Handling and welfare

Handling and welfare

Encompases all practices on farm, in shed, right through to transportation. Efficient deer handling, management and facility design is paramount in minimising stress on farm

The main aim of efficient deer handling and management is to handle deer without causing undue stress to the animals.

The welfare of deer is a top priority of the NZ deer industry. It is a key element in the pasture to plate concept.

The transportation of deer is a vital link in the overall “pasture to plate” concept.

Farmers must comply with the Deer Code of Welfare

Weaning can engender stress amongst hinds and calves, especially where poor weaning practices are employed.
Pre-rut weaning is when calves and hinds are separated before the rut, usually in February-March, when the calves are 3-4 months of age.

The Five Freedoms represent ideal states rather than standards for acceptable welfare. However, they are the cornerstones for the analysis and assessment of farm animal welfare although consideration of the whole farm system is taken into account, to maintain an effective livestock industry.

The basics of good deer handling apply to all species of deer,however some breeds do have specific idiosyncrasies that require modifications to the general handling rules.

The shed and yarding system on a deer farm must be designed and constructed to provide a safe and practical work environment for both animals and the operator.

An example of the different types of restraint and weighing systems available for efficient deer handling and management

Property layout and paddock design is important to consider if looking at replacing fences or simply developing your farm further, as both can assist with the management of your deer.

Useful tips to ensure smooth mustering of your stock

Pointers for managing stress at key management times including whilst mustering, in the yards and working in the shed.


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