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Do Deer Eat Oranges?

You might be wondering “Do deer eat oranges?” and the answer would be yes! Deer eat oranges and other fruits readily when they’re left out by people or when deer can scavenge them at orchards and other locations.

Deer have a particular fondness for oranges because of their flavor as well as the moisture and nutrients that deer can get from these fruits.

Citrus fruits can be harmful to many different types of animals, but deer love eating citrus. They’re definitely not shy when it comes to eating oranges when people leave them out in their yards.

However, people should avoid feeding deer oranges because this might make the deer a little too comfortable around human civilization, and it could even disrupt their natural feeding habits.

Oranges have a lot of nutrients that deer require in order to stay healthy. In fact, oranges and other fruits can act as a treat for deer which makes them all the more appealing for these animals.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the interesting facts behind deer and their love of oranges.

Do Deer Eat Oranges?

It might surprise you to know that wild deer love eating oranges. In fact, deer love eating fruit in general because it’s something that they rarely find out in the wild, and they have evolved to treat fruit as a precious resource to be enjoyed when it’s discovered.

Deer commonly show up in farms and other local sites that are full of fruits that they can easily scavenge. Let’s talk about why people have so many questions about deer eating oranges.

The first thing we need to talk about is the big misconception involving oranges and deer. Many hunters and people who live in rural communities swear that orange peels will scare away deer.

Citrus does scare away plenty of insects and wildlife, but deer are definitely not on that list. If you’re leaving orange peels on your property to ward off deer you might actually be attracting them.

Deer love oranges because they’re full of nutrients that these animals have a hard time getting in the wild. They’re also a solid source of hydration which means they are a one-stop shop for everything deer need to survive.

However, they aren’t the best choice of fruits when it comes to bulking up to hibernate for the winter. There are also some compelling reasons why people should not be feeding deer oranges.

Should You Feed Deer Oranges?

Even though deer like eating oranges, you should avoid feeding deer oranges, other fruits, or vegetables. In fact, unless you work in a local Wildlife Preserve or in another official capacity, you should avoid feeding deer in general.

There are some compelling reasons why people should stop feeding deer, and we’re going to work through a few of the more important ones. This is why you shouldn’t feed deer oranges.

The first thing that we need to consider is that feeding deer oranges brings them into dangerous contact with people. Statistical research shows that deer that eat at feed sites that are set up by humans are more likely to be hit by cars or catch diseases that spread between deer.

These wild animals just aren’t cut out to be fed by people in the same way that other wild animals could be. Setting up these feed locations for deer also disrupts their natural eating habits. At the end of the day, people shouldn’t be feeding deer oranges or any other fruits or vegetables.

This can be especially dangerous in the winter when deer have to spend a lot of energy traveling from feed site to feed site. Even though deer might find oranges tasty, they might be burning up precious fat reserves that they could be using to hibernate in order to eat some oranges in your yard.

This is an unnatural feeding style for deer which can cause them to display aggressive behavior around each other when they are competing for a limited number of oranges left out by people.

If you really want to help take care of your local deer population, you should work to help improve the local environment that includes the natural plant resources deer feed on in the wild.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Feeding Deer Oranges?

Deer have surprisingly complicated nutritional requirements that can change throughout the year. Deer have to get ready to hibernate every year and this means taking on additional fats that can bulk them up to get them through lean times.

Oranges provide a lot of hydration and nutrients to deer, but they do not provide adequate fats to help the deer last through the winter. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional benefits of feeding deer oranges.

Oranges have some advantages when it comes to feeding deer. The first is that deer eagerly eat oranges because this is not something that they can typically find in the wild.

Oranges are also packed with vitamins as well as a lot of hydration that can help deer makeup for some nutrients that are missing in their diets.

Oranges don’t have anything that can harm deer, including orange peels, so it’s a good choice for adding to a deer’s diet.

However, oranges aren’t part of the natural diet of most deer which means that this could be getting in the way of the plants that the deer needs to consume to get ready for winter.

Oranges don’t offer the same kind of nutrients that a deer would be getting in the plants that usually forages on. This could interrupt the deer’s ability to prepare for hibernation which might harm your local deer population.


Answering the question do deer eat oranges reveals the complicated relationship between people and wild deer. Deer do eat oranges, and in fact, it’s common for deer to graze and forage in and around farms that grow oranges and other fruits. It’s a common misconception that orange peels will keep deer away and in fact leaving orange peels around your property can increase the likelihood of deer, and other animals, showing up. Even though deer can get some nutrients from oranges, you should avoid feeding wild deer in order to protect this population of majestic animals.