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As far as reproductive performance of the breeding herd is concerned, the stag has only one function, to sire offspring. However, in order to perform this function, sire stags must be well-managed throughout the year to ensure they enter the autumn rut (mating period) in a fit and healthy condition. Sire stags tend to be the most valuable animal on the farm owing to their potential genetic contribution to the whole herd.

Key points

Farmed stags can be extremely aggressive to humans over the rutting period, even if they appear to be gentle at other times of the year. Be cautious around actively rutting stags.

To capture the benefits of early calving it is necessary to join stags and hinds as early in March as possible.

Annual Cycle
Mating management
Reproductive disorders

More resources

Asher, G.W.Wilson, P.R.(2011) Reproductive productivity of farmed red deer: a review. Proceedings of a Deer Course for Veterinarians. Deer Branch NZVA 28: 23-29.

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