Deer Performance Benchmarks

Deer Performance Benchmarks

Performance Spreadsheets

These spreadsheets provide measures of performance of various deer enterprises.  The spreadsheets are designed so that you do not have to fill in every detail; starting and finishing measures will provide a result.

  • Reproduction Template - includes key parameters to record and review the performance of your breeding hind unit
  • Venison Finishing Template - enter regular liveweights, and carcass weights.  Will calculate seasonal growth rates and average $/kg 
  • Replacement Template - includes key parameters to record and review the performance and profitability of your replacements
  • Velvet Template - includes key parameters to record and review the performance of your velvet operation

 Here is a video to show how to use the spreadsheets.

 

This resource has been produced as part of the PassiontoProfit programme, a Primary Growth Partnership co-funded by Deer Industry New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

A set of performance targets set using real deer farming data is displayed below.  These are not 'national averages', they are real targets for good performance.

Breeding Targets Target*
Fawning Percentage (Total Fawns Born divided by No. Hinds Mated) 95%
Weaning Rate (Percentage of all joined hinds presenting live fawns pre-rut (March) 93%
Herd Efficiency (kg Fawn weaned divided by kg Hind Wintered) 0.51kg
Weaning Weight (kg) 57kgs
Pre Wean Fawn Growth (g/d) 410g/d
Days Birth to Weaning 120 days
Dry Rate (No. Drys divided by No. Hinds PTed) 3%
Mating Efficiency (No. In-fawn Hinds divided by No. Hinds Mated) 97%
* Examples of good performance provided by AgResearch  
Spring Kill Finishing Targets Target**
Number above 85kg liveweight by 1 November (End of chilled season) 70%
Mean Carcass  Weight 56kgs
Mean Sale Date 11 November
Mean Days to Finish 355 days
Mean Growth Rate g/d (based on 55% yield) 256g/d
Deaths and Missing (%) 2%
** Data for high growth red deer from the Deer Progeny Test   
 

Deer farmers operate a wide variety of systems in a wide variety of climates, with differing farming objectives.  Benchmarking can be useful to establish measures of performance.

Some measures of productivity are relevant to all systems, particularly Hind Conception and Weaning Rates.  Hinds can achieve over 97% conception and over 95% fawning.  An example of a good target to aim for is over 50kgs of fawn liveweight weaned for each 100kg of hind liveweight mated.  Based on information from AgResearch a set of Industry Benchmarks have been produced to act as a guide to the targets that could be used in the Performance Analysis Sheets.  An array of these targets are displayed at the bottom of this page.

But establishing relevant national benchmarks for all aspects of productivity is problematic.  High BV red deer can achieve growth rates of over 400grms per day pre weaning, but that's not relevant to breeders of velvet replacements.  

Establishing production targets, then measuring performance against these targets can help improve productivity. To assist with setting individual targets, a set of production recording spreadsheets are available for all to download and complete.