A Healthy Oklahoma Whitetail Doe

By | October 8, 2012
A Healthy Oklahoma Whitetail Doe

A Whitetail Doe at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma

This is a Whitetail Doe I photographed back in September while at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. They have a great place to live and they always look healthy.

Whitetail deer eat large varieties of food, commonly eating legumes and foraging on other plants, including shoots, leaves, cacti, and grasses. They also eat acorns, fruit, and corn. Their special stomach allows them to eat some things that humans cannot, such as mushrooms and poison ivy. Their diet varies by season according to availability of food sources. They will also eat hay, grass, white clover, and other food that they can find in a farm yard. Though almost entirely herbivorous, white-tailed deer have been known to opportunistically feed on nesting songbirds, field mice, and birds trapped in Mist nets.

The white-tailed deer is a ruminant, which means it has a four-chambered stomach. Each chamber has a different and specific function that allows the deer to quickly eat a variety of different food, digesting it at a later time in a safe area of cover. The Whitetail stomach hosts a complex set of bacteria that change as the deer’s diet changes through the seasons. If the bacteria necessary for digestion of a particular food (e.g., hay) are absent it will not be digested. (Wikipedia)

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