Eat Cabbage? (All You Need to Know)

Deer are docile animals that are also gentle in behavior. Even in their natural habitat, they can be seen being playful and friendly with each other. However, at no point can we consider these animals not smart enough.

Deer can be cunning and agile. They can understand and learn a multitude of things from humans or their surroundings. If you happen to live in a region where there are a lot of deer sightings and you have a backyard garden.

You might want to learn about the different fruits and vegetables the deer eat before planting any. Even if you do, you would need to secure that area. To learn more of the aforementioned things continue reading below.

Deer eat cabbage

There are times when deer will eat cabbage. It is not an uncommon thing for the animal to indulge itself in. This usually is the case when there is little food to get around. At those trying times the deer will eat almost anything it can find. That includes veggies that they usually do not eat.

Since we established that the deer will eat cabbage. We need to know if all types of deer also eat cabbages or just some in particular.

To answer that, we can look at either the whitetail deer or the wild deer it will not make a difference as both animals adore the cabbage.

Moreover, they will eat the cabbage raw. Whereas we would need to cook it and prepare it for our consumption but the deer do not need to go to such lengths and rather just munch on them before they are satisfied.

However, we still need to answer the question, “Do deer eat all kinds of cabbages?”. Therefore, to answer that, we made this list below to briefly discuss the popular cabbages and if deer would eat them or not. Keep reading below to know more.

Winter cabbage:

This particular type of cabbage has the best cold tolerance and thus the name.

They start late in the season and one of the unique features it has is that the heads of the cabbage are smaller than the natural one and it is also sturdier.

However, deer love to eat this cabbage as it is exclusively one of the few rich in nutrients food during the winter season.

Red cabbage:

Red cabbage is an odd one, its looks are unique and vibrant. They also have high amounts of nutrients like Vitamin K.

Red cabbage is also high in fiber and that helps keep the digestive system healthy. We all know deer love food that is high in nutrients and good for their health. Thus, they love eating red cabbage as well.

Purple cabbage:

This is a cabbage that is usually compared to the Green cabbage due to their similarities. The similarities however end when we calculate the differences between the vitamins and other nutrients that are inside them.

Purple cabbage has 10 times more Vitamin A than green cabbage. We already know deer have a taste for the heavy nutrient foods, Purple cabbage is no exception from their food menu as well.

Green cabbage:

Commonly known for its other name, Cannonball cabbage. The green cabbage is known like that because the leaves of the cabbage are wound up tightly in a dense and compact style.

That compact nature of it gives the plant its name and this densely packed cabbage also takes more points for being highly nutrient among all the other cabbage types. Deer also love to eat them whenever they find any.

Are cabbage plants deer resistant?

Unfortunately, cabbage is loved by almost all deer. This plant is not deer resistant, although they do avoid asparagus plants. But they love to eat cabbage and its family members too.

Veggies like cauliflower, beans, lettuce, and broccoli are not safe from deer. Furthermore, they also eat kale and brussels sprouts. There are certain plants like the asparagus that the deer also avoid.

However, even for the asparagus new tips, the deer love to eat them as well. There are only a certain few that are deer resistant.

Do deer eat cabbage plants and leaves?

We understand that deer will and can eat cabbages if they find any. However, we are still unclear if they eat the whole of the cabbage or particular parts. Let us go through two of the prominent part of the plant to understand it better.

Cabbage plants:

People think that we do not eat every part of a cabbage, the animals would also follow the same rule. However, they are very misguided with such insight.

Moreover, many animals eat almost everything in a cabbage. That list includes deer as well.

Cabbage leaves:

Almost all of the parts of the cabbage are eaten by the deer. The buds, fruit, and leaves are all highly nutritious thus attracting the deer’s attention.

This makes it difficult to raise such plants if there are deer residing in the area where you reside.

Do deer like to eat cabbage?

Deer are animals that rely on vegetation that can provide them with a good amount of nutrients and vitamins. A hungry deer can eat up to 10-15 pounds of food daily. As they are acrobatic and sturdy, not all plant life is safe from them.

Moreover, they can become tenacious during the winter season when there is not much vegetation in the wild. They will almost eat anything at that point and that includes cabbage as well. Although the deer love to eat cabbage in the first place anyway.

How to prevent deer from eating cabbage?

When it comes to protecting the garden we have from deer, we can go about several ways. However, there can only be a few right choices and the rest could be ineffective. Either way, let us go about the four methods of protecting our garden below.

Scare Tactic:

The goal here is simple. We just need to scare the deer. However, these animals are rather smart and understand if a threat is a threat or not.

Motion sensor alarm or usage of urine of predators will be effective in scaring away the deer. If we were to place a dog in the backyard to guard if the dog is behind a fence and chained up.

Thus, the deer will notice that and understand that it is not in danger. Therefore, keeping an unchained trained dog is one of the best deterrents for deer.

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The easiest and the most reliable of the methods that could be mentioned in this list is just setting up a barrier. That barrier will be able to protect the whole area of the garden and you will not need to worry about it again.

However, deer can be acrobatic, and thus we will need to make the fence barrier very tall. Moreover, an electric fence is one of the best options you can get for such a barrier.

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There are certain crops in the market that we can get and plant them scarcely in the garden.

This will make a natural barrier for the deer, as the deer do not like and avoid things like cucumber, garlic, Globe artichokes, rhubarb, and asparagus.


If the above options do not help you out, then go for this method as a last resort.

This is the artificial procedure we would take in case the deer are still grievously damaging your garden. Deer repellants that smell like rotten eggs or sulfur work the best.

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Are these flowering cabbages deer resistant?

Below is a list of flowering cabbages that we will discuss in brief if they are deer resistant or not.

Skunk cabbage:

When we see that the Skunk Cabbage can keep rodents like raccoons and squirrels at bay. We assume it’s the same for deer. However, skunk cabbage’s not deer repellant.

Rose cabbage:

One of the qualities of this plant is that this plant has a rose-like succulent appearance with thick fleshy leaves.

Then one of the qualities of deer is that they are attracted to well-watered well fertilized plants. Rose cabbage fits the bill easily and thus this cabbage is not deer resistant.

Ornamental cabbage:

These cabbages may be safe for us to consume and also nutritious. However, deer do not like all cabbages and it seems like Ornamental cabbage is one of them. Thus, Ornamental cabbage is deer resistant.

Final Thoughts

Deer love eating cabbage. The kind of cabbage rarely makes a difference. The availability of them only matters to that animal. No parts are left out and the whole of it is consumed by the deer. Unless we make some barriers to protect ourselves from deer, we would not be able to cultivate them.