Can Salt Harm Deer?

By GrowingDeer,

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Many people are putting out salt blocks, or in some cases water softener salt, for deer.  I’ve always been taught that too much sodium can actually harm the digestive process of deer or cause them to drink so much water that it can replace nutrients. Is this true?




I never worry about deer consuming too much salt.  Most critters, including deer, need a lot of salt for their bodies to function properly.  I’m not aware of any cases of free-ranging deer consuming too much salt.  That would be hard to monitor, but with all the salt available from cattle licks, gas and oil drilling, etc., there is a lot of salt available in many areas yet no reports of deer suffering from ingesting too much salt.

I am concerned about some sources of salt that folks make available to deer.  Salt marketed for different purposes often has different additives to make it flow better, bleached to make it a different color, etc.  It is certainly possible that these additives could be detrimental to deer and other wildlife.  Therefore, I only use feed grade salt for wildlife.  I personally use Trophy Rock as it has 60+ trace minerals.  Although deer only need very small quantities of trace minerals to express their full fawn and antler growth potential, without them included in their diet, they simply can’t express their full genetic potential.  Therefore, when supplying salt to deer, attempt to use a product that is food grade quality and has as many different trace minerals as practical.

Growing Deer together,