Our Red Deer
Our Red deer, the largest of the native species, live in family groups and are reared and slaughtered on the farm thus avoiding the stress of transport. Although many generations away from being a wild animal our deer are managed so their behaviour can reflect that of their wilder cousins.
Deer are seasonal breeders with distinct mating and breeding seasons. For most of the year the breeding stags (males) live in male dominated groups. While the breeding hinds (females) produce and care for their calves.
Summer - in the summer we run our breeding stags with the year-old stock so they can teach them the way around and how to behave. The stag’s annual growth of antlers starts in the spring and by mid-summer the mature stag’s antlers are fully grown, quite a magnificent sight.
Autumn - The rut or mating season is in the autumn, this is when an individual stag is selected and introduced to the hinds.
Winter - rations for our deer is conserved forage made on the farm – silage or hay. Deer demonstrate a winter period of inappetence when they reduce their daily feed intake, but it is still important that the rations we provide meet their dietary needs - a delicate balance. If our silage analysis is poor, usually as a result of bad weather when it was made, we may find it necessary to supplement the forage ration, particularly for the younger stock.
Spring - the calves are born from the middle of May to the middle of July and stay with their mothers until the autumn when the availability of grazing reduces, a natural weaning point. We rarely need to assist at calving, and deer are good mothers with a strong maternal bond. Some of the calves from each season are selected as replacements for the breeding herd.