Do Deer Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Do deer eat brussels sprouts

Deer are widely distributed, with indigenous representatives in all continents except Antarctica and Australia, though Africa has only one native deer. Deer are among the most familiar animals of North America, and in many places they are the largest wildlife that people encounter. Their aesthetic beauty is appreciated and admired, although their fondness for garden and landscape plants tries some peoples’ patience.

Deer are known to feed on a wide range of plant materials, including leaves, twigs, buds, fruits, and vegetables grown in gardens and farms. One of the vegetables that are commonly grown in gardens and farms is Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts, being a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, are a popular food crop grown in many parts of the world.

However, the question that arises is “do deer eat Brussels sprouts”. In this article, we will explore the feeding behavior of deer and their preferences when it comes to Brussels sprouts which will be helpful for many.

Key Takeaways

  • Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are related to cabbage, broccoli, and kale.
  • Although deer prefer to feed on vegetation such as grasses, leaves, and berries, they will also eat Brussels sprouts if they are hungry enough.
  • One of the factors that can affect whether deer will eat Brussels sprouts is the availability of other food sources.
  • If there are other plants or crops that are more readily available and more palatable, deer may not choose to eat Brussels sprouts.
  • Brussels sprouts are low in calories and high in protein, making them a great food for deer.

What is Brussels Sprouts?

What is brussels sprouts
What is brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a type of vegetable that is a member of the Brassica family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. They are small, green, and spherical, and they grow in the stem of the plant. They are a cool-season crop that is typically grown in the fall and winter months. Brussels sprouts are known for their distinctive flavor, which is often described as nutty and slightly bitter. These vegetables contain glucosinolates, a type of compound that gives them a bitter taste and strong smell. While humans find the taste and smell of Brussels sprouts pleasant, deer do not. They are also rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Why Do Deer Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Deer are known to eat a wide variety of plants, including Brussels sprouts.

There are several reasons why deer may choose to eat Brussels sprouts:


Depending on the location and season, Brussels sprouts may be one of the few available food sources for deer. If other food sources are scarce, deer may turn to Brussels sprouts as a readily available option.

If the Brussels sprouts are located in an area that is heavily trafficked by deer, they may be more likely to be eaten. However, if the Brussels sprouts are located in an area that is not frequented by deer, they may be less likely to be eaten.

In the fall and winter months, when Brussels sprouts are typically grown, deer may be more likely to eat them if other food sources are scarce. However, in the spring and summer months, when other plants and crops are more readily available, deer may be less likely to eat Brussels sprouts.



Deer eat Brussels sprouts because they are a source of food that is easily accessible. Brussels sprouts grow on tall stalks, and they are not usually protected by fences or other barriers. This means that deer can easily reach them and consume them without much effort.

There have been some reports of deer browsing on Brussels sprouts in gardens and farms. This could be because the plants are more easily accessible in these areas and are not surrounded by other food sources


Nutritional value

Brussels sprouts are high in nutrients and these nutrients are essential for maintaining good health. Deer may be drawn to them as a source of these essential nutrients.

Some experts believe that deer are unlikely to eat Brussels sprouts because they are not a natural part of their diet, while others believe that deer may browse Brussels sprouts if they are hungry enough. It is undeniable that Brussels sprouts are nutritious for deer

Nutritional value
Nutritional value

Taste preference

Brussels sprouts have a distinctive odor that some animals may find unappealing. However, deer have been known to eat a variety of plants with strong odors, so it is unclear whether this would deter them from eating Brussels sprouts. If there is plenty of other food available, such as acorns or other plant material, then deer may be less likely to browse Brussels sprouts. However, if other food sources are scarce, deer may be more likely to eat Brussels sprouts if they come across them.

However, it’s worth noting that deer are known to be selective feeders and may not eat Brussels sprouts if other food sources are available or if they have access to a wider variety of plants. Additionally, while Brussels sprouts may be a nutritious food source for deer, they can also cause damage to crops and gardens, which can be a problem for farmers and gardeners.

Taste preference
Taste preference

Nutritional Benefits of Brussels Sprouts for Deer

Brussels sprouts are a highly nutritious vegetable that can provide several health benefits when included in a balanced diet.

Nutritional benefits of brussels sprouts
Nutritional benefits of brussels sprouts

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of Brussels sprouts:

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and A, as well as folate, potassium, and manganese.
  • High in fiber: Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, which can help regulate digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and keep you feeling full.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Brussels sprouts contain several anti-inflammatory compounds, such as kaempferol and quercetin, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Antioxidant activity: Brussels sprouts are also rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the body against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer.
  • Supports immune system: Vitamin C present in Brussels sprouts helps in the formation of white blood cells, which are critical to maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Supports bone health: Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K, which is important for bone health and can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Overall, Brussels sprouts can be an excellent addition to a healthy and balanced diet. They are low in calories, high in nutrients, and provide several health benefits for the body.

The Risks of Deer Eating Brussels Sprouts

Deer eating Brussels sprouts may seem harmless, but it can be problematic for farmers and gardeners who are trying to cultivate these vegetables. Deer can consume large quantities of Brussels sprouts, which can lead to a significant loss of crops. This can be frustrating for farmers and gardeners who rely on these vegetables for food or income.

In addition to crop damage, deer can also carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans. For example, deer can carry Lyme disease, which can be transmitted to humans through tick bites. They can also carry other diseases such as E. coli and salmonella, which can cause foodborne illnesses.

Brussels Sprouts as Bait in Deer Hunting

Brussels sprouts as bait in deer hunting
Brussels sprouts as bait in deer hunting

Brussels sprouts are a type of vegetable that can be used as bait in deer hunting. The idea behind using them as bait is that deer are attracted to the smell of the sprouts and will come closer to investigate. Once they are closer, hunters can take their shot.

However, it is important to note that using Brussels sprouts as bait for deer hunting may not be legal in all areas. In some places, the use of bait to attract deer is prohibited, and in others, there may be specific regulations around the type of bait that can be used. It is important to check local hunting regulations before using Brussels sprouts or any other type of bait in deer hunting.

Additionally, using bait in hunting can be controversial, and some people argue that it is an unethical or unsportsmanlike practice. If you choose to hunt, it is important to do so responsibly and ethically and to follow all relevant laws and regulations.


How do you attract deer instantly?

food plot in the middle of the woods sprayed with antler grow to provide a healthy food source that will attract deer to your property like crazy! You can be dumping minerals, some sort of powder, or even corn.

What is the fastest way to call a deer?

Using a grunt call is a great way to attract the attention of mature bucks. You should look to only grunt periodically, every 15 minutes to 20 minutes. ‘Blind calling’ can work but it is best to make the calls subtle and sparingly because you don’t know how close a deer might be to you.

What vegetables are toxic to deer?

Jimsonweed, a nightshade, is so toxic it often grows in cow lots untouched. Deer resistant vegetables in the nightshade family include tomatoes and tomatillos, potatoes, eggplant, and some peppers. Other plants toxic to deer: Rhubarb and cucumber leaves are toxic to deer.

Do deer eat raw Brussels sprouts?

Vegetables that deer seem to prefer include beans, lettuce, cabbage, and Cole crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

Is it ok to feed deer vegetables?

They love fruits and some vegetables. They’ll munch on most greenery as well. Corn is a deer’s favorite treat. Some other foods they love include blackberries, greenbriers, saplings, honeysuckle, hackberry, grapevines, acorns, apples, pears, kale, radish, turnip, canola, cabbage, cauliflower, and sugar beets.

Final Thoughts

Deer do eat Brussels sprouts, and this can be problematic for farmers and gardeners who are trying to cultivate these vegetables. Deer can consume large quantities of Brussels sprouts, which can lead to a significant loss of crops. Whether or not deer eat Brussels sprouts depends on a variety of factors, including the availability of other food sources, the time of year, and the location.

However, there are several methods that farmers and gardeners can use to protect their Brussels sprouts from deer, including fences, repellents, and planting other types of vegetation. By taking these steps, farmers and gardeners can protect their crops.

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