do deer eat kale

Do Deer Eat Kale?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor
Last updated on:

Deer and kale may seem like an unlikely pair, but they share a fascinating connection that has captured the attention of many. Deer, known for their graceful movements and diverse dietary habits, have a reputation for being opportunistic eaters. They are known to feed on a wide range of vegetation, from tree bark and clover to agricultural crops like corn and soybeans. 

On the other hand, kale is a nutritious leafy green that is enjoyed by many for its unique taste and health benefits. Despite its popularity among humans, it is not a common food source for deer, leading many to wonder, “Do deer eat kale?” In this article, we will delve into the world of deer and kale to find out if these two species have a natural connection, and what factors influence their dietary habits.

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What Do Deer Normally Eat?

Deer are herbivores, which means that their diet primarily consists of vegetation. They feed on a variety of plants, including leaves, stems, and twigs, as well as fruits and nuts. In the wild, their preferred food sources include tree bark, clover, and dandelions, but they are also known to feed on agricultural crops, such as corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.

The Availability of Kale in the Deer’s Habitat

Kale is not a natural food source for deer, as it is not commonly found in their natural habitats. Kale is typically grown in gardens and farm fields, and while deer may come across it in these areas, they may not necessarily view it as a food source. Additionally, many gardeners and farmers protect their kale crops with deer repellents or physical barriers, which may discourage deer from feeding on the plants.

Kale’s Nutritional Value for Deer

Kale is a nutritious vegetable that is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as iron and calcium. However, it is not as nutritionally dense as other food sources that deer typically feed on, such as clover and dandelions. This may discourage deer from feeding on kale, as they are driven by their instincts to seek out the most nutritious food sources available to them.

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The Taste of Kale for Deer

The taste of kale is not universally appealing to all animals, and deer are no exception. Some deer may find the bitter taste of kale unappealing and avoid eating it, while others may be more open to trying new foods and may be more likely to feed on it. Ultimately, the taste of kale for deer will vary from individual to individual and is largely dependent on their personal preferences and previous experiences with the plant.


In conclusion, deer do not typically eat kale, as it is not a natural food source for them and is not commonly found in their habitats. However, some deer may be inclined to feed on kale if it is readily available and they have not been discouraged from doing so by repellents or physical barriers. Ultimately, whether or not deer eat kale will depend on a variety of factors, including their nutritional needs, personal tastes, and the availability of other food sources in their environment.

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