Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? ALL You Need To Know 2023

Do Deers Eat Pumpkins?

This Article Was Written By Israel Olaniran Reviewed By Dr Jenna Fred.

Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by israel olaniran

Hi guys, have you been wondering or even asking the question, “Do deer eat pumpkins?” In this blog post, I will tell you if deer can actually eat pumpkins and the advantages/disadvantages of feeding pumpkins to deer.

Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?
Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? Photo by Scott Carroll on Unsplash

Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?

Yes, deer can eat pumpkins, pumpkins provide a large variety of nutrients, e.g., vitamins A and C, to deer, and deer enjoy eating them. It is essential to know that pumpkins should be fed to them in moderate quantities.

Deer eat pumpkins. They are attracted to the smell of it. You’ll love to know that;
During the summer season, deer love to chew on the edible leaves of pumpkins. It is the heyday of pumpkin plants, and you can smell its newly sprouted leaves from afar.

The flowers usually bloom in the last weeks. They are delicious and edible to both humans and mammals.

So, when you fail to pick them up, the deer will eat them up and come back for the fruit in the fall.
They love to eat the flesh and the juicy center part of pumpkins.

Once they see or smell an open pumpkin, they will be a frequent sight around your property, especially if you live near the forest or the mountains.

READ: What Does Snake Poop Look Like?

How To Feed Deer Pumpkins?

As much as deer gnaw it to the rind as a dog does to a bone, the pumpkin should be cracked open to invite them around. Here is how to do that:


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  • Cut the pumpkins in half to expose their guts, which the deer love to eat.
  • Place the pumpkins near the forest or in areas where they will not be frightened to pick them up the pumpkins.
  • Check if there are bite marks. If there are no signs of deer bites, you should move the pumpkins further into the forest. When winter comes, food in the wild becomes scarce. So, they will feed on unopened pumpkins even if their outer layer is tough.

READ: Do Snakes Eat Bananas?

Advantages Of Feeding Deer’s Pumpkins

There are some advantages to feeding your deer with pumpkin. some of which are

  • Improve the survival of deer: During winter, 60% to 70% of young and malnourished animals die of winter starvation. Juveniles or young and old deer are more susceptible to winter starvation because they have smaller fat reserves and high demand for nutritional requirements.
Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?
Do Deer Eat Pumpkins? Photo by Marius Ciocirlan on Unsplash

They will need enough food to gain more fat and nutrients and survive the extreme cold during winter. Pumpkins are rich in nutrients that will keep the deer healthy before the weather tests its limits. These nutrients include Vitamins A, B, C, and E; Fiber, Copper, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, and Phosphorus.

  • Food waste reduction: According to One Green Planet, around 18,000 tons of pumpkins go to waste during Halloween. By using your leftover pumpkins to feed the deer, you become a catalyst for reducing food waste. You may not feel the gravity of your small gesture, but you can inspire others to do the same.
  • Maintain a healthy ecosystem in your area: By protecting the survival of the deer population in your area, you are also indirectly maintaining the ecosystem’s health. Deer are herbivores that make their poop rich in nutrients that are good for the soil. Consequently, nutrient-rich soil will produce vigorous and healthy plants and trees.

READ: How Much Does A Giraffe Cost?

How To Control The Deer?

The best way to keep the deer from chewing off your prized pumpkin fruits and plants is to cover them or surround them with materials that will drive them out of your garden.

Cloth: A clean sheet of material can be an invisible cloak for pumpkin fruits. If the deer can’t see the bright orange or yellow-rounded fruits, they can’t find them. It’s a simple trick that pumpkin growers do to make the fruits of their labor stay hidden until harvest day.

Soap: Due to the strong sense of smell of deer, you can use it to your advantage in keeping them away from your pumpkin plants. Hang bar soap along the perimeter of your pumpkin patch, or place bar soap shavings in a bag and place it around your garden.

READ: Do Snakes Eat Frogs?

Will A Deer Eat A Whole Pumpkin?

Yes a deer is capable of eating a whole pumpkin, they love eating pumpkins and its taste sweet for them same time its provides lots of nutrients for them.

Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?

Conclusion On Do Deer Eat Pumpkins?

Yes, deer can eat pumpkins, pumpkins provide a large variety of nutrients, e.g., vitamins A and C, to deer, and deer enjoy eating them. It is essential to know that pumpkins should be fed to them in moderate quantities.

This post was written by Tochukwu and Israel for Animals District.

What animal would eat a whole pumpkin?

Several animals might eat a whole pumpkin if given the opportunity. Some common pumpkin consumers include deer, rabbits, squirrels, and certain bird species.

Do rabbits eat pumpkins?

Yes, rabbits can eat pumpkins. They enjoy various parts of the pumpkin, including the flesh and seeds. However, like other treats, pumpkins should be given to rabbits in moderation.

Can pigs eat pumpkin?

Yes, pigs can eat pumpkin, and it is considered safe for them. Pumpkins can be a nutritious addition to a pig’s diet, but they should be given in appropriate amounts.

Do deer eat squash?

Yes, deer can eat squash. Squash is often included in deer food plots to attract and provide nourishment for deer populations.

Do deer eat watermelon plants?

Deer are known to eat watermelon plants and may browse on the foliage if it is accessible to them.

What vegetables do deer not eat?

While deer can be quite voracious and eat a wide range of plants, there are some vegetables they tend to avoid. Deer usually stay away from strongly scented or toxic vegetables, such as onions, garlic, and highly spicy peppers.

How to keep deer from eating pumpkins?

To deter deer from eating pumpkins, you can try using barriers such as fences or repellents with strong scents that deer find unpleasant. Additionally, placing pumpkins in an elevated area or using motion-activated scare devices may also help keep deer away.

Pumpkins for deer food plot?

Pumpkins can be a valuable addition to a deer food plot, providing a source of nutrition and attracting deer to the area. Deer may eat both the flesh and seeds of pumpkins.

Do deer eat gourds?

Deer may eat gourds, especially when other food sources are scarce. Gourds are not toxic to deer and can serve as a potential food source in certain circumstances.

Do deer eat corn?

Yes, deer are known to eat corn. Corn is a common crop used in deer food plots and can attract deer with its high energy content.

Do deer eat zucchini plants?

Yes, deer may eat zucchini plants, particularly when they are young and tender. Zucchini leaves and stems can be a part of a deer’s diet if they have access to them.


  • israel olaniran

    Israel Olaniran is an accomplished animal content writer with five years of expertise in creating engaging and educational material about cats, dogs, and other animals. When he's not writing, he dedicates his time to caring for his beloved four-year-old rescue puppy. Israel's work has been featured in renowned publications like "Pethouse," and he actively collaborates with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to raise awareness about their important work. His vast knowledge in animal care and ownership, as well as his up-to-date understanding of various breeds, making him a trusted source for global readers seeking reliable pet content.

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