Keep deer eating in the heat

By Craig Nyhus

Lone Star Outdoor News

The Texas summer is right around the corner, and research has shown that white-tailed deer eat less when it gets hot, even when supplemental feed is available.

The scientists at Purina Animal Nutrition have developed a product to encourage deer to continue to visit the feeder, even during the heat of summer.

Studies conducted by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute examined the effect of heat on food consumption, concluding that since consuming food generates heat, the hot temperatures causes deer to eat less.

Purina’s supplement, called Climate Guard, is added to its AntlerMax protein feed.

“It’s a blend of plant extracts that helps to support rumen metabolism of the deer, improve protein and energy efficiency and shift some of the digestion from the rumen to the small intestine,” said Dr. Mike Schlegel, Purina’s senior nutritionist for wildlife and small ruminant technical solutions. “It helps decrease the potential of acidosis.”

Purina’s research on white-tailed does was performed in West Texas in the heat of summer, Schlegel said. Does consuming AntlerMax with Climate Guard were 10 percent heavier than does consuming a control diet after 42 days, and 8 percent heavier after 84 days. Also, does consuming pellets with Climate Guard visited the feeders more often during the heat of the day.

“We saw that does supplemented with Climate Guard gained more weight and had improved body condition,” he said. “They visited feeders more often and had improved intake.”

In layman’s terms, the deer that consumed the protein feed with the Climate Guard supplement ate more.

“This is especially important through the summer to maintain their body condition around time they gave birth to help support lactation,” Schlegel said.

Climate Guard is comprised of high quality ingredients that support rumen function, gut heath and optimal nutrient utilization, and it supports digestibility of starch in the small intestine. The plant-based ingredients help maintain feed intake, comfort, and helps sustain weight gain during climatic stress events.

Will Climate Guard help bucks?

Yes, Schlegel said.

“It helps keep them eating which improves body condition,” he said. “It compliments the improved antler growth from the AntlerMax.”

Climate Guard is available in AntlerMax products at Texas dealers.

“It has been very well received,” Schlegel said.