Deer hunters already put a fair amount of thought into what their local wild deer are eating. Whether planting food plots or setting up salt licks, they research what food and supplements will attract bucks and distract them long enough to line up a perfect shot. Yet when you’re raising deer, you not only need to know how to satisfy your herd’s tastes, but also provide them with the most nutrition in every bite for their long-term health.
Some feed ingredients and supplements are more jampacked with minerals and nutrients than others. But what is going to be the best nutritional food for whitetail deer? In our experience, seaweed is a top contender among the various supplements on the market. Here’s what you need to know about some of the nutritional value of Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed supplements.
The right amounts of calcium are essential if adolescent deer are going to develop solid antlers and shed their velvet at the right moments. Since our Tasco® products are a rich source of calcium, we have had customers in deer farming use our seaweed as deer antler growth supplements.
Trials conducted by deer farmers in South Texas measured an increase in the length and diameter of average herd antler size when fed our kelp for livestock. Deer that ate Tasco® had thicker and wider antler racks than those in the control group, creating desirable trophies that hunters will want.
Like all mammals, deer depend on protein to build muscles and body mass, but can often struggle to meet their nutritional needs in the wild, depending on their needs for the time of year. As a result, this can result in delayed development, especially of their potential antler growth. However, seaweed has been consumed by wild deer to supplement their nutritional needs in a variety of ways and it turns out protein is one of them.
In a study of wild deer in Maine, researchers observed the amount of crude protein that was obtained from different types of forage during the winter months. They looked at three different seaweed species including Ascophyllum nodosum as well as woody browse species and lichens. The findings revealed that the crude protein in the seaweeds was 68% to 186% higher than in the dry matter content from woody brown plants.
With these key nutrients, your herd will have the foundation to maintain healthy mass and grow impressive antlers that will catch hunters’ eyes. Rather than investing the time and money into feeding their local deer, they’ll trust you to handle the feed regimen while they reap the rewards of the trophy hunt.