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.
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.
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
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.
Always bear in mind that sawing antlers off whilst in velvet is illegal in this country.Also deantlered stags tend to box.I agree with sikamalc red stags in rut do not negotiate and i have only dealt with one Wapiti and he was meanness personified and he passed on his temperament to his offspring.In NZ they have found that they only calm down on quarter wapiti
This is intended to make my life easier not more difficult so having to feed is not on the agenda. In essence we have enclosed about ten acres but when they are acclimatised I want to open up another twenty acres of grassland which will not be completely fenced. Am keen to provide them with a pleasant environement without overstocking so that they have no need to attempt to clear off. Could be an expensive mistake. A mate of mine wants to come over with a bottle of wine and sit and have a drink with me as we open the gates and watch them p*ss off into the distance.
bloody hell grant
you first mentioned a few acres now you are talking ten with a possibility of upto 30 that changes everthing , fcuk the deer off get in a few broken down buses ,plant a few trees and put in a few bunkers damn looks like paintball has a new home, bags i'm on the red team
like i said its not a good idea to mix the reds with sika. Its too much trouble. I know people who have dealt with this sort of thing before & you will have problems. Reds can get very nasty in the rut. I dont go in with ours without a rifle when there rutting.
Stick with the reds & move on to something different in the future once you get a feel for what your doing like fallow but forget the sika
Your new to this & reds are easy to keep trust me. When the reds start breeding you will have more than enough to keep you occupied as time goes on & reds are pleasing to the eye as well as fallow & sika
Remember tho that if you need to dart any to move them into your area then YOU cant legaly put these in the food chain. You will need to tag any that have been darted to show it has been done.
Hi Nick, good to hear from you. I only have the chance to get 5 sika so I was hoping that they would keep out of the way.
You are right about the tagging if you use immobulon. It has no withdrawl period and is by all accounts rather unpleasant stuff. If you use Rompun however it has a 28 day withdrawal period. Its not as effective but as darting deer is not that common, there is no real authority on it. So I intend to use Rompun and keep fingers crossed. Am hoping to get about 15 in total so not too many.
I have been reading with interest the use of darts etc ,i might have the chance in the future to set up a deer park ,is there any books out there on doing this ? how do you obtain your stock /and stocking density ?i have helped manage a park in the past but it has been there for years previous .
I wish I could help more but I dont think I am going to be able to. I have read alot of stuff off on the net which is an invaluable source of knowledge.
Finding the deer is easy, just put deer farm in a browser and call a few up. When the time comes ask the members of this site, as I am sure one or two of them may be able to help.
As far as stocking rates are concerned, I think you can see from the responses to this thread, that people appear to have widley differing views. My view is that I want enough to graze the grass without having to feed. So I am starting at one and a half per acre just to see how it goes. I have more available if required.
You will need to think about whether it is to be a farm or a park. Whether you have handling facilities or not. Also DEFRA are interested in stopping people being involved in the keeping of large animals without them being able to tell you what to do, so are taking more of an interest in it.
Sorry to be of such little help. Depending on when you start your new venture I will obviously know more and will help as much as I am able.
just a few of the deer the farm by me has on his thirty acres
the fallow bucks would not play ball and half the reds and fallow were not in these pics either