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Old 05-14-2017, 12:55 PM   #1
BuckySWT
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Default How many protein feeders

Second year on our lease and the management plan is still very fluid.

We have 1300 ac with 6 guys hunting.

Everyone has one stand from last year and we are working on second blinds as we speak. Every set up has a corn feeder.

There are 3 300# protein feeders in pens plus a 50# tpost protein feeder in another pen.

The goal is for every guy to run one protein feeder from February thru August. We are almost there.

What should the goal be?
Is 6 protein pens enough?

Doing a spotlight survey in August
But we are and have seen lots of deer on cameras
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:57 PM   #2
Mexico
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1 protein feeder per a little over 200 acres is very good in my opinion . Plenty.

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Old 05-14-2017, 01:15 PM   #3
BuckySWT
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Cool
Got 2 more to put out then
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:19 PM   #4
8pointer
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I agree with Shane. We have 10 free choice protein feeders on 2,600 acres and soon to add 3-4 timed protein feeders.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:21 PM   #5
talltexasshoote
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We run 7 on 2200 acres. It seems to be enough. Remember you are really covering more ground on low fence. We get deer on camera moving over a half mile to cover multiple locations. We also feed (and shoot) some of the neighbor's residents.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:00 PM   #6
texashunter56
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IME I do not look at a feeder per acreage amount but an amount of deer per feeder location. If you are feeding protein to improve or help your herd in times of need then I try to keep it to a max of 10 deer per feeder. So if you have a deer to 13 acres then I would put out 10 feeders minimum if you want to maximize your feeding program. If you have a decent buck to doe ratio then you will want more feeders.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:47 PM   #7
Peyton
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Default How many protein feeders

I have 2 protein feeders and a cottonseed at every feeding location. There is a feed station per 300 acres but a feeder per 150 acres.

Last edited by Peyton; 05-14-2017 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:30 PM   #8
elgato
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I range from a feeder per 300 acres to a feeder per 100 acres in mexico. I find that as feeder density increases results increase. I also have a cottonseed feeder in every protein pen. I think that very valuable as it assures everyone a chance at the trough.

I don't think you can overdo feeder density. It's simply a question of budget. I have a feeder per 60 acres in La. and grow more top end trophies per acre there than prime Rio Grande brush country. Nutrition can't be overstated .
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
deerwatcher51
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I have two feed pens on 330 acres (high fenced) with two 2,000# feeders in each pen. I went with larger feeders to keep from running out all of the time.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:25 AM   #10
gingib
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3-5 I would say
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:29 PM   #11
bphillips
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I run 8 on 2600ac and cottonseed next to them. I don't have a really high density compared to some places and they still eat about a ton and two hoops of cottonseed every 6 weeks right now per station

300lb will be tough to keep full unless you guys are there alot
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #12
STGS
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I have one protein feeder per 150 acres. I keep adding until my total consumption stops increasing. I will be at one per 120 acres once I add the rest of my feeders this year. I am guessing 1 per 100 acres will be my max.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:03 PM   #13
elgato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STGS View Post
I have one protein feeder per 150 acres. I keep adding until my total consumption stops increasing. I will be at one per 120 acres once I add the rest of my feeders this year. I am guessing 1 per 100 acres will be my max.
Stuart Stedman experimented with feeder density on his Faith ranch and found continuing improvement up to 1/100 acres. I don't think he went with more feeders than that.

I'm directly across the river from him and we built a high fenced 2500 acre pasture to experiment with and compare to other pastures. We have a feeder /100 acres with every feeder having water. Very heavy brush though some roller chopped. Unquestionably we have a higher density of trophy caliber bucks vs. a much larger pasture with density at 1/300 acres. I can also say that the 'experimental ' pasture is by far the hardest to hunt. Deer aren't seen as much.

The best pasture we have though is a 6000 acre high fenced pasture with a feeder per 130 acres and lots of water. I think the size gets some critical mass or maybe it's because it has been managed longer. Nonetheless the difference in this pasture vs the others is profound.

All that said as I mentioned earlier on my farm in La. I have a feeder per 60 acres and once again trophy deer density , both numbers and top end quality, are higher than any of the pastures at the ranch.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:49 PM   #14
Peyton
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Stedman and TAMUK also did a study on deer dominance and social interactions at feeders. Basically, if there is only one feeder available the dominant deer will eat and the non dominant deer will eat little or none. When the dominant deer are full, they will leave and the group will follow.

When this study was published I already had 2 feeders per location because I noticed this pattern on trailcam. To feed the whole bachelor group of bucks there should be more than one feeder.

Adding a cottonseed feeder will increase the options and variety for the deer and helps to spread out the visiting group of deer.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:45 PM   #15
texashunter56
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I have a friend who puts 3 feeders per feed station and a station for every 150 acres in South Texas on a large ranch. Had another friend who has put 3 feeders per feed station in West Texas since the early 2000's and do not remember the feed station density. I managed a Hill Country ranch where we had a 2000# feeder for every 120 acres in the early 90's and another ranch that had a 2 feeders per feed station and a station for every 40 acres in the early 2000's. All of those ranches had great feed consumption with outstanding results from their feed program. Some had food plots as well. Most places I know try to keep 7-10 deer per feeder max. If the numbers go up they add another feeder. They also have water at the feed station from a trough or pond. Feed consumption goes up with water at the station.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:32 PM   #16
B&C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
Stedman and TAMUK also did a study on deer dominance and social interactions at feeders. Basically, if there is only one feeder available the dominant deer will eat and the non dominant deer will eat little or none. When the dominant deer are full, they will leave and the group will follow.

When this study was published I already had 2 feeders per location because I noticed this pattern on trailcam. To feed the whole bachelor group of bucks there should be more than one feeder.

Adding a cottonseed feeder will increase the options and variety for the deer and helps to spread out the visiting group of deer.
We see this as well. Our strategy is to add more tubes to the existing locations. We have 14 locations, 1 corn feeder, 1 protein feeder, 1 cottonseed basket each. 1 location/246 acres.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:21 PM   #17
Brad75
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I manage a 2500 acre high fenced ranch in South Texas. We run 15 protein stations with cottonseed and then another 6 spread out in our higher density areas. They all get drained at pretty much the same rate.
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