Deer & Autumn
Hold all bets for scanning…
How things can change in an instant? High product prices, lots of rain, green grass last year – easy farming deer. Now lower price, drought, lack of feed – really hard work.
Autumn has been sluggish as far as the roar goes. Stags seemed slow out of the blocks and got busiest in early April, not the last week in March. Hinds are not generally in top condition so they’ll be cycling a bit later. Second fawners in particular will be slower to start cycling as they will have the most condition to gain, plus have faced the most social upheaval. When we fetal age pregnancies, we often see a 7-10 day delay in mating dates for the younger hinds. And then there are the yearlings, who will also be looking for a decent feed at a time when the best results come from well fed animals.
What does that mean for deer farmers and planning? Firstly, keep the feed up to them. By the time you see this, most hinds will have been mated and the results already pre-determined, so any extra feed that you pumped into the hinds in March and early April will have paid dividends.
Don’t pull stags out too soon. End of the first week of May is “normal” and that’ll give most hinds a chance for 2-3 cycles with the stags. A late fawn can be removed at scanning but you have no options with a dry hind