If your baby deer won’t eat then you may have to tube him fast if he is weak.
It’s a simple process but if you’re in doubt, you can put a quick call to a vet. The poor baby needs fluid ASAP.
I recommend getting deer milk from the store buy goat milk (never feed cow milk) too should suffice for now. Grab 3 ounces of milk, in the microwave for 30 seconds or so and try to microwave for 30 seconds and then feed him.
If he fights you then you may need to rub him like his mother would. If he will not tale the milk at all then try putting the nipples in the corner of his mouth and he will chew and nature will make him swallow.
But, you need to get fluids in him ASAP. Pedalyte will work in a pinch too.
What does Baby Deer Eat in The Wild?
Wild baby deer less than 12 weeks of age only feed on their mother’s milk. So, if the fawn has lost its mother or you are raising one on your farm, then you can feed it goat milk or a milk substitute.
These are healthy and safe food alternatives to feed a fawn.
At month 3, baby deer can now be fed solid food. This is what is referred to as the weaning stage/period.
Providing them solid food before they are 3 months of age, will only successfully disrupt their immature digestive system.
Never feed cow milk as that is not safe for bay deer to consume and will only result in huge gastrointestinal issues,
What do Mature Deer eat?
How Often Do Baby Deer Eat?
Baby deer can be fed 8 times.
Fawns are highly dependent on their mother’s milk or food their owners provide. They are susceptible to illness, infections, dehydration, and even death if not properly fed.
Even when drinking from their mother’s milk, baby deer still need to drink water to protect them from dehydration.
How much Should A Baby Deer Eat?
Baby deer metabolism is quick and that is why you need to bottle-feed young deer as much milk as they want.
Alternatively, you can use the fawn’s weight to determine how much to feed. This is because the daily amount of food should account for 10 to 20% of the fawn’s body weight.
For instance, a 5lbs (80 ounces), should be fed 8-16 ounces per day. You can divide it into 5 times a day, with 1.6-3.2 ounces per portion, or more often with smaller portions.
As long as the rule of 10-20% is obtained, the fawn will grow healthily as you wish. This is also true for bottle-fed fawns.
ALSO SEE: Why is a Deer Sticking Tongue Out?
How to Feed Baby Deer?
You should follow the manufacturers when feeding a replacement milk, including the water to milk ratio. Don’t forget to warm it to body temperature before giving.
You can drip some liquid on the fawn’s lip the first time feeding it. This will gain the fawn’s trust in you, letting it finish the milk fast.
A wild deer is naturally extending up high when eating. This is simply an instinct of the deer family. If you’d love to keep this instinct in your pet, you should hold the bottle high as much as the lawn can reach up.
After 10 days, you can then reduce the feeding times, to about 3 times a day if the deer is 20 days old, twice a day when it is 30 days old, and once a day when 40 days or older.
This routine aids in the growth and stimulation of the animal’s instinct to find food for itself when old enough to be left alone.
As long as you make sure it consumes 10-20% of its body weight per day, feel free to drop the times of feeding.
When to Wean The Baby Deer?
Once the awn is between 12-15 weeks of age, you can then wean it. However, this rule doesn’t apply to all since development will vary in all deer.
Some are weaned as early as 60 days, which is fine since bottle-feeding is both costly and time-consuming. A lot of people prefer to bottle-feed a fawn longer to make it more familiar to humans.
So, when the fawn is weaned is totally dependent on its development and you.
- Stimulate the fawn to urinate/defecate if needed
In the first couple of weeks, the few might find it hard to defecate and urinate as it has no experience of doing so.
You can help solve this issue by stimulating while feeding. You should use baby wipes and mittens to ensure hygiene, for both you and the fawn.
Please change the tools between different animals to avoid spreading the disease from one to another.
- Uncleaned Tools Cause Scour, Not the Milk Replacer
An uncleaned tool will sour the milk for your fawn. That then causes diarrhea; which is caused by viruses or bacteria.
Example of the bacteria/viruses of a scoured milk include Rota, Coli, and Salmonella.
By cleaning and caring for the tools used in feeding your baby deer, you can beat scour. If after proper care and cleaning, it still gets scour, then something is just not right.
You should check, again and adjust accordingly. The problem might be from the water or the mineral content.
- Feed them Good milk from Healthy Does
A much better alternative to feeding store bought milk is feeding one fresh from a doe but ensure it does not contain any disease. An infected doe with Caseous Lymphadenitis, Johne’s Disease will spread the disease to your fawn.
I have met and seen farmers who raise fawns on cow milk. If it isn’t broken, just let it be. From a nutrients point of view, goat milk has similar protein, fat, and sugar levels like deer milk.
So, it gives better development and is the safest choice for the baby deer.
- Remember: Only feed the “truly abandoned” fawn
Never attempt to petting, feeding or adopting a fawn unless it is truly abandoned by the mother!
Why is that wrong?
In wild life, a mother deer will keep and hide their babies in a safe area while they go in search of food. At this stage, Young deer are scentless, which is nature’s way of keeping them safe from predators.
During that time, if your feed or touch a fawn, even just a little touch, it might become scented with human smell, which makes the mother deer feel strange, and inherently, abandons her baby.
When you see a baby dear alone in the wild, don’t immediately assume it is an orphan. Leave it there, and return in about 6-8 hours. If it is still standing there and showing signs of shaking, then you can intervene or call trained people for help.
Remember not to touch any baby deer standing alone unless it is in critical situations such as an accident.
When do Fawns Start Eating Grass?
Fawns can attempt eating green grass as early as 2-3 weeks of age. At this point, milk is still the primary source of nutrients for the baby deer to develop, and introducing grass is merely helping it slowly try new food sources.
Can Baby Deer Eat Carrots?
Baby deer can be fed carrots and other fruits types. Remember, carrot is rich in water, vitamins and tastes sweet plus great.
Can Baby Deer Eat Lettuce?
Baby deer’s can eat lettuce, cabbage, or any leafy green as supplements or a treat. Never substitute this as a main source of meal for your fawn as this vegetable is rich in water but has very little nutritional value.
Can Baby Deer Eat Fruit?
Baby deer like to eat fruits and vegetables. Apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pears, watermelon, and strawberries are some fruit they can be fed.
I recommend only feeding them as treats since they are low in protein or fiber for deer. A well-balanced diet for fawns should contain a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.
Do Baby Deer Eat Corn?
Pure corn, wheat, or barley may contain too much starch for a baby deer. Feeding just these might stress your fawn’s body and make it develop digestive issues.
We recommend mixing with cereal grains such as oats for a balanced serving. A ratio of 1:1 or even 1:4 corn: oats is worth trying.
Do Baby Deer Eat Fish?
Deer are herbivores, so eating fish is unnatural.
However, lack of minerals (such as phosphorus, calcium, salt, etc.) and shortage of food could make a deer eat fish, birds, or dead rabbits.
How Long Can Baby Deer Go Without Milk?
Fawns cannot survive 24 hours without milk
How Long Can Baby Deer Go Without Food?
They cannot live long without food. The earlier an orphaned fawn is found and fed, the better.
How Long Can Baby Deer Go Without it mother?
8 hours from what I’ve seen.
How Long Can Baby Deer Go Without nursing?
Not long, at all.
How Long Can Baby Deer Go Without water?
2 hours. After that, it might be dehydrated
As you read this line, I guess you no longer wonder “Why baby deer won’t eat food”, or “what do baby deer eat?” since under 3-month-old fawns consume goat milk while other deer’s eat fruits, veggies, leaves, branches, twigs etc.
Never attempt to touch or feed any deer unless you’re REALLY SuRE it is an orphaned fawn. With a wild fawn, love is just watching!