The diet of a whitetail buck can either aid or hinder their growth. During the antler growth period, bucks require a substantial amount of minerals. If their diet does not provide the required amount, the necessary minerals will be supplied through other skeletal areas.Although this trait is a helpful way of procuring essential minerals, it is not the best substitute for a rich food source. However, even if there is an abundance of minerals in an area, bucks still undergo some mineral depletion in their skeleton. Without proper diet, both the deer’s skeletal bones and antlers may become very brittle.
Diet does definitely have an effect on the production of deer antlers, but it’s major effect is on size, not frailty. A deer will allocate as much energy as is necessary to it’s own growth before growing antlers, so if it has been a tough year, the buck may grow only very small antlers compared to if it has plenty of excess energy and nutrients.
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