When are hinds active?

When are hinds active?

Pregnant hinds are more active during the day than at night (Fig 5). Set-stocking within large hill and high-country paddocks provides hinds with an environment - free from human disturbances - in which they feel relatively safe and secure. This could reduce the stress levels of hinds over the calving period, which is important for calf survival.

One day's hind movements at Haycocks

Figure 5: Hind activity (movement velocity) over the course of a day at Haycocks Station (noon =12). A similar pattern was also found at Whiterock Station.

Scrub usage increases particularly around midday and in the early afternoon (Fig 6).

Hinds use scrub mainly at times of rest/rumination, suggesting that scrub may be used as concealment cover.

 hind scrub usage during day @ Haycocks

Figure 6: Hind scrub vegetation usage over the course of a day at Haycocks Station. A very similar daily pattern was also found for tussock usage at Whiterock Station.

Deer farming could cause unpalatable shrubs, such as matagouri, to spread in scrub and tussock areas. This is caused by low grazing/browsing pressures and high nutrient returns (via deer dung) being applied to these plants in comparison to other vegetation types. If unmanaged this spread could reduce the long term carrying capacity of paddocks. Using greater fencing subdivision to force livestock to evenly graze paddocks and to reduce camping will help control the spread of unpalatable plant species. Using periodic heavy grazing is another option, but care needs to be taken not to damage other more preferentially grazed vegetation such as pastures and tussocks. It is strongly recommended that farmers check with their Regional or District Council if they are wanting to control native scrub plant species, such as matagouri, as many have varying degrees of protection under the Resource Management Act.