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Do Deer Eat Wheat? (Quick Answers)

Plants like wheat are one of the few that animal species like to eat. They do so to obtain essential nutrients and minerals that they may not be able to obtain elsewhere in their diet. Wheat is also an easy plant to find and digest, which makes it a good choice for animals. 

What about deer? Can deer eat it? Let’s take a look.

Deer eat wheat

The deer do consume wheat, although it is usually limited to the leaves and twigs. These parts of the plant are digested better by deer because they have unique gut bacteria. Deer prefer to eat wheat during the winter and summer months. In general, wheat can be an important part of deer diets. 

When it comes to their diet, deer tend to prefer Forbes, shrubs, and tough grasses. Wheat may play an important role in deer diets, but it’s not always the best choice.

Winter wheat:

The best thing about winter wheat is that it’s a good source of energy. During colder months when food availability is limited, deer may eat winter wheat instead of other forages. This does happen from time to time, but it’s not the main focus of deer consumption at this time of year.

Egyptian wheat:

Compared to regular winter wheat, Egyptian wheat is higher in protein and other nutrients. During the colder months, when food availability is limited, many people believe that deer eat Egyptian wheat as a substitute for other forages.


When food availability is limited during the colder months, deer may use buckwheat as an alternative food source. Wheat is not a preferred food for deer, although they do consume it.

Spring wheat:

It is more common for deer to eat spring wheat than other types of wheat. In the spring, there is a greater supply of it, making it a more desirable option for them. Because spring wheat has a lower glycemic index, it is less sweet and easier to digest.

Dry wheat:

Deer can consume dry wheat. Since it has a lower nutritional value than other types of wheat, it is not typically a preferred food source for them.

Wild wheat:

Deer do consume wild wheat. During droughts or other conditions when other resources are scarce, they consume both as part of their daily diet.

Do whitetail deer eat wheat?

The whitetail deer is an herbivore, meaning that he likes to eat vegetation. Whitetail deer are herbivores, as well, and wheat is part of their diet. However, wheat is not their preferred food source. They typically eat other vegetation, such as grasslands or forests.

Winter is also not a great time for wheat production. Therefore, wheat may not be as attractive to whitetail deer as other food sources when food is scarce. A good example would be dry wheat or buckwheat.

Do deer eat wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass is a favorite food of deer. They still can benefit from it, even though it may not be the healthiest snack. In particular, wheatgrass is a rich source of vitamin A as well as a diverse array of nutrients that are essential for a healthy diet. 

Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties and is low in calories.

The deer probably eat wheatgrass because they like the taste (or lack thereof). They eat it because it is a source of nourishment when other plants are scarce. 

Do deer eat these parts of the wheat?

This page describes the most common parts of the wheat plant – bran and germ – and whether or not whitetail deer consume them. Here is a quick guide about the most common parts of wheat – and whether or not deer consume them.

Wheat seed:

Deer generally eat the seed of wheat plants. In fact, they would generally prefer other types of vegetation such as young trees and tender shrubs. Wheat seed is not high in nutritional value.

Wheat plants:

Wheat plants don’t generally attract deer due to their stems and roots. Their preferred method of eating is nibbling on the leaves.

Wheat straw:

Wheat straw is not a part of the wheat plant that deer typically consume. Although they may provide some nutritional benefits, such as trace amounts of B vitamins and minerals, they are not considered a primary food source.

Wheat bread:

Wheat bread is not commonly eaten by deer. Although they may enjoy the taste, it’s primarily made up of flour, water, and yeast, which are not high in nutrients.

Wheat bran:

Deer may occasionally eat wheat bran, another part of the wheat plant. It is made up of the outer layers of the kernel and contains a high level of fiber, but it is also high in toxins. Although deer may enjoy eating it, you should avoid it if you’re concerned about your health.

Wheat berries:

The wheat berry contains small, round seeds. Although deer may enjoy eating them. However, deer do not rely on berries as a primary source of food.

5 reasons why deer eat wheat

There are several reasons why deer eat wheat. In addition to being a high-quality source of energy and nutrients, it is also low in calories. There are plenty of fibers, B vitamins, minerals, and proteins in wheat. Furthermore, wheat is easy to digest. 

The following are some reasons why deer eat wheat.

Easy to get food:

For deer, wheat is also a good source of nutrition. It comes in many forms, such as wheat bran, wheat berries, and even flour. Additionally, most crops containing wheat are edible to deer. 

There is often an abundance of wheat available. No matter where they are in the world, deer can easily access it.

Nutritional benefits:

Wheat is also an important food source for deer. These nutrients are one of their most important sources. Due to its high fiber and B vitamin content, wheat is a portion of healthy food. A deer’s survival and growth are dependent on these nutrients.

Comfortable to eat:

In addition to being a comfortable food for deer, wheat is also a good source of energy. The reason for this is that it is soft, healthy, and easy to chew. Additionally, wheat doesn’t contain toxins like other plant-based foods. 

Thus, it is an ideal choice for deer who wish to gain more nutrients and avoid illnesses.

Energy booster:

In addition to providing energy boosts, wheat may also be eaten by deer. Wheat is an ideal choice for people who need a lot of energy, as it contains a high amount of carbs and calories.

High in fiber which may help with digestion:

Wheat has a high fiber content. There are a couple of ways in which it helps digestion. Since wheat is a carbohydrate, it can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Additionally, fiber can help the body remove toxins by acting as a detoxifier.

When to plant wheat for deer?

Spring or fall is the best time to plant most seeds. Because winter wheat remains green throughout the winter, deer and other wildlife will benefit from it. 

Wheat can also be planted in the spring, but it will not benefit as much because deer will already have other sources of carbohydrates.

Plant wheat in late winter or early spring when most plants are dormant and deer are less likely to forage on them. Often, companion planting is recommended for wheat plants to maximize yield. 

Other types of seeds or vegetation can be planted in conjunction with wheat seeds to suppress weed growth and provide nutrients.

When do deer eat wheat?

From October through March, deer are most likely to eat wheat with gusto. It’s better to plant wheat in the fall or winter to give them a boost of energy during those months.

Due to the inactivity of most plants during the colder months, wheat will be a prime target for deer. In addition to eating wheat in other months, deer also eat it in other months. Planting wheat at any time is a good idea if you want to ensure they have enough food.

Final Thoughts

Briefly, deer generally consume wheat. It is most common for deer to eat wheat in the winter and summer. Typically, deer consume the majority of the wheat plant’s parts. Deer benefit greatly from wheat as a source of calories. Deer can obtain energy from the wheat during the winter and other months.