Do Deer Eat Mushrooms

Do Deer Eat Mushrooms?

Deer are adorable animals that reside in forests, deserts, swamps, and mountainside habitats. They are populous mostly in forest areas. A deer’s diet depends on what is available to them during that season. Mushrooms are fungi available throughout the year in a deer’s habitat. So a question arises, “Do Deer Eat Mushrooms?” Keep reading to find out.

Do Deer Eat Mushrooms?

Deer don’t just eat mushrooms, rather, they love to eat varieties of mushrooms. Living in places where Mushrooms are in large quantities, Deer get adapted to the Mushrooms. And they enjoy eating them, too. A not-so-well-known fact about deer is that they tend to have very strong instincts and can easily identify which food is poisonous or unhealthy for them, so they avoid it.

Are Mushrooms harmful or beneficial to Deer?

Mushrooms are beneficial to deer. Deer are actually herbivorous. They consume up to 400 vegetables. They are used to having multiple different nutrients in their diets. They can eat anything from grass, woody plants to fungi like Mushrooms.

Why do Deer like Mushrooms?

A question that arises after learning that Deer eat Mushrooms is “Why would they want to eat Mushrooms” and the answer to that is due to various reasons such as…

  • Water content
    90% of a Mushroom’s weight is its water content which is great for an animal in the wild. The water content in the Mushrooms tends to help the deer digest their food easily.
  • Overall nutrition
    Mushrooms are packed with vast nutrients such as Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamins C, D, and B6.
  • Taste and Texture
    The different taste and texture of a Mushroom attracts a Deer towards it. They seem to enjoy that quality of Mushrooms a lot.
  • Abundance in habitat
    Obviously as mentioned earlier, Mushrooms grow a lot in any area that is moist, so they grow in a lot of different places.
  • Palatability
    In addition to all sorts of nutritional values, Deer eat Mushrooms mainly because they like them.

Which Mushrooms do Deer eat?

Deer usually stick to eating according to their availability. Whichever food item is most abundant to them is usually what they stick to eating.

The same goes for Mushrooms, whichever breed of Mushrooms is available to them is what they eat. They eat Mushrooms of breed anywhere from Morels, Chanterelles,
Oysters to Shiitake, Puffballs, and more.

Below is a table to indicate Deer and their preferred types.

Deer TypePreferred Mushrooms
White and Black-tailedChanterelle Mushrooms
Red deer, Roe deerOyster Mushrooms
Mule deer, Elks, MooseMorel Mushrooms
Chinese deer, sika deerShiitake Mushrooms
Most deer speciesWaxy caps
All deer speciesPuffball Mushrooms

Are any Mushrooms Poisonous to Deer?

Fun fact! Deer actually have stronger stomachs and better immunity systems than humans and most animals. They can digest many and most “toxic” foods. This is why no Mushroom is strictly banned for Deer to consume.

They have adapted to most bacteria and toxins around them and this feature actually helps them in bettering their immunity system and boosting digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Deer Eat Mushrooms?
Yes, different types of Mushrooms are suited for different types of Deer. But in general, Mushrooms are definitely edible for Deer.

Does Mushroom Harm Deer’s Immunity?
No, it doesn’t harm a Deer’s immunity as Deer tend to have strong immunity. However, moderation is key and must be eaten in less quantities.

Final Thoughts

The summarized and shortened answer to “Do Deer Eat Mushrooms” is yes, they do. They eat Mushrooms and they are actually very beneficial and helpful to Deer. Furthermore, they are easily found in their habitats.

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