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Thread: Dead Foetus

  1. #1

    Dead Foetus

    We had a deer movement day today to try and reduce the numbers of fallow deer on one of the estates we manage the deer on and managed to shoot 10 fallow.
    One of the fallow does I shot had a uterus that was as hard as a brick and smelt dreadful, on opening up the uterus this is what I found .
    I am assuming the doe conceived during the rut last year and then the foetus developed to full term then either died before birth and the doe could not get rid of the foetus which did not re-absorb and was slowly decomposing within her.
    She was a bag of bones when shot, but as she was in a group of 10-12 animals it was difficult to judge that she had something wrong, she was just unlucky sticking her head and neck out far enough for a shot without hitting any behind her.Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see the skull eye and hoof in both the pictures, Any ideas ?


  2. #2
    A bit grim but very informative. My work is mainly with roe but I've never seen anything like this before. I can imagine it must be quite rare. The Deer keeper on the estate I am on now has been here for at least 100 years so I will ask him when I see him.

  3. #3
    Good job you finished it cleanly. Luck or otherwise good job. Humane dispatch
    It's accuracy that kills.

  4. #4
    See mummified calves in cattle relatively commonly. Usually shows few ill effect in the mother, many are in good body condition and milk normally. Most of them end up being sold with the mummy in there and pass nicely into the food chain.

    I can't give you an answer why they are not properly aborted. I do wonder (although I have no evidence) if there is a lack of hormone feedback by some mechanism or other. Either prostoglandins or steroids don't seem to shift them in cattle, whereas they are effective in similar conditions. It seems like the uterus loses all hormonal contact.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

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