First red calf

CDSG Shooting Sports

NickJ

Well-Known Member
Out stalking roebucks on the hill in Perthshire and came across this little beauty, we have seen a few at foot this week.

The far hill bucks still in velvet here and mainly winter coat, green growth is very late coming. It was a tough long, Winter and early Spring.
Calf 1.jpg
 
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NickJ

Well-Known Member
Latitude and feeding make such a difference, all calving finished by June 1st here.
Where are you based cyberstag? In fairness the title of my post was a bit misleading as some we saw at foot the next day looked a week or two old, however first week in June is the peak calving in the Highlands based on my past tagging experience.
 

cyberstag

Well-Known Member
Where are you based cyberstag? In fairness the title of my post was a bit misleading as some we saw at foot the next day looked a week or two old, however first week in June is the peak calving in the Highlands based on my past tagging experience.
I am in sunny Devon but there are good reasons why I like calving to be early. It's all about getting calves really well grown before the winter, especially their rumen development, so they not only survive the winter but thrive. On a deer farm it is about maximising production; for some people that means max kgs of venison per acre but for me I am more interested in achieving maximum individual animal performance. So calves born before the end of May have a much better start in life.
Having been at this for 40 years I have had plenty of time to hone my system. I use Eastern European stags as they tend to do everything 3-4 weeks earlier than English and are also heavier. Rutting groups are max of 40 hinds per stag and stags are taken out by end of October. Consequently it is possible to have calves up to 100 kgs live weight by their first Xmas, i.e. approx 7 months old. I don't wean calves until maybe Feb when they are not getting any milk anyway.
As a rule of thumb for people who are weaning by November the live weight of the calf then should be the same as its carcass weight if slaughtered one year later. I have never quite achieved a 100 kilo carcass at 18 months, closest I got was 95 kgs, so £500 return from that hind for one year.
I know many people have a dim view of deer farming but I can look at a lot of the wild reds and just see a lot of wasted potential.
 

Magnificent 7

Well-Known Member
Just back from Galloway seen plenty of hinds no calf's but they didn't look heavy either.Speaking With the guy we stop with who is a contractor he hadn't seen any yet but suspects there well on with the job from previous years trends.
 

75

Well-Known Member
Saw my first red calves at foot this morning in the Peak District. Up and about and moving well so probably a good couple of weeks old I'd guess.
 
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