how to keep deer from eating bird seed

I have lived in the country before, and never encountered this problem. I have to bring my bird feeders in every night or the deer will clean them out. Would a cage around the feeder help? Its a hanging feeder w/small openings–either theyre using their tongues, or just knocking the feeder around so the food falls out. My yard is fenced; I thought the smell of my dog would keep them out too, but no.

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Helpful Tips for Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products

Please visit our page on Solving Hot Pepper Problems for all the details on Feeding WBU Hot Pepper Products. Everything you need to know about WBU Hot Pepper Products is covered in our Problem Solving with Hot Pepper page, which also includes answers to commonly asked questions (FAQ) like: Does it work to deter squirrels? Is it safe for birds to eat hot pepper? Is it safe for hobbyists to offer hot pepper foods? Here are a few helpful tips:

Here are our 8 Rules for Keeping out Deer

1. Feed Foods Without “Fillers”: A lot of bird seed blends purchased from other retailers contain a lot of “filler” ingredients like red millet, cracked corn, millet, canary seeds, milo, wheat, and oats. All backyard birds except House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons (or just plain old Pigeons as most people know them), and Mourning Doves avoid “filler” ingredients like wheat and oats. Some birds consume corn and millet, but most of it is wasted when used in large quantities to fill a bag of seed to lower the cost because feeder birds like finches and chickadees throw it on the ground in search of sunflower seeds. Large amounts of seeds left on the ground can entice deer to come and nibble on the fallen material. In summary, high-quality mixes can help prevent undesired deer visits to your bird feeders. With the exception of our WBU Wildlife Blend, which is intended for chipmunks and squirrels, none of our WBU Barrie blends contain cracked corn.

Discourage birds from scattering seeds for deer to find by providing seed blends that contain only pure edible ingredients, like black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower chips, safflower, and peanuts for feeding. To deter deer, try using these millet and corn-free blends in your feeders:

WBU No-Mess Blend NM CDWBU No-Mess Blend NM CD: No shells. No mess. 100% edible. Our WBU No-Mess Blend NM CD contains more peanuts and has added calcium to help bone development and egg production. Being millet free ensures it flows easily through your feeders and discourages unwanted ground birds as very little makes it to the ground from the feeder. WBU No-Mess Blends are great near flower beds, patios and decks. Our unique No-Mess Blend bird seed features seeds that have had their shells removed so only the meat of the seed is left. No hulls on the seeds makes for tidier feeding, since theres no debris on the ground to clean up. Pound for pound, our No-Mess Blend bird seed offers the best value because you do not pay for uneaten seed waste. The birds eat everything. Buying one bag of our No-Mess Blend is roughly the equivalent of buying almost two bags of a seed blend with shells.

Ingredients: Sunflower chips, peanuts, and calcium

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2. 26 kg), 10 lbs. (4. 53 kg), and 20 lbs. (9. 07 kg).

WBU Choice Blend: This blend of seeds with a high oil content is excellent. The black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, safflower, shelled peanuts, and sunflower chips are excellent at drawing in a wide range of birds, such as jays, woodpeckers, titmice, and chickadees. To make watching birds in your backyard more enjoyable, try providing Choice Blend in hopper, seed tube, or Dinner BellTM feeders.

Ingredients include safflower, shelled peanuts, black oil sunflower, striped sunflower, and sunflower chips.

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2. 26 kg), and 20 lbs. (9. 07 kg).

WBU Supreme BlendWBU Supreme Blend: WBU Supreme Blend features black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, safflower and striped sunflower in a combination that helps attract a wide variety of birds, such as chickadees, nuthatches, titmice and wrens.

Ingredients: Black oil sunflower, sunflower chips, safflower and striped sunflower

Bag Sizes: 5 lbs. (2. 26 kg), and 20 lbs. (9. 07 kg).

2. Hanging Feeders High: Deer have long tongues that are excellent for reaching into tight spaces, and they can reach up to about six feet. One solution to the issue is to hang your feeders high and out of their reach. You can keep your feeders out of deer’s reach by using our WBU Tree Hooks or our WBU Advanced Pole System at the appropriate height.

3. Bring Feeders in Every Night: Because deer are mostly nocturnal creatures, you can prevent them from accessing feeders by keeping them locked in a secure shed or garage before dusk each night. Of course, not everyone will find this to be convenient because it can be a little tedious at times.

4. Using Fences: You can use the same kinds of fencing to keep deer away from feeders as you would to keep them out of your vegetable garden or valuable hosta collection.

5. Repellants: A variety of repellents are available to prevent deer from entering your yard. Many have foul odors that are similar to those of dead animals, and bone meal is frequently present. Try some of these repellents; they seem to work fairly well. But be aware that these repellents may wash off in the rain and require reapplication.

6. Motion-activated sprayers: These are an excellent choice in warmer weather. The gadget detects deer and scares it away by making a loud noise and shooting a powerful stream of water. Using a motion-activated sprayer has the added benefit of saving you from having to hang your feeders high. They can also be used to repel Great Blue Herons from your garden pond, as well as cats, rabbits, and geese.

7. Provide Foods That Deer Don’t Like or Feeders That They Can’t Access: WBU Finch Feeders have holes so tiny that deer are unable to feed from the ports, although it can be difficult to keep that long tongue out of a feeder. Likewise, a WBU cage surrounding the feeder and WBU cylinders or stackables in our WBU DinnerBell Feeder or WBU Seed Cylinder Feeder can also aid in keeping them out.

Additionally, since deers are herbivores, products containing suet will not appeal to them as much. Your best option would be WBU Simply Suet, plain suet, since the deer would find our other suets more appetizing because they have a lot of fruit, nuts, and occasionally corn.

8. When all other options are exhausted, WBU Hot Pepper Products might be your best bet for keeping squirrels and other mammals away. Distinctive trees, decks, and windowsills may make it challenging to ward off animals such as squirrels, raccoons, deer, and rodents when feeders and food are positioned nearby. Seed, suets, Bark Butter, No-Melt Dough, cylinders, or StackablesTM with hot pepper might be a useful option in these circumstances. Use only products like our WBU Hot Pepper Products, which have the hot pepper tightly bound within.

Roughly 90% of Eastern Gray and Red squirrels do not consume WBU Hot Pepper Products. Furthermore, there is evidence that WBU Hot Pepper Products work well to repel a wide range of mammals, such as skunks, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, rats, mice, White-tailed and Mule Deer, and Fox and Eastern Gray Squirrels. Additionally, there is compelling evidence to support their effectiveness against bears. If you reside in bear country, though, you should read our section on Problem Solving Bears. Given that Eastern Chipmunks have fur-lined cheek pouches, which appears to act as a barrier to the products’ effectiveness, WBU Hot Pepper Products might not be as effective on these animals.

How do I stop Deer?

The White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are abundant in Ontario. Deer can be a bit of a nuisance near bird feeders, particularly in the winter when a quick meal at the feeder is far more enticing. Since corn and hay are very different from what deer eat in the wild and may be harmful to their health, we do not advise feeding them during the winter. Offering deer anything other than their typical diet of woody browse during the winter months can actually cause illness or even starvation because their stomachs create a unique community of microfauna during that time. Since their stomachs can’t process the new food, a sudden change in feed can be upsetting. It may result in bloating and excruciating pain, weakening the deer and increasing their susceptibility to predators. In fact, deer that consume too much supplemental food at once risk dying. Therefore, despite your belief that feeding the deer will benefit them, the opposite is actually true.

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Photo by Kristen Martyn

Feeding deer can expose them to hazards like roads and domestic dogs in addition to health risks. Additionally, deer must expend energy traveling from their winter cover habitat to the feeding area. As a result, the deer stay in one place rather than moving around, which facilitates the spread of disease and increases inbreeding. When wintering deer are not fed by humans, they usually spread out over a sizable territory to minimize food competition and stay safe from predators.

Attracting deer to feeding sites changes their natural behaviour. At these locations, dominant adult animals fill their bellies first, depriving smaller and weaker animals—including the weaker fawns—of food because they have to expend more energy getting there. Deer can also easily develop a tolerance to humans, losing their innate fear of them. Cut down some aspen or maple branches for the deer to eat if you want to assist the deer in hard times.

The Omnibus Bill, which was passed in Queens Park in December 2009, includes an amendment that gives the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources the authority to create regulations pertaining to the feeding of wildlife in the province. The ministry advises people not to feed the deer. WBU Barrie advises you to abide by all rules issued by the federal, state, and/or OMNR. It is forbidden to feed game animals in a number of US states and localities.

Please be aware that all of the information about our products on our website is intended solely for informative purposes. Please visit our store in Barrie (515 Bryne Drive, Barrie, ON) for more information about prices and shipping (within Canada only), or contact us by phone at (705) 726-7600 or via email at [email protected].


Why do deer eat bird seed?

Yes. Bird seed is high in protein and vitamins. Deer especially like grains and corn (maize) is a favorite. Most grazing animals are going to go after grain, as it is high in protein, fats, starches, sugars, and a whole host of other things.

What is eating all my bird seed at night?

Squirrels might be your main problem when it comes to your backyard bird feeders. But, consider that nocturnal mammals, like the raccoon, are attracted to available food sources. You may have already found a way to combat those bothersome squirrels.

What will keep deer away?

Plant pungent perennials as a natural barrier Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell for feeding, so adding patches of strongly scented herbs—from garlic and chives, to mint and lavender (left)—can mask the appealing aroma of nearby annuals.

What are deer afraid of?

Deer are scared of any large predator species such as bears, cats and the like . They are also scared of humans, automobiles, any larger object that makes noise.