Mississippi State University
Bronson K. Strickland
W. Cooper Brookshire
Date of Degree
Original embargo terms
Visible to MSU only for 1 year
Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only
Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Master of Science
College of Forest Resources
Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Supplemental feeding of deer is a common management action. However, concentrating animals, as feeding does, is known to promote the transmission of disease. We examined how feeding alters three sources of disease: aflatoxins, gastrointestinal parasites, and ticks. To do this, we paired 79 feeder sites throughout Mississippi with ecologically-equivalent sites without feeders. Wildlife visitation increased at feeders compared to sites without feeders. For aflatoxins, we sampled during the summer and hunting season and found low prevalence and levels in feeders and bagged/bulk feed. The greater concern was environmental exposure to aflatoxins. All corn piles exposed to environmental contamination in July contained toxic levels of aflatoxins after eight days. The environmental load of gastrointestinal parasites was elevated for coccidia (4x) and strongylids (3x). Finally, feeding reduced the number of ticks at feeder sites, but did not alter the prevalence of tick-borne diseases within captured ticks compared to sites without feeders.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Parks
Jacobson Huang, Miranda Hsiang-Ning, "The effects of year-round supplemental feeding of white-tailed deer on sources of disease" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 5252.