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Thread: Rumavite Deer Blocks Came Today

  1. #1

    Rumavite Deer Blocks Came Today

    Two years ago, in response to the extreme weather, I started to feed blocks to the Deer in the forest here in Inverness-shire. I shared the experience in a post and a follow-up the next year. I know that giving any feed source to a wild animal can be controversial and I used to think it wrong when I saw big estates feed tons of silage and cobs each year to the deer. The keepers justified the action by saying that in the past the deer could shelter on lower ground, move into the forests or migrate to kinder Glens but now with the increase in fencing and intolerance of other interests (I am not condemning them) the deer have to live out the winter trapped on ground that is excellent in summer but thin on nutrition and shelter in winter.
    The extreme fall of snow two years ago coupled with a months -long, all-day sub-zero temperature led to death on a massive scale. All but one of the calves died,all the Roe and the older good Stags who had battled through the rut hadnt time to fill up before the bad weather and they succumbed too. The forest became devoid of many birds and only now are there any wrens when before they were the commonest species. The hinds either aborted or re-absorbed their calves so the next summer saw a dearth of young with their mothers.
    Now the good news...... As was predicted by Cyberstag in his reply ,the hinds that were left flourished the next year. Unencumband by sucking young and helped by an early spring they entered the summer in great condition.This year almost all are running with a calf and I have two sets of twins, both sets good. The Stags came through the rut well but there is a distinct lack of mature beasts. Hind numbers are well down too and you can see the lost generations in the age makeup. No followers and very few yearlings. Has my feeding helped? Well impossible to say for sure but I think it must . The first year I fed cattle blocks but found deer ones the next year. They are designed to provide supplimentary energy and support to the stomach flora so helping the animals to digest the low-quality fibres that they have to eat in the winter. They are not a total feed source. As I said before ,they need strung off the ground to avoid them being buried in snow or fouled by badgers and are very well taken by the deer. Put them up in groups of fours in sheltered areas away from disturbance to allow the different classes of deer a chance to feed (stags tend to dominate them) . If you can see them with binos from a distance you will see how the animals lick them at first then as they get confident try to score slivers off them with their teeth. This year as the disturbance from the construction of the giant pylon line reaches its height I intends to feed away from the constructors to give the deer some peace and will see how it goes.

    David

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    Best of luck David i did try blocks one year to see if it would improve Antler growth knowing the roe deer grow there antlers through the hardest of weather. I placed three buckets out and the deer did not look at them. I then placed one block (molasses) on a large tree stump the deer were all over it the other block went on a very large bolder and again they were at it straight off. Antlers were good but i would not say it improved any but i felt i had helped them out.

  4. #4
    DB

    This is one of the most interesting and informative posts I have read since joining the SD. Thanks for posting it.

    I have no issues whatsoever in feeding (supplementary) a wild animal to allow it to flourish or at the least simply survive an extreme winter like 2009/10 and 2010/11. Even in our neck of the woods the temperature dropped to -22. The snow we had at the end of November never lifted with us for 6 weeks. The barn owls we saw in good numbers before it disappeared that winter and since I have only seen one back in the area. After the thaw you could see the network their prey had left under it.

    When you think about it we inadvertently 'feed' wild animals as it is simply by planting crops, whether that is the intention or not. I know of some big roe heads shot in Fife that come off fruit farms or are seen running out and taking feed from troughs intended for sheep.

    Best of luck with the venture.

    ( I was told years ago that the best way to get roe to take the nutrients from a lick was to do something similar to what 6p describes, and that was to nail a bucket with holes punched in the bottom on a post and drop the block in it, allowing the contents to run down the post where the deer will lick it off more readily. Don't know if that in fact works as I have never tried it...)
    Last edited by jamross65; 09-11-2012 at 15:56.

  5. #5
    I was told years ago that the best way to get roe to take the nutrients from a lick was to do something similar to what 6p describes, and that was to nail a bucket with holes punched in the bottom on a post and drop the block in it, allowing the contents to run down the post where the deer will lick it off more readily. Don't know if that in fact works as I have never tried it...)
    This is SOP in Germany with everyone I know and it gets the deer into the habit of licking the stump to get the mineral traces as the stump absorbs them from the rain flowing down it.
    Martin

  6. #6
    David,

    What are the blocks that you are using? I was planning putting a few over the ground that I have this year.

    Regards

    David

  7. #7
    I have a bit of ground with Sika and Roe in the bad winters of 10/11 I made up 6 feed stations just to help them along, They were made up of Haylaige, sugarbeet, maze put round a post with a KNZ mineral block on top covered with Molassis, Now nothing came to these? I found a roe Kid dead 100 meters from a feed station Stomach empty these stations looked so good I could have had a feast myself.

    I know Sika can be Fussy however,roe i thought would have had a field day but alass no.

    Any answers?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by stag243 View Post
    I know Sika can be Fussy however,roe i thought would have had a field day but alass no.

    Any answers?
    No answers other than to say that my experience with sika is that they will come some distance for molasses.

    However, as you say they are very wary and my take on it was always that they had previous experience of it through eating cattle feed or similar and so came straight in to it once they got a wiff.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  9. #9
    hi david can you put details of were u got the blocks or pm it cheers
    adrian

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the replies so far. This is the third year I have used blocks, the last two being ' Rumavite Deer ' . The first year just cattle ones. Maybe they are getting accostomed to it but I think they go for the Deer variety better. I have seen all my three species at the blocks but as everyone seems to notice the Roe do prefer to lick the run-off rather than the block itsself. No problem when they are hung from a tree. A lot of you ask where I got them from. It was Robertson Crop Services with their office at Invergordon. They delivered them here for about 12 each.


    David

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