Are dried soybean leaves toxic to deer?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant,
I grew up in farm country. I’ve hunted since I was 12 (I’m now 33). I have a question about deer feeding on soy beans. Over the years I’ve observed deer obviously hitting the beans hard when the leaves are on and nice and green. Once they start to turn yellow, they lay off of them for the most part. Then, after all the leaves are off and the beans are drying in the fields before the farmers pick them, it seems the deer start back on them. I know that for horses when leaves fall to the ground and die they produce toxins that can be dangerous to horses. Is this the same for the leaves on the bean plants in relation to the deer laying off them until all the leaves have fallen? I was just curious! 🙂



Your observations are correct!  Deer do tend to prefer soybean leaves when they are green and growing.  They also readily consume the ripe soybean pods.  

Deer rarely (unless they are fairly hungry) consume dried soybean leaves.  However dried soybean leaves are not toxic to deer.

Deer are ruminants or have a four-chambered stomach.  Horses have a single-chambered stomach.  They are much more sensitive to some plants and toxins than deer.  

Good question!  

Enjoy creation,