18% dairy pellets


Active Member
A local farmer told me to mix 18% dairy pellets with my corn for my feeders. Has anyone tried this ?
Dairy pellets vary in content but generally have fiber, protein, minerals and nutrients for cows that their normal forage might be lacking. So it should be a good thing for deer, however, since the mix is formulated to produce milk it's probably not exactly the right mix to grow antlers, but close. You can also get pellets formulated for other animals like goats and sheep, which might be closer to meeting the nutritional needs of deer. For a while we got a local feed mill to mix up custom deer feed, which they slurped up by the hundredweight like candy, to the point that it became cost prohibitive. That mix was corn, rolled toasted soybeans, oats, molasses, pellets, etc. and our deer just loved it, probably partly due to the high molasses content. So, I'd say pellets is a good thing if you can afford it.
The biologist that is one of the founding fathers of pen raised deer used 16% calf mana. I fed it on my farm for many years as well. Good fiber, fat and appropriate protein with consistent quality which was missing in the early days of deer feed. I see no reason why 18% dairy pellets wouldn't be good though I have no personal experience. Take a look at the vitamin mineral pac and report.

Deer feeds have taken a quantum leap forward in quality in the last decade. Lots of high quality options that have a material impact on health and antler quality
I have used 13% pellets or Creep feed mixed with corn in the late winter early spring for the last couple of years. I don't think the deer like it that much if it's just the pellets, but with corn in it they go after it. if you get any moisture in your feeder you have problems with pellets though. I've learned to always bring an empty barrel with me in case I have to take the motor off and empty the feeder into the barrel to clear out any wet pellets.
Something I recently saw on the Tecomonte Deer show was they were using some by product from Cotton that had high protein levels and was being ignored by the hogs,
Something I recently saw on the Tecomonte Deer show was they were using some by product from Cotton that had high protein levels and was being ignored by the hogs,
I've been feeding cotton seed gin trash for years along side protein pellets. It is a great compliment to protein pellets. It's is especially valuable for post rut recovery as it is very high in fats and oils. High protein too. But it does not have all the vitamins and minerals that a good pellet has.

Another plus is that hogs and coons don't eat it.The knock on it is that it contains a chemical that 'could' render deer sterile in high concentrations. However, when fed in the wild that has never happened to my knowledge. Lots of folks feed it in Texas/Mexico.

I know folks that feed it exclusively and have fantastic deer herds. I'll see if I can dig up a pic so you can see what it looks like
We have used 16% protein feed developed for beef cows for years. Deer love it. Don't know if it really helps, but it's fun to do. Like mineral licks.
Larry is a smart guy and is in charge of the Purina deer nutrition program. Over the past decade the deer breeders have made giant gains in understanding how to maximize deer health and Larry has been intimately involved in that as well as the Purina research. Just keep in mind that sellers of deer feed have to compromise between perfection and cost. Effective supplemental deer feeding on any scale is expensive.

The above is very good but I would add a couple of things.As stated nutrition needs vary by season. For example post rut recovery benefits greatly by additional fat as well as energy. Protein isn't as important then yet becomes very important during antler growth and lactation. Also pellets are a compliment to whatever the deer are eating elsewhere. Thus shifting to a higher protein content ...say 18%... may not be wasted if the overall diet is at lower levels. Also there are maintenance levels but there are also levels greater than maintenance that are beneficial. Fat, fiber and carbohydrate needs vary also and are critical. Another thing found beneficial is adding
, probiotics, digestives, and essential oils [ which mimic antibiotics and help with parasite control ] etc.

All said it is well documented that an effective supplemental feeding program has a very beneficial effect