Feeding Cycle

By GrowingDeer,

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Thanks so much for the great information that you provide.  It may not be said often enough, but it is greatly appreciated and thanks to both you and Brad.

The past week we have had a bright full moon and the past thoughts have been that with a full moon deer bed up during the day and move mostly at night.  I was wondering that with deer being a ruminant and having to chew its cud for digestion, is it possible for a deer to graze/forage all night?  Can the rumen of a whitetail hold that much food to allow them to feed all night, assuming adequate amounts of forage?  Also, would this make the deer more likely to bed up a little earlier in the morning then normal and then move again late morning/early afternoon?



There’s been an ongoing debate for years about deer movement related to the phase of the moon.  However, fairly extensive research by multiple scientists hasn’t found any correlation to daytime activity of deer and any moon phase.

The number of feeding bouts per day depends more on the quality of forage than the size of the rumen.  For example, deer can digest soybean forage much more rapidly than acorns.  Hence deer consuming soybean forage will likely have more feeding bouts per day than deer consuming acorns.  Because the deer consume more pounds of quality forage when eating soybeans versus acorns, they will usually have larger antlers, bodies, and more fawns per doe.  They are also easier to hunt because they have more feeding bouts per day and move to a specific location versus rambling through the woods searching for acorns.  Soybeans are literally the cause of making the Midwest deer herd so desirable to hunt for many hunters!

Growing Deer together,