Deers are herbivores that mainly survive on grass, leaves and soft shoots of trees. They will even eat tree barks when they are hungry but no food is available. But when they come across sweet fruits such as cantaloupes: do they eat them with relish or do they respectably walk away?!
Deer eat cantaloupe
Deer eat cantaloupe. Deers’ primary diet consists of twigs and leaves from trees and also grass but that does not mean they will not eat fruit like melons and cantaloupes. If a deer stumbles upon a patch of cantaloupes, they will definitely eat the fruit with gusto or at the very least sample it.
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Cantaloupes, much like melons, are fruits with a sweet taste which is a great contrast from the taste of leaves and grass that deer usually consume in order to survive. So, when deer are presented with cantaloupes, they will obviously eat them as not only is it different from the food they usually eat but even we humans know a bite into a ripe cantaloupe floods the mouth and taste buds with fresh, sweet goodness. Therefore, there is no reason for them to pass up such an opportunity for a treat.
And in summer months cantaloupes also help to hydrate deer as they have a high level of water content. After walking for miles in the heat, the cool, fresh taste of cantaloupes must feel like a much needed revival for the deer.
Do deer like cantaloupe?
Deer seem to really like cantaloupe because they never pass up the chance to snack on cantaloupes and by snack, I mean devour an entire cantaloupe in only a couple of minutes. Many people have reported that when deer get their hooves on cantaloupes they eat them in a way that when they are done very little is left of the entire fruit and the parts they leave behind are properly chewed through as well.
So, it is safe to say that deer most probably like and enjoy eating cantaloupes that have ripened to be sweet and delicious summer treats.
Do deer eat cantaloupe skin?
Deer don’t eat cantaloupe skin. They enjoy eating the flesh of the cantaloupe fruit as it is filled with sweet flavor and soft but the skin is not appealing to them. They will break apart a cantaloupe with their hooves when they want to eat it and scope out the inside of it and leave the skin behind.
The tough exterior, overall texture and taste of the skin that surrounds this mouth-watering fruit does not seem to be something the deer would willingly eat. Therefore, if you are serving your deer cantaloupe, you can peel off the skin which will allow them to only enjoy their favorite part of the fruit without the barrier of the hard skin.
Do deer eat these parts of cantaloupe?
Deer seems to love gorging on ripe cantaloupe flesh but does that mean they eat all the other parts of cantaloupe with equal excitement? Or do they set them aside and only enjoy the sweet and soft part of the fruit? Now, we already know how they feel about cantaloupe skin but how about we dive deeper and learn how they react to each individual part of a cantaloupe?!
Deer are not very keen on eating cantaloupe rinds. They usually eat the sweet part of the cantaloupe which is the flesh due to its refreshing taste and also soft and smooth texture. The cantaloupe rind is an entirely different story because the taste isn’t all that flavourful and in addition to that, the rind of a fully ripe cantaloupe will no doubt be quite hard.
So, even though deers can break apart the rind of the cantaloupe with their hooves quite easily, they are not interested in eating it. It just leads them to their ultimate price which is the juicy, soft core of the cantaloupe.
Deer will most likely ignore cantaloupe plants if the fruits haven’t started to grow yet because the cantaloupe plant has leaves and stems covered with tiny thorn-like fuzz. This is not very enjoyable for deer to eat. The texture of the cantaloupe plant alone is enough to put them off. So, it is very unlikely that deer will try to eat cantaloupe plants before they have a chance to produce the sweet fruits.
Deer will eat cantaloupe seeds with the flesh. They don’t exactly have a way of separating the seeds from the flesh like us humans can just pick off the seeds from the flesh of the cantaloupes. They chew and swallow both the cantaloupe and its seeds. The seeds are perfectly safe for them to eat and they don’t seem to mind eating them with the actual fruit.
Therefore, if you decide to feed your deer cantaloues, you won’t have to worry about the seeds. They most likely even contain nutritional value that will benefit the deer.
Similarly to cantaloupe plants, deer will most likely avoid eating cantaloup leaves due to the fuzzy, prickly texture it comes with. This makes it very unappealing to a deer and they will not eat cantaloupe leaves even when they are snacking on the plants.
Deer will only eat cantaloupe fruit if they come across a field that has a patch of cantaloupe plants with ripe cantaloupe fruit. Even if their usual choice of food is scarce, deer will rarely be seen eating cantaloupe leaves or plants.
How do you keep deer from eating cantaloupe?
If you own a patch of cantaloupe in an area that is frequented by deer then god help you! No, seriously! Because deer are known to keep coming back for this refreshingly sweet fruit over and over again after having the initial taste.
So, you can imagine you will be needing some assistance in protecting your cantaloupes if you hope to share them with your family or to sell them. In order to reach that stage, you might have to follow some tricks we are listing below to keep your cantaloupe safe from deer before they are ready to be plucked.
Deer resistant plants:
When you are planting your cantaloupe plants, get a few pepper and marigold plants as well and plant them in a way that they loosely surround the patch of cantaloupe plants. Deer despise both these plants. Therefore, the pepper and marigold plants will be able to keep them off your cantaloupes.
Scare the deer:
You can also drive some sticks on the ground near the cantaloupes and hang aluminum foil pie pans from them. The pie pans will move with the wind and reflect sunlight which will keep the deer away from the cantaloupes.
Use soap or hair:
Another easy and cheap way to keep deer away is to leave a bar of soap or a lock of hair near the cantaloupe. This will cause the deer to stay away because the presence of these items suggest that humans are nearby which scares deer from approaching.
Fence your garden:
If none of the above tricks seem to work on the deer that live nearby or you want a permanent solution then build a french around your patch of cantaloupe plants or the entire garden. This will not only keep deer away but it will also stop other animals from walking into your garden and attacking your fruits.
Deer will happily eat cantaloupe if they get the chance. Cantaloupe are sweet fruits that ripen mainly during the summer and most animals and humans like to snack on them. If you have cantaloupe plants in your gardens be sure to take some measures to keep them safe from deer and also other animals.