Trough Feeders for Deer: Enhancing Deer Health and Attracting More Wildlife

Trough feeders for deer are essential tools for wildlife enthusiasts and landowners looking to improve the health and well-being of deer populations. These feeders offer numerous benefits, including reduced feed waste, improved deer health, and increased deer activity in specific areas.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the types of trough feeders available, their advantages and disadvantages, and best practices for their use. Whether you’re a seasoned deer manager or just starting out, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and insights you need to make informed decisions about trough feeders.

Types of Trough Feeders for Deer

Trough feeders for deer

Trough feeders for deer are available in a variety of materials, sizes, and capacities. The type of material used to construct the feeder will affect its durability, weather resistance, and cost.

Trough feeders for deer are a great way to attract and feed deer on your property. They provide a consistent source of food and water, which can help deer to stay healthy and well-fed. If you’re thinking about setting up a trough feeder for deer, you may be wondering if deer follow the same path every day.

The answer is yes, deer do tend to follow the same path every day, especially if they are familiar with the area. This is because deer are creatures of habit and they will often take the path of least resistance.

If you place a trough feeder in a location that is easily accessible and provides a clear path to and from the feeder, deer will be more likely to use it. Do deer follow the same path every day ? Yes, they do.

So, when placing a trough feeder for deer, keep in mind that deer will likely follow the same path every day to get to it.


  • Plastictrough feeders are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean. They are also relatively inexpensive. However, plastic feeders can be damaged by deer antlers and may not be as durable as metal or wood feeders.
  • Metaltrough feeders are more durable than plastic feeders and are less likely to be damaged by deer antlers. However, metal feeders are more expensive than plastic feeders and can rust over time.
  • Woodtrough feeders are a natural and renewable resource. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be easily built at home. However, wood feeders are not as durable as metal or plastic feeders and may rot over time.
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Sizes and Capacities, Trough feeders for deer

Trough feeders for deer come in a variety of sizes and capacities. The size of the feeder will depend on the number of deer that you are feeding and the amount of feed that you want to provide.Small trough feeders are typically 4-6 feet long and hold 50-100 pounds of feed.

Trough feeders are a great way to provide deer with a consistent source of food, especially during the winter months. They are easy to fill and maintain, and they can help to reduce the spread of disease. If you are planning to use a trough feeder for deer, be sure to choose a model that is the right size for your property and the number of deer you are feeding.

You may also want to consider purchasing a compact deer cart to make it easier to transport feed to the trough. Trough feeders are a valuable tool for deer management, and they can help to keep your deer healthy and well-fed.

Medium trough feeders are typically 8-10 feet long and hold 100-200 pounds of feed. Large trough feeders are typically 12-14 feet long and hold 200-300 pounds of feed.

Benefits of Using Trough Feeders

Trough feeders for deer

Trough feeders offer numerous advantages for deer management. These feeders help reduce feed waste, attract more deer, improve deer health, and provide benefits in various habitats and seasons.

Trough feeders are designed to minimize feed waste by preventing deer from trampling or scattering the feed. This efficient feeding method ensures that deer consume more of the provided feed, reducing waste and saving costs.

Attracting More Deer

Trough feeders act as a central feeding location, attracting deer from a wider area. The consistent availability of feed in one location makes it easier for deer to find and access food, increasing their visitation and utilization of the feeding area.

Design Considerations for Trough Feeders: Trough Feeders For Deer

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Selecting the Appropriate Size and Type of Trough Feeder

The size and type of trough feeder should be tailored to the specific deer population it is intended to serve. Consider the number of deer, their size, and their feeding habits when making this decision. For smaller deer populations, a smaller trough feeder may be sufficient, while larger populations will require a larger feeder to accommodate their needs.

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Proper Placement and Orientation of Trough Feeders

The placement and orientation of trough feeders are crucial for their effectiveness. Choose a location that is easily accessible to deer but not too close to human activity or potential predators. The feeder should be oriented in a way that allows deer to approach it from multiple directions, providing them with a sense of security.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning of Trough Feeders

Regular maintenance and cleaning of trough feeders are essential to prevent the spread of disease and ensure the health of the deer population. Clean the feeder thoroughly with a disinfectant solution on a regular basis, and remove any spoiled or moldy feed.

Proper maintenance will help to keep the feeder in good condition and extend its lifespan.

Best Practices for Using Trough Feeders

To ensure effective and responsible use of trough feeders, it’s essential to adhere to best practices. These include selecting appropriate feed types and quantities, maintaining feeders properly, and monitoring deer activity to adjust feeding strategies as needed.

Recommended Feed Types and Quantities

The type and quantity of feed provided in trough feeders should be tailored to the specific needs of the deer population. Consider factors such as the age, size, and nutritional requirements of the deer. The following table provides recommended feed types and quantities for trough feeders:

Feed Type Quantity
Corn 1-2 pounds per deer per day
Soybeans 0.5-1 pound per deer per day
Alfalfa hay 1-2 pounds per deer per day
Mineral supplement Free-choice

Proper Filling and Maintenance of Trough Feeders

Regularly filling and maintaining trough feeders is crucial for ensuring the availability of feed and preventing spoilage. Follow these guidelines:

  • Fill feeders to approximately 75% capacity to prevent spillage.
  • Inspect feeders regularly for damage or contamination.
  • Clean feeders thoroughly before refilling to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and mold.

Monitoring Deer Activity and Adjusting Feeding Strategies

Monitoring deer activity around trough feeders is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of feeding strategies. Observe deer behavior, such as feeding patterns and body condition, to make necessary adjustments. If deer are not utilizing the feeders or appear unhealthy, consider modifying feed types, quantities, or placement of feeders.

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Examples of Trough Feeder Designs

Trough feeders for deer come in various designs, both homemade and commercially available. Each design offers unique features and benefits, catering to specific needs and preferences.

Homemade Trough Feeders

  • Wooden Trough Feeder:Constructed from durable lumber, these feeders are simple to build and provide a sturdy option. They can be customized in size and shape to accommodate different locations and deer populations.
  • PVC Pipe Trough Feeder:Utilizing PVC pipes, these feeders are lightweight and easy to move. They can be cut to any desired length and fitted with end caps for a secure enclosure.
  • Plastic Barrel Trough Feeder:Repurposing plastic barrels as feeders is a cost-effective and functional solution. They offer ample capacity and can be easily cut and modified to create a customized feeding station.

Commercially Available Trough Feeders

  • Gravity Trough Feeder:These feeders dispense feed automatically as deer consume it, ensuring a continuous supply of food. They come in various sizes and can be adjusted to control the flow rate.
  • Electric Trough Feeder:Powered by electricity, these feeders offer precise feed distribution and can be programmed to dispense specific amounts of feed at predetermined times.
  • Solar Trough Feeder:Utilizing solar energy, these feeders provide a sustainable and cost-effective feeding solution. They operate independently of electricity and are ideal for remote locations.

Conclusive Thoughts

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By carefully considering the type, design, and placement of trough feeders, you can create an effective feeding system that will benefit deer populations and enhance your wildlife viewing experience. Remember to monitor deer activity and adjust feeding strategies as needed to ensure optimal results.

Detailed FAQs

What are the different types of trough feeders available?

Trough feeders are typically made from plastic, metal, or wood, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Plastic feeders are lightweight and easy to move, but they can be less durable than metal feeders. Metal feeders are more durable but can be heavier and more expensive.

Wooden feeders are a natural option but require more maintenance to prevent rot and decay.

What are the benefits of using trough feeders for deer?

Trough feeders offer several benefits, including reduced feed waste, improved deer health, and increased deer activity in specific areas. By providing a centralized feeding location, trough feeders minimize feed waste and spoilage. The elevated design of trough feeders also helps to keep feed dry and clean, reducing the risk of disease transmission.

How do I choose the right size and type of trough feeder for my deer population?

The size and type of trough feeder you choose will depend on the size and number of deer in your population. For small deer populations, a smaller trough feeder may be sufficient. For larger populations, a larger trough feeder with multiple compartments may be necessary.

Consider the type of feed you will be using and the feeding habits of your deer population when selecting a trough feeder.

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