Rye vs Wheat/Oats 2020 Edition

good observation for sure. Do you find you fertilize the wheat and do not fertilize the rye? Or both or neither?

Hmm. 2019 I didn't fertilize anything. I don't typically fertilize fall crops. This year, however, I did add some 10-10-10 to the wheat/oat fields. I later top dressed with nitrogen, but that was after the sheds had already fallen.
I recently had a eureka moment that I thought y'all would find interesting. Last year (2019), I found most of my sheds along the ditches in my 10 acre main field. This year (2020), I found 0 sheds in the same spot. However, I found a bunch of sheds in a 3 acre field 300 yards away. I thought that was odd until my eureka moment: the sheds are around the wheat/oat fields.

2019 - 5 acres of rye, 0 sheds
2019 - 5 acres of wheat/oats, 7 sheds

2020 - 11 acres of rye, 0 sheds
2020- 3.5 acres of wheat/oats, 8 sheds

I know this is only anecdotal, but it's pretty obvious to me - deer prefer wheat/oats to the rye. It's not exactly a fair trial though because the rye is much further along than the wheat/oats by the time bucks start dropping antlers. Up north where it gets really cold over the winter and rye's durability is necessary, rye makes more sense because it won't winter kill. But in more mild climates, it might make more sense to focus on the wheat and oats.

Note: I plant my wheat and oats mixed together in the drill. Next year I think I'll do wheat fields, oat fields, and rye fields separately to continue this experiment.
Tonight I've been watching a 4 acre field for several hours, with a dozen deer feeding like there's no tomorrow. 2 acres on the left side has my winter rye, which is about 5-6 inches tall. The 2 acres on the right has ladino clover and new oats, both about 3 inches tall. The 12 deer are anchored right in the middle of the winter rye side, feeding in circles for hours, with nary a glance at the oats and clover combo.
Maybe deer have no taste buds? Or they're to lazy to walk to better food. Or they think new oats are where covid19 comes from. Whatever the reason, tonight rye is king.
Rarely would I plant cereal rye or wheat alone so I don’t have a grain to grain comparison, but I’ve experienced deer prefer wheat to some degree in our latitude over rye. So I’m not surprised you are finding a preference. I haven’t compared triticale I’d be interested in hearing what everyone experience is...

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