Deer behaviour

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Well-Known Member
Following on from WSM300 thread regarding deer deseases i think its a really good idea & would be an asset to the forum.
This is a little something i came accross a year or so ago with our reds in the park. Some could be interested in it & it is sure a good thing to look out for in wild deer.
We had a poor calving year 2 years ago when we lost about 25% of the calves born. Ok most were down to the fact that the bison we also keep were sharing the same paddocks as the deer when they started to calf. A mistake soon learnt. The bison that "hoof" there calves as soon as there born to get them up & moving Started doing the same to some of the deer calves & unfortunately killed some doing so while others were injured. A lesson learnt the hard way & wrong information giving to us stating they wont touch them :evil:
Anyway the other issue was a strange behaviour noted with some of the calves after about six months in the fact that some were walking virtually sideways then would walk normally :confused:
The older deer were fine & showed no signs of any strange behaviour at all. I watched the deer very closely for the following months & some were getting worst wile others had seemed to grow out of it. The vet was called & he noted the condition but had no idea what was causing it :confused: The calves were in great condition apart from the strange walking behaviour :confused:
it was decided to shoot the worst two calves as they showed no signs of getting better :cry: The calves were sent to a lab for tests & 2 weeks later the results were reported back to us. It turned out that they had a copper deficiency. some tests were soon carried out on the grounds & it was found the ground showed a very low copper content.
We soon added KNZ licks to the area that seems to have cured the problem & the deer just cant resist them. they last about a month & really seem to do the trick :D
The strange thing is i have not noted this behaviour in the local wild deer population around the area :confused: it could be that they do suffer the same problem & the fact that they die younger & so are not seen in the undergrowth or the fact that they have adapted to the low copper content soil or they could even extract copper from other sources, Im not sure :confused:
It could be worth looking out for it in the wild deer we stalk. Not sure this would come under a desease as such but think its worth a mention :D


Well-Known Member
copper deficiency

Hi Steyr,
I've not seen this in wild deer, or park for that matter. I have come across it in goats. Unfortunately once the condition reached a certain point there seemed to be no going back, and the animals went down hill fast, ending with them having to be destroyed.
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