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

Deer will eat almost anything when it comes to vegetables. It’s due to the short supply of food when they opt to eat non-traditional meals. Potent smells of certain vegetables are something they often avoid.

Deer might be a majestic animal, but they are voracious animals in spirit. As a result, they might not be the best friend for a farmer or gardener. If you’re interested in knowing what Deer consider food and which ones not, keep reading below.

Do deer eat squash?

Deer do eat squash but not love them. Thorny and hairy vegetables are something that a deer doesn’t like eating. That includes some varieties of squash. However, if they’re particularly hungry, they don’t usually be choosy when it comes to getting the nutrients they need.

Squash is a reliable and easy to grow plant. We can see different variations of this single plant. It gives the farmer the most all year round. They can come in different sizes depending on the season.

Squash is a plant that a deer usually avoids due to its prickly body. But sometimes they will eat the plants or leaves and sometimes the fruit of certain squash. Here we will discuss the parts and different squash briefly.

Butternut squash:

Providing a lot of Vitamin A and fibre is this winter squash. These guys grow on a vine and have a nutty sweet taste.

They are akin to Pumpkin in those regards. Deer do eat this squash.

Spaghetti squash:

Also, with a huge amount of fibre and Vitamin A is another winter plant. This plant comes equipped with a huge number of Antioxidants. They’re also high in Vitamin C. Deer do eat this squash.

Squash plants:

The squash plants, when after they’re planted, require a continuous supply of water. They grow 5 to 15 meters (16 to 49 ft) in height or length.

Tendrils produced from the plant help the squash climb adjacent structures or simply extend on the ground. Deer love pumpkin plants.

Squash leaves:

The leaves of this plant are puckered toothed leaves. They often can be large and very green in color.

As well the texture of the leaves can be hairy and rough. Deer don’t like plants with such characteristics.

Squash blossom:

Blossoms of squash are edible to all humans and animals alike, including Deer. Both sides of the spectrum indulge in this particular palate. They can be enriched with vitamins and can be eaten raw due to their subtle taste.

Why do deer eat squash?

Fuzzy and prickly vegetables or plants is something that a Deer dislikes and will go out of their way to not eat. However, Deer adapts their taste and eats squash depending on how things are currently in their environment, let’s discuss the reasons below briefly.

Herd too big:

If the herd of the Deer is large enough. More numbers, mean more mouths to feed and as a result, they end up foraging. In other words, they end up having to eat Squash that is abundant during Winter and Summer.

Scarcity of food:

Due to how the environment might be faring around them they are unable to find food with proper minerals. In order to get the nutrients they need, they end up gulping down the Squash which is rich in these.

Eats anything:

Sometimes a Deer just tries to eat anything they get in front of their face, especially the little fawns who try to eat everything they can get and just spit out the things they don’t like.

Is squash bad for deer?

There are indeed some vegetables and fruits that can be harmful to the gentle beast. However, squash is not one of them. Squash is a very nutritious plant for the Deer. These plants are very high in Vitamin A, C, and fiber.

If we were to go into more details, there are high amounts of Vitamins B6 and C as well as folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. This is a power pack for a plant that’s almost available all year.

These minerals will help boost the bones of the Deer and also help them process the fats and carbohydrates. All in all, squash is not harmful to the Deer, they might not like its taste but they know the nutritional facts about this plant.

What vegetables will and will not deer eat?

For a gentle beast, the Deer are voracious eaters. They almost eat anything they can stuff their wet nose in. Deer sometimes damage farmers or just random backyard gardeners’ day by eating some of their fruits or vegetables.

There can be a lot of different factors as to why they behave like this. We discussed a few above, what we didn’t discuss are the things they won’t gladly eat and ultimately not damage the gardens.

So, let’s look at the things that the Deer will eat and what things they won’t.

Will eat:


Deers do not like Zucchini but that won’t stop them from eating everything else of the plant, destroying it completely.

They adore the taste of the leaves of this plant. Especially the blossom that is rich in nutrients, one of their favorites.


One of their loved foods. Deer do not shy away from a pumpkin garden when they’re hungry.

They will gladly eat the leaves of the pumpkin plant during the summer. They’ll come back in the fall for round two and eat the ripe pumpkin fruit.


Most animals adore the taste of something sweet. Deer as well like all other animals love a sweet meal.

This fruit is seen to be broken open by the Deer’s hooves in the wild. They would go to such measures for something they adore the taste of.

Will not eat:


This plant is a part of the nightshade family of plants. Since many plants from the nightshade family are poisonous to the Deer, they don’t particularly enjoy a palate of eggplant.


When it comes to something that a Deer would not like to eat, that would be something that has a rough texture or hairy body. As well as strong odors of a particular plant.

Garlic falls in the latter category of being the one with a strong odor and thus the Deer avoid eating garlic.


Deer cannot really eat a cucumber. They don’t eat the vines of the cucumber plant either and leave them alone for the most part.

Deer dislike root plants, the ones that require digging or the ones that have prickly and hairy bodies. Hence, they leave the cucumbers as they are.

What is deer’s favorite food?

Deer might be a voracious animal. They might eat anything in their way if they feel like it. However, there are some things that a deer adores with all heart and loves to eat.

Food such as the beechnut acorns, acorns, hickory nuts, as well as pecans. Then there are the fruits such as blackberries, persimmons, apples, and blueberries that they love to eat to satisfy themselves.

Deer have a special love for fruits and nuts. Their basic diet might be the grass, twigs, corns, and fungi but it’s the nuts and fruits that they yearn for the most.

When the food’s a bit scarce during the winter they will often exclusively live off of tips, buds, and bark.

Will deer eat vegetable scraps?

Unfortunately for our gentle beast, they are not as sophisticated as they want to be in order to know what’s actually bad for them. Hence, they will eat almost everything we give them or they stumble upon it.

Unless the deer don’t like the taste of the thing they are eating they won’t spit it out and just gobble them down, if they’re hungry. If food is scarce deer will eat vegetable scraps.

However, if the vegetable scraps are comprised of celery, lettuce trimmings, cabbage, old fruit plus other waste materials, then that would be harmful to the Deer. If the deer have to only rely on vegetable scraps, they will soon lose life of hunger.

Final Thoughts

There are really a few things out there in the wild that deer don’t eat. If the circumstances are dire, be it a Squash or bark, deer don’t discriminate and eat them. Since squash is almost available all year round, deer eat squash when the food is scarce, and they are in need of nutrients.