Feeding

Feeding

Nutrition, both intake and feed quality, has a major impact on productivity, determining reproductive performance, animal health, weaner liveweight gain and timing of venison supply

There are several useful tools for measuring and managing feed for deer. 
 

Feeding sources can be broken into crops, pasture based systems, or supplementary feed systems.

When, what and how much should I feed to assist with conception rates and weight gain?

A guide to forage rotation for deer.  Establishing appropriate spring, summer autumn and winter forage rotations depending upon degree of desired cropping intensity.

Many deer farmers find it helpful to set targets for the growth rate of their finishing animals and replacement hinds. Monitoring growth rates against these targets lets them know if they are on track, or if a change is needed in the management of the animals. The Deer Growth Curves provide predictions of growth to hit liveweight targets for young deer. Printed posters are available, as well as on-line calculators.

Body condition scoring can be used to asses the condition of your deer and is an important management tool.

Fodder beet grazing systems for ruminants are a genuine Kiwi innovation developed here in the South Island, and nowhere else in the world uses the crop in this manner. The crop is a high energy feed of high yield potential that makes it the cheapest source of ME supply in NZ after pasture, and is available for grazing from March to November.

Simple guidelines to measure feed availability in crops

Feed Calculation AP to assist with growth rate calculations for hinds and weaners

Feed Calculation AP to assist with growth rate calculations for hinds and weaners
Forage cereal crops in NZ are predominantly Wheat, Barley, Maize, Oats, Triticale, Ryecorn and Peas. The reason for growing Forage Cereal crops is to achieve as high a yield as possible, with winter growth of these crops out yielding ryegrasses in terms of dry matter production. Some forages have proven to produce up to 30% more dry matter than annual ryegrass during the autumn/winter early-spring period.
Perennial, annual and other grass species information

Grazing management by the farmer needs to incorporate many factors to achieve high performance targets for deer.

Deer need good quality feed to perform.

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