Deer wont eat turnips

Deer wont eat turnips


Is it true that some deer wont eat turnips?  You read it in the forums and blogs, but before we assume the deer wont eat turnips, lets take a peak a few mistakes that are often the root cause of deer not eating turnips.

deer wont eat turnips
Managing land for deer means year round feed


Deer wont eat turnips because it is new


Deer are taught by their mothers and family units what is good to eat.  If they are not taught to eat it, they don’t unless they are starving to death, in which case they will chew on anything.  Point is it often takes a year or 2 for the local deer herd to accept turnips and use it enough for us to consider it a food source.  A good recommendation is to start with a small plot in a well used feeding area, so the deer have a chance to find it and figure out it’s a good eat.  Tenth of an acre is a decent starting point.  If they eat it to the ground it’s ok, and we know we can plant more next year, but it’s better than planting 2 acres and having a herd of deer that won’t eat turnips.


Deer wont eat turnips because you planted it too thick


Drink too much beer and you puke on your shirt and in the truck.  Eat too much pizza and you get fat, and jump too many fat girls and you will always be the wing man.  More is not always better, and the same is true of seed rates.

deer wont eat turnips
deer wont eat turnips?


Seed recommendations go from 3 to 10 pounds per acre, and most of us guess our plot sizes too big.  Do not exceed the pounds per acre recommendation for your turnips blend.  Deer wont eat turnips planted too thick.


Deer wont eat turnips if you plant too much seed.  The plants end up crowding each other out and they stop growing.  Deer crave plants that are growing, and stemmy plants go to the bottom of the desired list.  Gauge the size of your plots accurately, and err on the low side for seed planted if you are unsure.  It’s better to have a few weeds than a big stunted field where deer wont eat turnips.


Deer wont eat turnips because the rotten bulbs were everywhere


If you don’t have any bulbs left on the ground come spring you have a problem.  You don’t have enough food for your deer herd.  Plant more food or kill more deer, but don’t worry if you have a lot of stinky bulbs in the ground each spring.  I have been in areas with close to 100 deer per square mile, and all of those areas had turnips in the ground come spring.  Its part of the game, and it does not mean the deer wont eat turnips.


Deer wont eat turnips if you do not fertilize


Fertilized plants grow better and taste better.  You are much better off planting a half acre of quality forage than 7 acres of junk.  I have seen it happen all the time, and the results are always poor.  A soil test is the first step, proper seed amount and seed bed prep are key, and then you must fertilize.


I have herd people say that deer in some parts of the country don’t eat turnips, and it may happen in areas.  Before you jump to that conclusion and abandon the economical and effective option, make sure you did not make one of the above mistakes.  turnips is a must have in most deer mangers arsenals, and I hope you better understand the New Zealand import and I don’t catch you saying deer wont eat turnips.