QUick question! How many KG of wet matter does a fallow doe consume in 24 hours?

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Antonyweeks

Well-Known Member
That sounds more like it.
What’s the course you're studying, just out of interest?
The Jelen Advanced Deer Management one. Not that I'm desperate to be a deer manager on a park but more because I like furthering my knowledge of deer stuff!
 
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Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
A huge amount will depend on the protein content of the food. A ruminant needs a cellulose / carbon chain and and 15% protein to provide Nitrogen. A ruminant does not live off the grass, leaves or whatever goes into the rumen. The rumen is full of microbes which grow and develop on the cellulose / nitrogen mix and then slop over into the stomach where they a digested and nutrients are absorbed.

A ruminant can survive very well on poor quality grass, straw, leaves etc provided it has access to protein. It’s why agroforestry type systems work really well. So deer, with their narrow mouth can do really well on poor quality feed, because they can pluck out the good stuff and also pick out things such as acorns etc. By comparison grazers - cattle, have wide mouths and take in everything.

This is why grazers tend to migrate and follow the rains or grass growth, whereas antelope / deer and sendentary and can survive by finding little bits of protein.

Grazers also store huge amounts of fat to see them through lean times, whereas browsers tend not to have such reserves.

Deer are naturally a woodland animal that feed on the margins. If they are denied access to woodland they will go wherever they can to get high nutrient rich feed. And in winter this means in bye land / farmers crops.

The trouble that we have is that we think on an individual small farm basis, not on a wider environment basis. And pretty much gone are the days of common grazing where you would take your animals to the best grazing.

Seeing 40 deer in a field doesn’t mean that the land is over stocked. It just means that that field has best and most readily available at that particular time. Red and Fallow deer move over quite large distances. One of big downsides of the large culls is that lead females are being shot first so all the knowledge in the herd of where and where not to feed is now lost so younger deer will go everywhere looking for food.
 

Antonyweeks

Well-Known Member
A huge amount will depend on the protein content of the food. A ruminant needs a cellulose / carbon chain and and 15% protein to provide Nitrogen. A ruminant does not live off the grass, leaves or whatever goes into the rumen. The rumen is full of microbes which grow and develop on the cellulose / nitrogen mix and then slop over into the stomach where they a digested and nutrients are absorbed.

A ruminant can survive very well on poor quality grass, straw, leaves etc provided it has access to protein. It’s why agroforestry type systems work really well. So deer, with their narrow mouth can do really well on poor quality feed, because they can pluck out the good stuff and also pick out things such as acorns etc. By comparison grazers - cattle, have wide mouths and take in everything.

This is why grazers tend to migrate and follow the rains or grass growth, whereas antelope / deer and sendentary and can survive by finding little bits of protein.

Grazers also store huge amounts of fat to see them through lean times, whereas browsers tend not to have such reserves.

Deer are naturally a woodland animal that feed on the margins. If they are denied access to woodland they will go wherever they can to get high nutrient rich feed. And in winter this means in bye land / farmers crops.

The trouble that we have is that we think on an individual small farm basis, not on a wider environment basis. And pretty much gone are the days of common grazing where you would take your animals to the best grazing.

Seeing 40 deer in a field doesn’t mean that the land is over stocked. It just means that that field has best and most readily available at that particular time. Red and Fallow deer move over quite large distances. One of big downsides of the large culls is that lead females are being shot first so all the knowledge in the herd of where and where not to feed is now lost so younger deer will go everywhere looking for food.
That's a really interesting point about the lead females being culled. I was out with another SD member last week in Devon stalking red hinds. He made a point of not shooting the lead females for a couple of reasons and he'd been stalking reds for 60 years over pretty much the same ground. He wanted the herd to be managed by the matriarchs successfully.
 
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