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"Deer Farming in Australia".

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Agricultural Studies - Alternative Farming Assignment "Deer Farming in Australia" While deer farming may be new, humans have a long history of game consumption. Archaeological evidence shows humans have been eating game, including venison, for far longer than today's main meat industries - chicken, beef, lamb and pork. Middle and later Stone Age Europeans may have also domesticated deer in some form, before turning to the more versatile cattle and sheep, which provided not only meat, but milk, hides and wool, fat for lighting and traction power also. In the east, Chinese farmers have kept deer in enclosures for centuries, while more recently Korean and Taiwanese farmers have kept deer as a source of supply for velvet antlers and other products. These have featured in oriental medicine for at least 2000 years. It's really only within the last 30 years that deer have been successfully introduced into modern farming systems, and been subject to domestication and genetic selection. Farmers in Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand saw the opportunities offered by deer for the production of a "new" meat. ...read more.


Good pasture and quality hay are important for healthy deer. Corn and commercial deer pellets are often added to feed to provide energy during the winter months. The deer pellets can be used to assure the deer are getting the proper nutritional elements required for good health. Breeding stock requires 2.5% of their body weight on a dry matter basis per day in order to maintain their weight. Breeding Does can be bred at one and half years of age and up. The average productive life of a doe is 10 years. The current production practice is to replace bucks after 5 years of breeding. Separating a doe from her fawn and then bottle feeding the fawn has been found to increase the production life of does. The breeding season (also called the rut) takes place in the period from September to October. The recommended practice is to run 1 buck with every 10 does. The gestation period for a red deer is between 187 to 222 days. Undernourished does will have longer gestation periods. In Australia most fawns are born in May or June. ...read more.


A single electric wire on the top of the perimeter fence at a height of 5 inches is also used to stop unruly stags from trying to break through. The Handling Facility The most important component of a deer farm is the handling facility. Handling facilities are sheds or buildings designed to make the management of such deer much easier. A squeeze and alley way is designed to hold animals securely and safely. Most of the work is done in pitch black because, as already mentioned; deer are very skittish and can become dangerous when frightened. Producers must learn to handle their animals very carefully as not to cause harm to them (or themselves). This Table represents the Major Deer Farming Countries around the World Country Farm no's Deer no's Austria 1700 40,000 Denmark 650 31,000 France 907 58,000 Germany 4500 104,000 Great Britain 4500 104,000 Ireland 600 61,000 Sweden 570 26,000 US NA 250,000 Canada 1700 100,000 China N//A 500,000 Russia N/A 400,000 Korea N/A 100-200,000 Taiwan N/A 36,000 Australia 1200 200,000 New Zealand 4000 1.6 million When further illustrated in a graph, it is easy to see that although Australia is a relatively large producer compared to some Asian and European countries, we stand no where near the amount as New Zealand. ...read more.

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