I wouldnt put reds & sika together in a fenced area unless its at least trebble the size of land you have mate. Yes they will breed but will tend to produce lower weight calves, so in return you will get a lower price for your carcasses once killed for the same outlay in regards to aditional feed you mite want to give them
If you do decide to put them together then i wouldnt bother with a sika stag as its smaller size will no doubt be a disadvantage for it during a rut. ( You have seen the size of our red stag)
Also remember that sika are a lot more agile than the lazy reds & are masters at escape if the ground is not to there liking. They will jump a fence that a red wont even bother to look at!
I know of a chap who put Fallow, Reds and Sika in a four acre plot. Twenty Red, Eight Sika and about thirty Fallow. I told him that the two Red Stags come the rut would kill the Sika Stag. Sure enough that rut the Sika stag was found dead in the pond. He drowned he told me, judging from the amount of mud on the carcass and the mud churned up on the bank the Red stags had taken him for some swimming lessons.
Not wise to keep Japs and Reds together. Same genus, and when they start getting stirred up for the rut, they will make mince meat out of the Japs. Plus each other if they are too confined.
I agree that the stocking rate is probably vital to get right. I would have thought that Mr B's mate was asking for trouble with that quantity of deer in that space. Do you have a view on the hybrids. Do they grow at the same rate as the pure stock, are they both fertile (male and female). I would be surprised if a sika stood his ground against a fully grown red stag. Am I more likely to get twins from the sika or not. Will they hang around together untill the rut.
Thanks for the advice so far.
just a few points here if you are planning to mix the herds are you actualy going to hav stags from the 2 spieces ?
from what i understand the red stag will kill the sika stag but then from mixed breeding you could hav smaller hinds if the sika gets there then what happens if you try to sell calves at a later date who is going to pay full price for a hybrid ?
as for meat the reds will produce more meat than a sika, why not try reds and fallow both are happy to live together , you can dictate the breeding and if you need meat for the freezer then a fallow is easier to cope with while selling a red will make more money, and no problems as such with the rut or cross breeding just a thought
Generally as a rule it is a Jap Stag sireing a Red Hind that causes the Hybrid. Japs never have twins, or if it does happen it is extreamly rare. Selling hybrids I would think may be illegal ! just guessing here. But when the rut is on even keeping Fallow and Reds close togther could be a recipe for disaster.
I have dealt with several parks over the years with very large Reds, and when they are in rut, they can be bloody dangerous animals to be around, most places saw the antlers of prior to the rut, and sell it to the Chinese.
Thanks chaps. To be honest this is not a commercial enterprise. Its just a way of getting rid of the sheep. I had only considered red and fallow but have gradually been put off fallow on the grounds that they are reputed to be more difficult to keep. In addition they respond differently to the immobilising drugs needed to drop them in order to get them here.
This left me with red only till I was offered some sika. I have been told that the sika stags are far too small to mate with the red hinds and yes the red stags will see off the sika stags but they are so different in terms of size that as long as they have the space they will leg it.
I am keen on the sika because they are more attractive and would be pleasing to have around
Does any of this make sense.
as far as i am aware selling hybrids that are bred in captivity to go elsewhere to be kept in captivity is not illegal as all of Grants deer will more than likely need a movement licence so he can sell them pure or not as they are classed as cloven foot (i may be wrong) never heard of any major probs in the rut with fallow as they usualy run ,but if confined in a small area as grant has stated then i agree the reds are bloody aggressive and trouble could be had may be best to stick to just one speices to start with
You are right about the amount of space the deer I mentioned had. Its too small a space and the deer require extra fodder because they have eaten every bit of natural food. I have tired to help the chap out but he is not interested.
Just a mile or so down the road there are a group of Sika in a field, about two acres and about eight deer. Seven hinds and one stag, I don't know who owns them but they are in fine fettle.