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question about ferals, raccoons and deer

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I started putting out corn in the woods for the possum/raccoon to eat so they wouldnt touch the cat food. Now I hear deer LOVE corn and will travel out of their way to get it. There are hunters all over my backyard and the last thing I want is to set a up a deer to be killed.

Are there any recs on what possum/raccoons will eat - but deer and cats wont??? Someone gave me a quick list before but my situation didnt entail deer at that point.

I know thats a tough question -but if anyone has any recs - Id really appreciate it.

post #2 of 10
I don't have suggestions for food but here's an idea...

Apparently, raccoons can't jump and therefore can't get to the cat food with this set-up
post #3 of 10
Possum and raccoons love berries. Deer will eat berries too, but I don't believe they would go out of their way to travel to eat berries unless there were a lot of them. Fruit in general would work, but I wouldn't put out too much. Maybe put something over the corn so the raccoons and possums can get to it but the deer can't.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

and the cats wont eat hte berries - right? Or at least not get ill from them??

any other ideas would be great too because im now thinking how much the cost of berries daily would be
post #5 of 10
A cat would not eat a berry, not unless it was very hungry. I can't think of anything less expensive than fruit that fits all the qualifiers. I know possums and raccoons like eggs too, but I am not sure if a cat would eat them either. As someone mentioned earlier, I think the best bet would probably be to get something they would have to jump up to so the raccoons and possums can't reach the food.
post #6 of 10
another solution: leave guns out for the deer to shoot back!
post #7 of 10
I don't really think deer will do that. My parents grow it every year and only once they had a single deer stop by. It was a really old female and she just stood in the middle of it all eating. She didn't really run from anyone unless they got close, you could go outside and watch her. But she was the only one in all the years they've done this that sat out in the garden and ate the corn.

Coons will eat just about anything though. I had one run off with a bag of cat food I had forgotten to bring inside. I just seen this orange thing run arcross my yard. It spilled all the food out though lol

Maybe bird seeds? I'm not sure if the coons would go for that.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas...

I dont know about building a high stand for the cats - just because im really not even supposed to be doing this. I already have a winter shelter out there and another object will cause more attention. Plus I do feel bad for the raccoons

I see a lot of digging in the leaves - dont know if thats just the cats. I put one dish by a tree and all the leaves have been pushed back - which made it nice for me. There are also dig marks by where I was leaving the corn. Any ideas on which animal (unless all of them would/could do that)

I wanted to get a camera to see who was eating and when - now I think once it snows I can look at tracks. Im guessing each animal should have individual tracks to decipher. Now I cant wait for it to snow. I hate snow - but Im so curious to get an answer to all this. Then maybe I can figure out if Im leaving too much food out.
Last week there was actually food left 2 mornings in a row..... just frustrating cause i want all the cats to eat. I put it out early in the morning - sometimes check again later in teh afternoon and its barely been touched - so its all being eaten at night which makes me think wildlife is getting it.

post #9 of 10
Oh - I didn't realize you weren't feeding at your home. In that case, I'd go with the berries or maybe nuts for the raccoons. (Maybe chicken feed or something like that would be cheaper?)

Having food left over might be a good sign - maybe everyone was full. Maybe not but I try to be optimistic. A hidden, trigger activated camera would help you figure out who's coming to dine.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just got up the nerve to grab a flashlight and my dog and go into the woods and check out the food situation.

I put the food out this morning around 9 and now at 8pm Id say 90% of the food is still there. And I didnt see or hear any movement so there was nothing there at that point.
There are 30 cats Im feeding. So now im thinking maybe i should one night go out like at 4 am and see whats going on. I know ive been told over and over again that the cats WILL find the food.... but i just cant get it out of my head that 1) I could be spending $100 a month to feed wildlife and 2) that 25 of the cats are not eating what Im putting out for them. Ive said here before that Ive seen a lot of the cats back in the 1st yard where I used to feed them... like theyre still waiting to be fed there.

Sorry I guess Im again ranting to myself.....

Does anyone know if there is a specific time that cats usually eat? crazy question i know... had to ask
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