It is important that farmers understand normal behaviour in their deer in order to manage this unique animal (in a farmed sense). This facilitates provision of the right environment for their needs and recognition of abnormal behaviour that may signal illness or stress. Also, for the safety of deer handlers, recognising aggressive and panicky behaviours is critical.
Commonly referred to as the rut or roar. A period in the calendar year (commonly late March to late April) where Stags become sexually aggressive towards hinds in heat.
Stags and antlers
When two rutting stags confront each other, there is initially a form of ritualised display involving roaring and a showing-off of antlers.
Becoming familiar with normal behaviour of deer is important in order to observe when deer are in a stressed state.
Ruminant species that have been successfully domesticated are invariably social species that are comfortable living in groups and that have a hierarchical social structure.
Temperament is a term used by most deer farmers to describe the behavioural characteristics of individual deer to indicate their suitability as a farmable animal.
Wallowing is where deer bathe and roll around in mud. They create wallow sites in wet depressions in the ground.
Hill country grazing
Why the focus on hill and high country? Click here to find out.
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Velvet and antlers
Velvet antler is 'the deer antler during its phase of rapid growth', and it gets the name ‘velvet‘ because of its velvet-like covering of hair.
Seasonality in deer is regulated by day length, technically known as 'photoperiod'. Photoperiod is the relative amount of light to dark (day to night) in a 24-hour period.