View Full Version : So what exactly is a browser?

February 2, 2007, 12:11 PM
Deer are browsers, not grazers, right? But with the coldest part of the winter set in, and the acorns gone, I see lots of deer out of the woods in the fields next to the highways, clearly grazing on the grass like there is no tomorrow, for hours on end. So what gives? Are they browsers AND grazers, or does "browse" include certain grasses? I know it includes so-called forbes, but what exactly are forbes, and how do you distinguish forbes from grasses?

February 2, 2007, 02:14 PM
Browser means they pretty much keep on the move while "grazing".

Elk are grazers (like cows) which mean, if left undisturbed, thet will stay in the same meadow or field for days & days.

February 2, 2007, 02:21 PM
Browsing also means that they'll munch on different things as they move. You might be seein' em along the road eatin grass, but on the way they were probably nippin' buds and pawin' for wintergreen.

February 2, 2007, 02:26 PM
Deer are browsers as are goats. Cows,bison, and sheep are grazers.Browser means primarily [ not exclusively] eating bushes ,leaves,twigs,buds. Grazers eat primarily grasses.

Art Eatman
February 2, 2007, 04:28 PM
Eating grass is grazing. Dunno why anybody would eat good smokin' material. But I digress. :D

Eating herbs and forbs is browsing. Herbs and forbs grow right in there with grass, so while it might look like a deer is eating grass, he ain't. Usually. Snow-cover time can be different. But, a deer's physiology doesn't let him remain all healthy, absent his regular intake.


February 2, 2007, 07:54 PM
Browsers prefer to eat twigs, shoots, etc. Grazers prefer to eat grasses. That doesn't mean browsers can't eat grass or that grazers won't eat leaves and such, they just prefer one or the other. It's nature's way of allowing more than one type of animal to occupy the same area. It's called a "niche", and it's the preferred lifestyle of any animal.

Also, during the winter, grasses become targets for browsers and grazers because they are packing a lot of sugars and minerals into the stem buds for the spring growth spurt, so they have a lot of nutrients in them.

February 2, 2007, 08:31 PM
Donts a browser gots sumptn ta do with compoters?

I know deer sure like to browse in the alfalfa. One's that have been sure make for good eatin.

February 2, 2007, 09:41 PM
Deer May browse, but I know one thing, on my farm they like to eat apples off my apple trees and leave my with nothing but free fertilizer.....little bugers!!!!

Dave Haven
February 2, 2007, 11:02 PM
Elk are primarily grazers, but they will stand on their hind legs to reach the mistletoe in the juniper trees around here. And they have stolen my apples. And destroyed my apple tree.:p