Deer are beautiful creatures, and it’s always a treat to see one grazing around the greater Jackson, Wyoming, area. These animals certainly add to the natural wonder here, but they aren’t a welcome sight when they come onto your property and damage some of your carefully landscaped areas.
It’s well known that deer like to snack on certain types of plants, but do deer eat grass? Do you need to take steps to prevent local deer from eating up your manicured lawn? We’ll take a closer look at that topic in this article.
Please contact TLC today to learn more about our services if you would like help with your Jackson, WY, landscaping projects. We work with residential and commercial property owners throughout the area, offering everything from landscape design, organic lawn care to protect animals, tree removal and ongoing maintenance, and much more. We’d love to serve you!
Deer do eat grass. When you see a deer roaming around the lands in and around Jackson, WY, you may see them eat some grass during the day. Deer, like cows, are ruminants, which is a classification of animals that is known for its affinity for grass as a primary source of calories and nutrients.
While deer can eat grass, it is far from their preferred food. There are some specific digestive reasons for deer to look for other plants over grasses, but the bottom line is that–while you might see deer take an occasional bite from a field of grass–they’ll more likely be looking for other food sources (more on that later).
Without getting too deep into the science, the issue at hand is a deer’s inability to extract enough nutrition from a belly of grass. Deer don’t have massive stomachs like other animals – such as cows – that live on a grass-only diet. For a cow, loading up with grass and then allowing the digestive system to go to work produces good results. It’s not the same for deer, and a deer that eats only grass would likely soon die from starvation. It’s difficult to extract nutrition from grass, and a lot of grass is needed to acquire what is necessary to keep a large animal fed.
A healthy deer will find various food sources to get the diverse set of nutrients that it requires to survive (in addition to sufficient calories). As they roam around, deer seek leaves, stems, vines, weeds, and various other plants with wide leaves. These food sources are often found in landscape designs, which is why deer are notorious for causing damage to plants that property owners have carefully cultivated.
You will see deer spending time on the grass looking for food, but it’s usually not the blades of grass that they are after. Rather, the deer will be looking for nutritious options within the grass, such as weeds or other small plants that may be growing. Deer may eat some grass along with other plants, but it will be minimal in most cases.
Most likely, you won’t see widespread lawn damage as a result of deer simply eating up all of the grass. With that said, you still have plenty of motivation to use fencing or other methods to keep the deer off the grass.
For one thing, these are large animals, and the sheer force of their weight can lead to deep tracks in the sod. Also, deer droppings are sure to be found wherever the deer have been hanging out, so you can be left with a mess to clean up.
There is also a safety element to keep in mind when it comes to deer on your property. While they are not typically aggressive, deer are powerful and could be cause for concern if you have children who regularly go out to play on the grass. Finding a way to keep deer away from the landscaped areas of your property will likely be better for your family as well as the deer.
If you have been dealing with deer problems on your Jackson property, let TLC help you find a solution. We love the deer, but we also love to protect the landscaping of our clients and have organic programs to protect the animals you care about – so we’ll work to find solutions that allow everyone to coexist peacefully. Reach out today to get started.
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Tree and Landscape Co
7970 Ross Lane
Jackson WY 83001
“The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright