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

If you have pet deer, you must make a deer-friendly diet. You can include different pet food for the natural growth of your deer. Sometimes, deer might go for some unusual food that is not their ideal.

It happens if you fail to provide enough deer food to your pet. In that case, you must be careful about your garden because deer can go to your garden and eat pretty much anything. So, fence around the garden to save it.

Deer eat walnuts

Deer don’t eat walnuts since it’s not their favorite food. Because of this nut’s taste, smell, and other ingredients, deer don’t like to eat this nut. If you have other options, you must avoid giving walnuts to your deer. But if there is nothing to eat, deer might go for anything.

If you offer some walnuts to your deer, it will first avoid it. It will devour those walnuts when it becomes hungry and can’t find anything better to eat. So, it’s not like you will give him some walnuts and start eating that; instead, it will depend on the deer’s eating mood.

You should give them some leaves and flowers which are not toxic. But, walnuts will be a challenging and dangerous food for your deer. However, the scenario might be different if you have a garden.

Let’s say you live near the deer area, and deer can quickly come to your garden to take a good meal. In that case, walnuts could be an excellent way to deter the deer. But the fact is walnuts are not deer resistant or deer-proof.

Considering those factors, I came up with four different walnuts that could be your excellent choice. If you know they are deer-proof, you can plant them in your garden to repel deer. It might depend on other factors, including the situation, place, and deer mood.

Black walnuts: 

Deer don’t eat black walnuts because of their taste and flavor. Most of the time, deer don’t want to eat string shell walnuts which is the main reason why deer don’t eat black walnuts. 

If you look at its ingredients, you will also find some unhealthy chemicals for your deer.

English walnuts: 

Deer don’t eat English walnuts unless they become too hungry to search for good food. They love to eat different nuts, but the walnuts have something else that differentiates this nut from others. The shell, smell, and taste are completely different.

Shelled walnuts: 

The deer can eat shelled walnuts because it is soft and doesn’t have a strong outer shell. Mainly, shelled walnuts are not the best food for deer, but they will try to devour them if they are hungry and can’t find suitable food. 

Green walnuts: 

Deer can’t eat green walnuts because of their strong shell, smell, and taste. These things are not in favor of deer. Therefore, you should never offer your deer green or other types of walnuts.

Do whitetail deer eat walnuts?

The whitetail deer doesn’t eat walnuts because of its shell, taste, flavor, and hard-to-digest characteristics. But you cannot expect to deter deer by the walnut trees. They will devour it if they fail to get their meal on time. 

If you plant some walnut trees, you cannot expect to save them from the whitetail deer. You must deter the deer because the walnut tree cannot repel the deer. Instead, they might attract some deer with their shelled walnuts. 

Apart from that, the deer cannot eat and digest the walnuts. Mainly, the whitetail deer cannot digest the walnuts with shells. These things will go through the stomach and try to ruin the stomach with its hard shell. 

So, it’s always a pleasure to encourage your pet whitetail deer not to eat walnuts. You should never give walnuts with shells if you don’t have anything to offer. Try to use the shelled walnuts so your deer can quickly eat them and be comfortable to digest them soon.

3 reasons why deer don’t like to eat walnuts

In general, deer avoid plants with a bad taste, pungent smell, or toxicity. More or less, Walnuts hold all these characteristics, making them unattractive to deer. It is also not on the menu of deer either. 

As many alternative sources are available, it’s not difficult for deer to avoid this plant.


The deer will not eat walnuts because of their hardness. The shell of a walnut is about the size of the ball. Since walnuts are hard to crack, it is difficult for deer to eat them.

Bad Smell: 

Walnut covers also give off a pungent sniff which many deer do not like. Deer will not eat walnuts because of their unpleasant odor. This bad smell makes walnuts challenging to eat for deer. As a result, deer try to stay away from this plant. 


Walnuts secrete juglone, a chemical that will pounce on plants. It is made from the leaflets, the sources, and the sprouts. Under a significant old walnut, little or no growth will create toxicity. 

Not only the plant, but it can also make surrounding areas such as air and soil toxic, thus making it an ideal deer repellent plant.

Do deer eat walnut trees?

Deer do not eat walnut trees because of their toxic nature and bad smell, including bad taste. Black walnut trees have a relatively spicy odor. It directly comes from various components of the tree. The leaves of the walnut trees are kind of sharp, making deer uncomfortable eating it. 

Although walnut trees are not one of the favorite kinds of deer, they can still eat walnut trees occasionally, especially if they are black walnut trees. Throughout the wintertime, deer could perhaps eat walnuts. 

Black walnuts attract birds and wildlife to the landscape. If the deer are starving, they can eat black walnuts. Although in many instances, the nuts are too difficult to fracture. While in the cool months, they usually eat the leaves of this shrub.

Do deer eat black walnut seedlings?

Deer eat black walnut seedlings. Walnut seedlings are not poisonous, and it is not that hard. Besides, it includes necessary nutrients for deer. Black walnut tree seedlings contain a certain type of husk, an ideal deer food. 

Most importantly, it doesn’t have any bad taste or smell. Deer can even eat compact walnut seedlings and sprouts from stumps.

Whenever young enough, deer might also eat walnuts. Any time a black walnut tree appears, it is usually grazed by deer; it can wipe out its buck. You should want to secure your black walnut trees at any time. Unlike other parts of black walnut trees, deer are very fond of its seedlings.

How to keep deer from eating walnuts?

Although walnuts are not deer-friendly food, you cannot rely on them because the hungry deer can eat pretty much everything suitable for your deer. That’s why you should know some tips to keep deer from eating walnuts.

Deer-Resistant Spray: 

The easiest way to deter the deer is by using the deer-resistant spray. If you go to a pet shop, you will find different deer-resistant sprayers. Try to get a natural spray that doesn’t have anything harmful that can damage the deer’s health. 

Buy one of them and then come back to your garden.

You should fence around the garden and then spray that chemicals or product around the garden. It will spread a pungent and unfavorable smell in the air. It will become the perfect way to repel deer.

Deer Resistant Plant: 

If you have some walnut trees in your garden, you must protect them from hungry deer. If that’s the case, you can plant some other deer-resistant plant with a strong smell and bitter taste. In Particular, you will find some flower plants that will repel deer.

Find those plants and try to plant them around the walnut trees. It will be your longtime investment that will repel the deer for a long time. If you have a perfect deer-proof plant, you should go for it.

Plastic Fence: 

If you want to go for fencing around your garden, you can do that, but you must have a strong fence that a deer strike cannot damage. If you use the bamboo fence, you cannot expect to get better protection against deer. 

So, try to buy a strong plastic fence and put it around the garden.

You should buy a large plastic fence to get a perfectly deer-proof garden. It will give you the best protection. But the small fence will not be that effective since deer can easily overcome that and get into your garden.

Final Thoughts

Because of taste, digestion problems, and hard to eat, deer don’t eat walnuts. If they are too hungry and can’t find anything to eat, they will devour your walnuts and might go for other unusual plants. So, it’s better to protect your walnut trees from deer strikes. Follow my tips to do so.