Minerals to Include for Whitetails

By GrowingDeer,

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Two questions:

Each spring, I establish a mineral lick (for each 70 acres) with approximately 5# of dicalcium phosphate and 15-20# of NaCl.  My understanding is that the deer are reluctant to eat the mineral without the salt as an attractant.  This year, my local feed dealer changed from dicalcium phosphate to monocalcium phospate.  Is this as good or should I endeavor to local dical?  (I understand that phosphorous is essential for maximum uptake of calcium — which in turn is utilized for antler development in bucks and important for pregnant and lactating does).

The latest edition of “Deer and Deer Hunting” (Summer 2010, p. 11) states “Leaves and woody browse are especially high in protein.  For example, hard maple browse contains about 7% crude protein and 10% crude fiber, which makes for great nutrition and a good source of roughage.”  This is contrary to what I have thought for years.  A 7% level of protein is, from my knowledge, a borderline unacceptable level for even body maintenance — much less to allow for a doe or buck to come even CLOSE to their potential.  This would appear to be particularly true if the doe is in her last trimester of pregnancy (or lactating) or if the buck is developing antlers.  Can you comment?



You are correct that both calcium and phosphorous are two of the minerals deer need in relatively large quantities to express their potential.  Given this, I would prefer the blend that included dicalcium phosphate more than monocalcium phosphate.  However, deer need to consume several different minerals in order to express their potential.  That is why I use Trophy Rock as a mineral supplement.  It includes 60+ trace minerals.  These are mostly in small amounts.  However, most high quality daily multivitamins are very small and provide more than enough mineral content for adult humans.  Making sure mineral supplements are available throughout the year is a very good practice.

I haven’t read the article you referenced.  However, 7% is not considered a “high” level of crude protein for white-tailed deer.  In fact, you are correct that it is not even considered a maintenance level by most deer biologists I know.  Certainly, deer that were maintained on a diet of 7% crude protein would not express their full growth potential.

Growing Deer together,