Best Deer Protein Feeder & Feed Products
Providing supplemental, protein-based pelleted feed ensures the local deer herd consistently see a higher level of nutrition. Knowing what feeders to use, where to place them, and just how much feed to use is not always an easy task, but we’re here to help.
In the first section below, you’ll see our list of the best deer protein feeder setups. After that, we list some of the most popular deer protein feeds, along with some specifications on each. For more info on how we selected these items, what you should keep an eye out for, and answers to all your other questions, please follow our guide below.
Best Deer Protein Feeder
Moultrie Gravity Tripod Deer Protein Feeder
✔ 30 gallon hopper
✔ Holds up to 200lbs
✔ Adjustable flow
✔ No batteries required
✔ Affordable solution
Banks Outdoors Gravity Fed Deer and Game Hunting Feeder
✔ Comes in 40lb, 150lb, or 300lb capacity
✔ Weatherproof & water-tight
✔ Fully adjustable so you manage the flow
✔ Multiple mounting options
Moultrie MFG-13375 55 Gallon Gravity Tripod Deer Feeder
✔ Extremely large 400lb capacity
✔ Partial metal construction
✔ No batteries required
✔ Adjustable flow
All About Antlerz Big Game 225lb Gravity Feeder
✔ Galvanized steel construction
✔ Very durable
✔ Large 225lb feed capacity
✔ 42” feeder height
✔ 4-Way feed station
ASF All Seasons EZ Block Deer, Wildlife, and Farm Animal Feeder
✔ Holds 2 blocks at a time
✔ Easy To Use
✔ Can be used to feed wildlife or farm animals
✔ Straps for easy install on tree
✔ Constructed of powder-coated metal
Features That Make a Good Deer Protein Feeder
The absolute most important factor in finding the best deer protein feeder is to ensure it’s water-tight. Anything that leaks or allows moisture in will spoil the food, and protein feed isn’t cheap! Investing in a good feeder will save you lots of money in wasted feed over the long run.
Another critical factor is keeping unwanted animals out. This might mean using a squirrel baffle or adjusting the feeder height. Ideally you want something that is tall enough to keep the animals you don’t want in there out, but not too tall that the deer have to uncomfortably reach for it. That may make them feel unsafe. The optimal feeder height appears to be between 36-42” off the ground.
Why You Should Use Deer Protein Feeders
Supplemental feeding augments their natural foods and helps balance out their mineral intake. There are several reasons someone might want to use feeders including conservation of the species, to attract deer, or to enhance antler growth.
The major advantages of supplemental feeding with protein include:
- More trophy class deer at a younger age
- More larger deer in a given area
- Lower post rut mortality rate
- A smoothing out of the population cycles
- Enhanced body size and antler growth, density and strength
Keep in mind that regulations for the feeding of big game can vary from state to state. You should check with your local game and fish department to ensure you’re following local rules.
Determining How Many Feeders You Need and Where To Locate Them
One feeder can support between 20-30 deer. If the local population is unknown, this may be difficult to determine, but it should work out to one feeding station per 100-200 acres.
For best results, place feeder near escape cover, away from high traffic, and near areas with water and places where deer may bed down.
Feeding programs work best when stations are spread out evenly across a larger area. Their effectiveness is only as good as the management of the program.
Best Deer Protein Feed
Purina Antler Advantage Deer 20 Feed (50lbs)
✔ High quality ingredients
✔ 20% protein content
✔ Promotes larger body mass
✔ Intended to increase antler size/density
Purina AntlerMax Deer 20 with Climate Guard (50lb)
✔ Enhances deer’s natural diet
✔ 20% protein content
✔ Feed in free-choice
✔ Climate guard product
Antler King Attract-N-Fuel Deer Attractant Protein Feed 20lb Bag
✔ 40% pellet/60% protein-based feed
✔ 18% protein content
✔ Year-round feed supplement
✔ Claims to provide maximum body & antler growth
Primos Take Out Block Apple Protein (20lb Block)
✔ Long range aroma
✔ Deer crave natural apple flavor
✔ 16% protein content
✔ Aids in bone formation & antler growth
Important Considerations in Protein-Based Deer Food
Now that you’ve decided to provide protein to your deer, let’s talk about what makes the best protein feed for them. Let me give you a hint… it’s not just to max out their protein intake.
Corn is the most common grain fed to deer. It’s a readily available and relatively inexpensive food source, but it’s also what many deer are eating naturally. Providing them with additional food that’s higher in protein and mineral content will only help them thrive.
According to many sources online, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Fisheries & Wildlife Division, a protein content of 16-20% is optimal. Any amount above that is more than they can effectively utilize, in other words a waste of your money.
It’s not intended that your protein feed will amount to a deer’s entire diet. As mentioned above, it’s to supplement their natural food sources.
The University of Missouri shared nutritional requirements of white-tailed deer and showed that a healthy deer population in fact does include higher recruitment rates, greater body mass, and larger antler growth potential.
It isn’t all about protein however. Small amounts of calcium and phosphorus are also important for growth. For this reason, it’s best to opt for a balanced supplement that includes other nutrients and mineral content than just protein.
How Much To Give
Feed consumption by deer will vary deer to deer and depend mostly on age, sex, and weight. Weather and their mood at any given time will also affect how much they eat.
On average however, feeding free-choice, they will consume roughly 2-3lbs per 100lbs of their body weight. Again, protein feed is not intended to be their entire diet.
Types of Feed
Deer feed supplements, including those that are protein-based, coming in 3 main types: pellets, blocks, and powders.
Pellets are the most popular supplemental protein source used for feeding deer. They’re most often fed through feeders like many of the ones listed above. They’re easy for the deer to consume and they like them quite a bit!
Blocks are a very easy way to feed deer. They don’t even require a feeder in most cases, however without one, you’ll be feeding all the other critters around and wasting your money. Feed is not inexpensive, so we recommend using a block feeder or sticking with pellets. In addition, blocks are intended to be licked and it takes a long time. Deer don’t always feel comfortable staying in the area long enough to get what the need off a block.
Powers can be used in a multitude of ways. Oftentimes it’s mixed in with pellets or corn. Other times, we see consumers broadcasting in along the ground. This is less effective if it rains.
How To Feed
Feeding with a gravity feeder like many of those listed above will yield best results. It ensures the feed goes to the deer in the area and not to the unwanted guests that may include hogs, raccoons, etc.
Corn is something that deer love, not to mention it’s a cheap food source. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide the deer with all the nutritional value that they need. These supplements are great at augmenting what they often miss in their regular, natural diet.
FAQ on Deer Protein Feeding
Is feeding deer protein worth it?
Yes. There are several advantages of the supplemental feeding of deer, but most importantly it helps carry more quality deer in a given area.
Do deer eat protein pellets?
Yes, they’re a great supplement to a deer’s natural feeding. If you’re not seeing deer eating pellets from your feeder, give them time. It may take up to 30 days or more before they become comfortable with it. It may also mean they’re being fed somewhere else nearby.
Does protein help deer antler growth?
Yes, check out this study performed at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Texas. Their comments on the outcome was, “you feed them good, you grow them big”! Here’s an image of their results.
How much protein should I feed my deer?
What’s the best food for deer? Corn is most popular. It’s readily available for many and inexpensive to obtain. However, like us, deer thrive when they have a more balanced diet. According to the MSU DeerLab, 16% protein content is best for good, healthy antler growth. While corn is great for deer, it falls well short of this number.
What months are best for feeding deer?
A supplemental feeding program is something that ideally takes place constantly, provided local regulations allow it. It’s better to deliver the deer with a steady diet and provide them with consistency. It also ensures the deer are healthy at all stages within their body’s cycles.
Is it legal to feed deer?
The short answer is that it depends. This topic is something that is regulated by state. It’s up to you to know what your local laws and regulations are before attempting to feed wildlife. Make sure you follow them!