How much to feed a baby deer

Fawn Care Guidelines - NADeFA

By Dr. Cliff Shipley

These are general guidelines for raising whitetail and mule deer fawns. There are diseases and conditions that may be specific to certain areas or where these guidelines don’t work! As always, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Always consult your local veterinarian for area specific conditions and to see if certain antibiotics or other medicaments may work better in your area or at different dosages.

Colostrum is the most important thing in the fawn’s life. It contains antibodies to the diseases that the does have been exposed to or vaccinated for. It also contains vitamins, protein, energy and laxative to get their intestinal tract working. We also believe that it contains factors that help prime the immune system to work properly. If they do not get colostrum, they are more likely to get scours, pneumonia, necrotic stomatatis, become chronic poor doers, succumb to other diseases and die. Colostrum can be obtained from milking out does that have lost their fawns (trust me, it’s tedious but worth it) or from someone that has cows, goats, sheep. You just need to be aware of the disease status of the place you get the colostrum from as you may lose your TB status or infect your fawns with Johne’s or other diseases. A tip that may be useful is to go to the drug store and get a breast pump to help you obtain colostrum from a doe. Heat treating or pasteurizing this non-farm colostrum may be your best bet to make sure you don’t spread disease. The following are suggestions for things that you can do to help make your fawning season more successful and hopefully raise healthy fawns. If you have vaccinated your does pre-fawning for some of these diseases, you may not want to or have to give some of these things to the fawns.

Birth/Day 1:

  • Allow fawn(s) and doe to bond/nurse
  • If cold, multiple births, or doe fails to claim fawn(s) or they don’t nurse:
       A. Tube with colostrum (cow/doe; goat/ewe) or give First Catch Fawn or allow fawn to nurse colostrum from bottle
       B. Pull fawn and bottle raise (make sure it gets colostrum either via tubing or nursing from bottle)
       C. Graft to another doe


8 to 18 Hours (8-12 works best for me)

  1. Tag (each state may have different requirements, try to get a herd tag and a “state” tag in so they can be identified properly. Microchipping and tattooing may also be options for some producers.
  2. Give First Catch Fawn or E. colizer + C (2-5 ml orally) or E. colizer (2 -5 cc orally) plus C&D antitoxin orally/SQ (use lamb label dose). I do this to ensure that the fawns get colostrum and protection against E. coli and Clostridium Type C&D. If the does have been vaccinated and you’re sure the fawns got plenty of colostrum, you can skip this, but for the most part it’s pretty cheap insurance on those expensive fawns.
  3. Antibiotics are optional, but in high risk fawns (cold, small, no colostrum) you may want to give prophylactic antibiotics or if certain diseases are common on your farm/ranch. I recommend SQ (under the skin) because I don’t want to hurt any muscles on that delicate fawn and most medications are absorbed as well SQ as they are intramuscularly (IM). The FDA has recently outlawed all extralabel use of Excede so depending on how you or your veterinarian interpret the rules, you may not wish to use. I haven’t decided yet myself!
       a. Excede 0.15 ml SQ or
       b. Draxxin 0.1 ml SQ or
       c. Nuflor 0.6 ml SQ
  4. Vitamin E/Se (if in deficient area: make sure you consult with your local veterinarian) 1cc BoSE SQ
  5. ProbiosR or similar product: lamb dose or 1/10th to _ calf or foal dose. There are many probiotic preparations on the market. Many also have some vitamins and minerals as well. There are some deer specific ones that you may want to use that may be easier to titrate the dose on.
  6. Vitamin AD 0.05-0.1 ml SQ optional. If does have had poor nutrition or under lots of stress probably need to do. If fawns are weak or slow probably need to give.
  7. pull hair sample for DNA. Put in a paper envelop and label appropriately
  8. may want to consider giving plasma/transfuse fawns if unsure of colostrum intake, weak, sick, extremely valuable. Also can test for failure of passive transfer by your veterinarian doing a total protein test. Transfuse all that fail.


24-72 Hours
Pull fawns that you are going to bottle rear. Everyone pulls fawns for bottle rearing at different times. Do what has worked best for you in the past. Once fawns are 24 hours old or so, their gut ‘closes’ so that they probably won’t absorb any more antibodies from the doe, so that is a good time to pull them. Some people like to wait longer, but the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to start the fawn on the bottle. I personally like to wait till they are 24 to 48 hours old and pull them late afternoon/early evening and then try to feed them once before I go to bed. If they eat, fabulous, if not, they are hungry in the morning and usually take right off on the bottle.

For those of you who don’t want to bottle raise, some people are trying to ‘imprint’ their fawns to make them semi-tame. This is a technique that horse people have been using for years. Simply catch, hold, play, rub, pet the fawn early and as often as you can to imprint on it that humans are not all that bad, while letting mom do the feeding. Early reports are that the fawns are not as tame as bottle babies, but tame enough that they are happy with the results.

Bottle Feeding
First week or so: 2 to 4 ounces five times a day. I feed at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10pm to 11 pm. You can feed more often and smaller amounts, but you should try to feed 10% to 20% of the fawn’s body weight per day in milk. So if your fawn weighs 6 lbs (96 oz), then 10% is about 10 oz., 20% is 20 oz., etc. This allows the fawns to grow at the rate you want.

If using a formula designed for fawns or goat milk replacer, the fawns should not scour using these guidelines. Fawns do not scour generally from feeding (with the right formula), they scour from disease (E. coli, Salmonella, rota or corona virus, Clostridium, coccidiosis, etc). If properly cared for and clean equipment used, you should not have scour problems. If you do, then something is wrong and you need to adjust accordingly.

I often encourage using milk replacer. Use one that is formulated for fawns and mix according to the directions. If you have problems, you should analyze your water as it may have bacteria or mineral content that is causing the problem. If you do feed goat milk, make sure your source doesn’t have Johne’s Disease, Caseous Lymphadenitis or other diseases and has your same TB status. I know people that have successfully raised fawns on lamb milk replacer, whole cow’s milk and other formulas. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but if you look at all the data, fawns should and usually do better on species specific milk due to the fat and protein and sugar content being most similar to the doe.

Fawns will need to be stimulated to defecate and urinate for the first few weeks. I generally recommend you use rubber gloves and baby wipes and stimulate while feeding. This is what the doe does and usually you can perfect the technique so you can catch and do not have much ‘wiping’. You may want to change gloves between fawns so that you don’t spread any potential diseases from fawn to fawn.

I usually recommend decreasing the number of feedings every 10 days or so by one. So at 10 days, drop to four feedings per day (6 am, 12 pm, 6 pm and 10-11 pm) and all they can eat. I know this is heresy and most people calculate things out to the ounce, but about 20 percent of body weight is all they can consume, and I have not had any problems. Once again, if you are doing something that works, don’t change. I’m lazy and want my fawns to grow as fast as they can.

Generally with this schedule, feed three times per day around 20 days (6-7 am, 2-3 pm and 10-11 pm), twice a day at 30 days of age (6-7 am and 6-7 pm), and once a day at 40-50 days. You can wean them as soon as you think they are consuming enough dry feed and greens or you get tired of feeding them. I have several producers that feed three times a day from the start and don’t have any problems. I’m probably going to try that this year due to my ‘free’ help starting to disappear. I may even be so bold as to go to twice a day after the first 3-5 days due to the fact that while doing some research, I found a couple of articles on normal (non-captive) deer feeding behavior and it indicated nursing activity of 2-3 times per day. I will let you know how that turns out

Offer fresh, clean water everyday in a small bowl. Also offer small amounts of “creep” feed or your regular deer ration. Keep it fresh and clean by cleaning the bowls daily and offering new feed. I generally recommend a 18% ration for fawns, but if you are successfully feeding 20%, that’s fine. I also hand feed select ‘greens’ — hand-picked alfalfa, clover, dandelions, etc. — to the fawns every day for them to nibble on. You can also use very good quality alfalfa or other legume hay, but I think that they eat the fresh stuff better. Some people offer ‘clean’ dirt in a bowl from birth on. The theory is they get some nutrients from the dirt to help them and their intestinal tract function better. I know many people who do and don’t do this and they all get along fine.

I keep fawns in separate pens and isolated from other fawns for several reasons. They will ‘bond’ better to humans (may want to get them used to multiple people) if kept separate and it greatly decreases the chance of spreading disease between the fawns. Think like a dairy farmer raising calves in calf hutches. I generally mix the fawns in small groups depending on numbers and fawn growth and conditions at 3 to 6 weeks (or more). If they start to nurse/suck on each other (ears/tail/navel) then I either take them apart or spray vinegar or Chew Guard or Bitter Apple or Bitter Orange on the fawn part they are sucking on. The latter two products can be obtained from your veterinarian or catalog source.

Fawns could be weaned as early as 60 days or so following these guidelines, but it is usually best to base weaning on feed consumption and body condition. Bottle feeding is time consuming and milk replacer costs lots of money. You will have to use your best judgment and do what fits your situation best. Many people like to feed longer to keep the babies tame and used to humans. Some just like to feed the babies (so do I, but it does get old after a while!).

Pens should be on dirt (if possible) or the new raised decks may work well (I haven’t tried them). The dirt should be covered with two to four inches or so of crushed limestone and then have shavings (or straw) on top. I think shavings work better and I am fond of cedar chips as I think they tend to keep flies away a little better plus I like their smell. Pine shavings or chips are fine but try to get kiln dried (cleaner with fewer bacteria in them) and try to stay away from sawdust on the really small fawns (gets in their eyes). I usually sprinkle some barn lime in every once in a while or when changing the shavings/straw as this changes the pH and tends to keep the bacteria down and the area ‘sweet. Especially as the fawns grow and start urinating enough to keep it wet. Make sure that you have good ventilation so the there is air circulating, but no drafts. This will also help keep the area dry.

Helpful Products
Some products that are commonly used that you may want to obtain prior to fawning are:

  • First Catch Fawn and First Fawn milk supplement from Labelle Inc.
  • Milk Replacer: Fawn specific such as Superior, Zoologic, Fox Valley, etc.
  • Goat milk replacer: Several companies provide this, but if it is inexpensive, it’s probably not any good. Some cheap milk replacers are made from non-milk products and are less digestible. You generally get what you pay, so don’t buy the cheap stuff. Purina, Land-O-Lakes, ADM etc. are usually good sources. There may be others, but read the label. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian or nutritionist. If you are using a product that has a lamb/kid label, mix at the kid rates usually.
  • Pritchard nipples: Fawns generally take off on these better than others. They are available from a variety of sources. If in doubt, check Nasco.
  • Ear tags: Some states require a special ID. I also like to use the sheep/goat tags so they are double ID’ed.
  • Needles, syringes, medications.
  • Disinfectant for bottles, navel cord
  • Fawn cradle
  • Fawn masks
  • Put everything that you need in a “tote” or tool box for easy use
  • Record book: the shortest pencil is better than the longest memory!


I hope some of these suggestions help you have a successful and fun fawning season. By the way, I’m not endorsing any of these products, just using names that I am familiar with and have worked for me. If you are using other products or there are other products out there that work for you, by all means, use them. I’m not getting a kickback from anyone!

Wildlife First Aid - How to Feed Baby Deer (Fawns)

Baby fawns go through two containers of milk a day. All goat milk or a fawn replacement milk should be used.   Some Walmart stores carry goat milk; Tractor Supply stores carry a wildlife replacement milk that will include fawns on the back label.

A newborn fawn is the size of two Chihuahuas. It's important to add seven drops of lactate as well to the formula. If you have a young fawn, do not add anything solid.

When they are the size of the deer in the photos below, add some solid food to the formula such as baby rice or baby cereal. Mix it well with water until it has a pudding-like consistency. Deer love sweet tastes, and bananas are always a good source of sweetness. For older deer, you can add a banana, but be sure to beat it with a fork until it liquefies. You can put it into a blender or use a mixer and stir it up -- but make sure the banana seeds don't clog the nipple.

The hole in this nipple is too large!

Also, be sure that the hole in the nipple is not too large so the liquid cannot be drunk too quickly. If they drink too fast, they will give themselves a stomachache along with having digestive problems.

Before feeding, heat up the formula. You don't want to feed deer cold formula. Then give it to the deer before everybody else eats it. (Ingrid said that as one of her cats was sampling the formula to be sure it was just right.)

Use a funnel to pour the mixture into baby bottles (two per fawn per feeding). There should be two feedings a day. Be sure to heat the liquid. It must be given very warm.

When feeding, keep the bottles high because that's how they would eat from the mother as she stands up

They go through it quickly.

You can pull and push back and forth as you feed, because that's what the mother does.

Also take a warm wet cloth and wipe the genital area to help stimulate the bowels. If they are not kept regular, they will get diarrhea or become constipated.

The deer in the photo are not that young, more like two months old. By the way, these guys are not related.

If they're older, you can chop up carrots or apples and just stick the pieces in their mouth. When deer go from formula to other foods, it's a big move.


Unless you actually see a dead doe, leave the fawn alone.   Fawns are rarely orphaned. The mother will often run if you approach, and return to the fawn after you leave; the fawn can't run, and will typically freeze and try not to be seen.

Be sure to contact an animal rehabilitator promptly if you are dealing with a young fawn, because they imprint quickly, and once imprinted, are problematic to release into the wild.

Wildlife Watch / Rehabilitator Hotline:

( 877-945-3435 )


The R. O.C.K. column is each issue of the Wildlife Watch Binocular.

Back to First Aid Index


Nursing of young ungulates

Nursing of red deer (red deer) in artificial conditions

I must say right away that my personal experience in this area is not very great - we (so far) raised only one baby red deer to its feet. But at the very beginning we faced a huge problem - we could not find information anywhere that would help us out. Actually, that's why I came up with the idea to write a short guide for those who still have to enter in the search engines "how to feed a red deer cub."

First you need to determine the age of the animal. Our Yashik came to us through second hands, so only a veterinarian could reliably determine his age - 6-7 days. So, how does a red deer cub look like at a week of age:

Height at the withers: 64 cm

It still does not stand very well on its legs, they are slightly curved with the letter X. Often “cries”.

Teeth: back (if I may say so) not yet, front 8 (now Yasha is already 2 months old, but the front is gone), they are all below. 2 in the center are very large and funny :o) the rest are quite small.

Weight: 10-12 kg (but this is taking into account that he was fed incorrectly all his first week)

By the way, it will be useful to understand who is in front of you - red deer or spotted deer. They are often confused. The red deer is larger (against our 65 at the withers - 45-50 in the sika deer, weight approx. 4-6 kg). The head is large, the ears are elongated. I would compare them with the length of the nose from the tip to the eyes. The deer has a neat muzzle with VERY large round ears. Now as for the coloring. It should be noted that everyone has spots. In deer, they are located along the ridge and will come off after the first molt in October, while in spotted deer they are all over the body and will remain for life.

In red deer the spot under the tail is yellow and small, dimly outlined. In a deer, on the contrary, it is white, wider and strikingly different in color from the general background.

And now the most important thing - about feeding. Or is it more correct to say feeding .

Golden rule: don't overfeed. Feeding and deer and deer is a fractional milk supply. We gave cow's milk (necessarily boiled!) With the addition of water and infant formula "Malyutka 1" (one - that is, from birth).

Mixture: 1 liter of milk, 8 measuring spoons of formula, 0.5 liters of water. For the first 2 weeks, you need to feed 8-10 times a day, 100 g of the resulting mixture. It is better to use a bottle with a simple (not the most expensive) elongated nipple. By the way, because of the structure of the jaws, the deer did not recognize the Aventa's nipple so respected by the mothers. Of course, it is better to warm up to 36-38 degrees. You can check the temperature in the same way as for children - a drop on the bend of the elbow.

After the second week, give about 150 ml of water during the day between feedings. Once a day, we gave lightly salted (1 teaspoon without top per liter of boiled water). Now we feed 8 times a day, 250 ml each.

At the age of three weeks, a red deer was drunk with a five-day course of the Vetom-2 probiotic (I won’t say why exactly “2”, but that’s how we were determined in the veterinary clinic). Dilute one sachet in 200 ml of water, divide in half and give twice a day one hour after feeding (so you will need 5 sachets)

Month. At this age, you can transfer from a baby bottle to a cow bottle (for feeding calves - sold in veterinary stores). No, of course, you can continue to drink from a small one, but it will be tiring - you need to fill it several times for one meal or have 4 at once. At the same time, we began to feed Yashechka with Kormilak whole milk substitute. Its cost in Primorsky Krai ranges from 1900 to 2400 for a 25 kg bag. This amount is enough for about 2 months. The first days we add kormilak to cow's milk, but we cancel the infant formula (i.e. it turns out 1 liter of milk + 0.75 ml of water + 100 g of kormilak), then (well, say, on the fifth day) we give pure kormilak, i.e. . at the rate of 1:9, as written on the package. I weighed a plastic container on a culinary scale, it turned out to be 200 gr, i.e. almost 2 liters of water. At the age of one to two months, his daily intake increased from 2.5 to 4 liters of formula per day, and the frequency of feeding decreased from 6 to 4 times.

Grass . I wondered for a long time when to start feeding with grass. But everything turned out to be easier - Yashichek himself reached for the raspberries. And off we go. Most of all he liked dandelions, grapes, raspberries. Then come beets, ash leaves, currants. And he also loves berries terribly: o) Honeysuckle, strawberries, currants, raspberries, irga - everything goes with a bang. At the same time, the apples directly spits out. You can give pureed vegetables as a substitute for grass.

Faeces. Normally, he is like a goat - balls. Our pet had diarrhea at first. Wrong food - diarrhea, did not boil the bottle - diarrhea, overfed - diarrhea again. What to do. Give less food and carefully monitor the sterility of dishes.

Dehydration On the second day of life at my house, the veterinarian diagnosed us - Yashka refused to eat, could hardly stand on his feet. He was given a dropper in the neck (do not do it without a specialist!) with saline through a butterfly 4-ku, 200 ml + half a bottle of glucose. He almost immediately got to his feet, but it was impossible to feed, it was possible to give saline in the evening and replace one meal with it the next day. In general, having a doctor in the family, on the second day we were ready to repeat the drip on our own, but, fortunately, it was not necessary. In order to prevent, see above, drink salted water daily.

Arrangement places. Here, of course, the more the better. Yasha had to live in an open chicken pen, 3x8. The size, frankly, is not great. Net height 3.5 meters. It is necessary to make a small canopy, 1.1-1.2 m high, with a roof and without one wall - so that it can enter freely, cover the floor with hay, which needs to be changed regularly (because they defecate, most often, under themselves).

General recommendations. The life of these small, defenseless creatures is in your hands. Therefore, it is important to decide what will happen to them when they are ready to exist on their own: do you intend to give it to the zoo / zoo / safari park or plan to release it into wildlife. The permissible frequency of contact with the animal depends on this. If he is destined for the fate of a wild beast, then do not allow strangers to approach him, i.e. he should know only those 1-2 people who care about him. But you need to remember that even with this option, it is vital for him, no matter how pathetic it may sound, closeness and warmth, a sense of security - when you feed him, do not be lazy to stroke and talk - he will soon begin to recognize your voice. If you are not going to let go into the wild, then you need to hug the first 3-4 weeks as often as possible - you yourself will see how it calms him down.


Kozlov V.M. 1 , Ovechkina N.N. 2

1 Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor, 2 graduate student, Vyatka State Agricultural Academy

Features of hoofing (Cervus elaphus L., Dama DA L L L l l l ma SUS SCROFA L


The diet of deer and fallow deer in the enclosure includes: natural twigs and herbaceous food, plants on sown pastures, sown crops (oats, peas, winter rye), hay, a mixture of cereals, silage feed, mineral supplements. Of natural winter foods, deer and European fallow deer prefer (in descending order) willow, mountain ash, bird cherry, deer, in addition to this, they eat birch branches. Animals did not eat alder. It is necessary to sow about 1 ha of fodder fields per 1 individual. Optimal mix composition: 30% perennial ryegrass, 20% timothy grass, 20% meadow fescue, 10% red clover, 10% hybrid clover (pink), 10% meadow grass. This mixture is resistant to trampling and grows well. It has been established that it is better to give hay at the rate of 1 kg per individual per day in rolls or scatter it over the snow. This is necessary to keep it hydrated. Dry hay leads to illness and death of animals. The daily norm of grain feed was 1.6 kg in winter and 1.2 kg per head in summer. The grain mixture should be dominated by oats or corn, but not wheat. Deer better use salt in the form of lumps, rather than in the form of briquettes. Wild boars in the enclosure do not have enough food even in summer. They need year-round feeding with grain at the rate of 2.2 kg per head. To save feed, the grain should be crushed or flattened. Under these feeding conditions, the animals in the aviary do not get sick and multiply well. The purpose of the study is to study the experience of feeding and keeping deer, fallow deer and wild boar in order to develop recommendations on these issues.

Key words: feeding deer, fallow deer, captive breeding.

Kozlov V . M. 1 , Ovechkina N . N. 2

1 PhD in Biology, Professor, 2 Postgraduate, Vyatka  State Agrikultural Akademi



The diet of deer and fallow deer in the enclosures includes: natural twig and herbaceous forage plants on seeded pastures seeded crops (oats, peas, winter rye), hay, silage, grain feed mixture, mineral feeding. Because of the natural winter feed red deer and European fallow deer prefer (in descending order) willow, rowan, bird cherry, red deer, in addition to this, eats birch branches. On 1 specimen is necessary to sow about 1 ha of fodder fields. Optimum composition grass mixture 30% - perennial ryegrass 20% - timothy, 20% - meadow fescue, 10% - red clover (red), 10% - Hybrid clover (pink), 10% - Kentucky bluegrass. It is found that the hay per 1 kg per animal per day is better to give rolls or spread it over the snow. This is necessary for its moisture. Dry hay leading to disease and death of the animals. Daily amount of feed grain was 1.6 kg in winter, in the summer - 1.2 kg per head. The grain mixture should prevail oats or corn, but wheat. Deer better use salt in the form of lumps and not in the form of briquettes. Boars in volre do not have enough food even in the summer. They need a year-round feeding of grain at the rate of 2.2 kg per head. Under these conditions, feeding the animals in the cage do not get sick and breed well.

Keywords: feeding deer, fallow deer, wild boar, captive breeding.

Feeding animals in an enclosure is essential to the return on investment. Their health depends on how animals eat, in what form and with what frequency feed is supplied. The productivity of animals kept in an aviary mainly depends on the quantity and quality of food [1]. At present, the practice of feeding wild animals in an aviary has not been sufficiently studied, so far it is impossible to set zootechnical experiments used for farm animals. Therefore, in order to improve the feeding of captive animals, it is necessary to study the existing experience of farms, analyze it and eliminate the identified shortcomings.

Material and method . Features of feeding animals were studied in the aviary complex of the Legion farm, which is located in the Tver region of the Oleninsky district. The location of the enclosure was chosen in accordance with the characteristics of the biology and ecology of the animals being bred. It includes both a forest area and open stations. To date, the 298-hectare enclosure is home to deer (Cervus elaphus L.) and European fallow deer (Dama dama L.), totaling 120 animals. Of these, 80 deer, 40 fallow deer. A separate enclosure of 12 hectares contains 45 wild boar (Sus scrofa L.). The quarantine enclosure has an area of ​​10 hectares.

Accounting for the food base of marals was carried out in the second year of keeping the animals, in April, when the period of feeding on tree-branch fodder ends. Trial plots 25x25 meters in size were laid, on which woody plants were counted by species, the degree of their damage, the number of eaters, skuses [6]. A total of 4 sites were laid. The study of the fallow deer nutrition was also carried out on trial sites after the first year of keeping. In addition, the method of direct observation of the feeding of animals was used, and the features of eating various feeds were recorded.

Discussion of results . Marals were brought from the Republic of Altai, the food base there undoubtedly differed from the local one. Reindeer were brought in in winter, fed mainly with a grain mixture (oats, wheat), hay, and silage. In summer, fodder fields were sown from oats, peas, grass mixtures, but deer gave preference to grain. They did not adapt to local natural food as quickly as the European fallow deer brought from Lithuania. On the sites in the enclosure, the growth of 5 species of woody plants was noted, of which mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia L.), birch (Betula) and gray alder (Alnus incana) prevailed in the ratio of 35.5%, 20.2% and 44.3%, respectively , there was a willow (Salix) in the undergrowth. Mountain ash and willow accounted for the highest number of tree damage (35.8% and 44%, respectively). Bird cherry (Prunus padus) and birch had the least damage (8.2% and 12% of the total number of damaged trees). Thus, marals selectively ate willow and mountain ash, not using alder at all. Preference was given to willow, which was not much in the aviary.

Accounting for the natural food base of fallow deer when kept in a quarantine enclosure with an area of ​​12 hectares, showed that out of 8 tree and shrub species, willow (80%), mountain ash (7%), bird cherry (2%), alder (10%) prevailed and birch (12%). The fallow deer gave preference to willow (60.7% of eaten), mountain ash (28.3%) and bird cherry (11%). Spruce gnawing was also noted. Alder was not used at all.

Of the advantages of natural tree-branch forages, it is necessary to note their high moisture content (40-50%), but they are poor in protein and do not have sufficient calories. When each animal eats 3-5 kg ​​of shoots per day, the natural food base in the enclosure is quickly depleted. In order to ensure the longevity of the natural food base for deer and fallow deer and increase its productivity, the following measures are necessary: ​​

- rejuvenation of undergrowth and undergrowth, thinning of infested willow forests;

- monitoring of the stock of natural forage in order to maintain a stable forage capacity of reindeer pastures and further apply measures to preserve and improve the existing forage base.

Today the diet of deer and fallow deer on the farm includes:

  1. Natural branch food: mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia), aspen (Populus tremula), willow (Salix), bird cherry (Prunus padus), birch (Betula).
  2. Natural herbaceous plants: couch grass (Elytrigia repens), bluegrass (Poa pratensis), spring grass (Maianthemum bifolium), fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium), etc.
  3. Pasture herbaceous plants on sown pastures: pink clover (Trifolium hybridum), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), meadow timothy (Phleum pratense), meadow bluegrass (Poa pratensis).
  4. Annual fodder crops (oats).
  5. Grain mix (wheat, oats, corn).
  6. Mineral and salt dressing (lick salt).
  7. Hay, haylage, silage (harvested in sowing hayfields and fodder fields).

In 2014 pastures were sown with grass mixtures of perennial grasses and oats. The area of ​​pastures was 75 hectares, of which 25 hectares are annually resown with a mixture of oats and peas with oversowing of grass mixtures from perennial grasses. Thus, a pasture conveyor was created: the grass mixture of the first year occupies 25 hectares, the grass mixture of the second year - 25 hectares, the third year - 25 hectares. Consequently, almost 1 ha of sown pastures falls on one maral. Such pressure does not lead to excessive depletion of pastures. In deer farms, a population density of 1 deer per 1 ha of total area is recommended.

Our observations show that at high population density ungulates have a strong influence on the state of plants. Plants can be heavily trampled, forming gaps in the fields. When creating fodder agrocenoses, it is necessary to include in their composition such species and groups of species that are able to provide the entire livestock of animals with highly nutritious feed throughout the entire growing season. Therefore, in the case of long-term hay and pasture use of the created fields, it is necessary to take into account some properties of fodder plants: life expectancy, seasonal development rate, ability to grow back after mowing, and trampling resistance. Timothy meadow, meadow bluegrass and clover (pink) hybrid cope with this task. Perennial ryegrass is also hardy to trampling, but in the conditions of the Tver region it grows poorly.

Hayfields for haymaking (the area was 75 ha) are sown with a mixture of seeds of perennial grasses. The composition of the mixture: 30% - perennial ryegrass, 20% - meadow timothy, 20% - meadow fescue, 10% - meadow clover (red), 10% - hybrid clover (pink), 10% - meadow bluegrass. These plant species have shown good resistance to trampling and good regeneration. The experience of planting Jerusalem artichoke was unsuccessful. As soon as he ascended, the deer ate the stems, the plants did not recover.

Fields for haylage and silage (the area was 60 ha) are sown with grass mixtures of perennial grasses and pink clover. In total, 50 rolls of hay are harvested, i.e. 25 tons for 210 days, more than 1 kg per reindeer per day. It is brought to the animals as they are eaten, usually once a week. Hay on the farm is offered to animals all year round, but is the main food only in winter, when the temperature drops to minus 10 about C. The experience of the Legion farm has shown that ungulates do not need nursery-type feeders with a roof that are widespread on farms. Hay in them is poorly eaten, it is too dry. Research by A.A. Danilkina [2,4] showed that eating dry hay leads to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and even death of animals. It is much better to serve hay in bales, the animals eat it completely. The males are the first to approach, scatter it with their horns, the hay is moistened on the snow. Then females and young animals come, eating moistened hay. If hay was supplied under a shed during this period, it was eaten badly, because the animals sleep on it, pollute it with droppings, and then stop eating. Therefore, after a few days, the hay has to be harvested.

Haylage and silage are succulent foods that are essential for ungulates but freeze easily. Ensiling is an indispensable way of harvesting fodder. In hay, even under good harvesting conditions, 40-45% of the nutrients contained in the green mass are lost, and with proper ensiling, losses do not exceed 10%. Haylage occupies an intermediate position between hay and silage. The haylage harvesting technology is the same as for silage, but the humidity of the laid mass should be on average 45-50% [5]. Therefore, they should be offered to animals at a temperature not lower than -10 o C. The silo is laid out under a canopy for animals on a special platform. Deer eat 0.4 kg of silage per day. Our observations showed that most of the silage is eaten by males, females go to the silage and scatter it, but do not eat it.

Grain is fed into the feeders in bulk every day in the morning. At the same time, different types of grain are mixed. The amount of grain mixture for 120 individuals and its composition are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 - The amount of grain mixture in winter and summer periods, kg

Winter (210 days) Summer (155 days)
Grain Grain consumption per day, kg Grain mixtures for 1 head per day, kg Grain Grain consumption per day, kg Grain mixtures for 1 head per day, kg
Oats 96 0. 8 Oats 72 0.6
Corn 60 0.5 Corn 30 0.25
Wheat 30 0.25 Wheat 12 0.1
Total 186 1.55 Total: 114 0.95

The table shows that deer and fallow deer eat on average 1.55 kg of grain per day in winter and 0.95 kg in summer. The duration of the winter feeding regime is taken as 210 days, the summer - 155 days. In total, grain provides 1.75 feed units or 17.74 MJ of metabolizable energy in winter and 1.27 feed units or 12.10 MJ in summer. During the winter, 39 tons of grain are consumed, during the summer - 17.67 tons.

The experience of feeding deer with grain showed that the use of a large amount of wheat in grain mixtures leads to bloating. This does not happen if the mixture is dominated by oats or corn. Animals eat corn first. The optimal ratio turned out to be: 60 - 65% oats, 5-10% wheat, 25-30% corn. It must be borne in mind that the grain must be given either crushed or flattened, because. it is better absorbed and can be used less.

Deer begin to eat woody, mainly twig food, more regularly in large quantities in autumn, from October-November. In winter, the proportion of tree food increases and reaches its maximum in March [5]. On average, marals eat 9.0 kg of branch food per day.

Animals must be given lick salt. Our experience has shown that salt in the form of a salt block, which is cut from blocks of natural rock salt, is eaten by animals better than KNZ salt (animals practically do not touch it), which is currently widespread in the markets.

Wild boar is an omnivorous animal, which largely ensures the survival of the species even in extreme conditions. He prefers moist, concentrated, protein-rich food [3]. The area of ​​the enclosure for wild boars is 10 hectares. Feeding a wild boar in the Legion farm does not cause any difficulties. Its natural food in the spring-summer period is green seedlings, grass, young rhizomes. But in the aviary, these feeds are not enough. We need oat fields, plantings of Jerusalem artichoke. In total, one field of Jerusalem artichoke was sown - 0.5 ha and one field of oats - 6.0 ha. One wild boar has 0.13 ha of oat field. But Jerusalem artichoke is not yet eaten by a wild boar, which is due to the fact that the wild boar has not yet got used to it. The wild boar also needs concentrated feed (Table 2).

Table 2 - Feeding wild boar in winter and summer, kg

Winter (210 days) Summer (155 days)
Grain Grain consumption per day, kg Grain mixtures for 1 head per day, kg Grain Grain consumption per day, kg Grain mixtures for 1 head per day, kg
Oats 67. 5 1.5 Oats 67.5 1.5
Corn 13.5 0.7 Corn 13.5 0.7
Total: 81 2.2 Total: 81 2.2

As can be seen from the data in Table 2, the wild boar in this enclosure in winter and summer is given the same amount of grain mixture, on average, 2.2 kg per head per day. This gives 2.28 feed units or 25.74 MJ of metabolizable energy. But the wild boar scatters the food from the feeders very strongly and tramples it into the ground, thereby increasing the cost of its maintenance. Therefore, the farm has acquired an automatic feeder, which scatters a dosed amount of feed at a certain time.

The experience of feeding a wild boar in natural conditions shows that in summer it is possible to reduce the feeding rate by 3 times, since there is a lot of natural food. But in the conditions of an aviary with a high density of animals, natural food may not be enough in summer. Therefore, abundant feeding of wild boars in the summer is justified. In total, about 800 kg of grain is spent on feeding 45 wild boars during the year. Crushing grain will reduce its amount by about 1.5 times with the same nutritional value.

The described conditions for feeding and keeping animals in the enclosure ensure good health and successful reproduction of these species.


  1. Of the natural winter foods, deer and fallow deer prefer willow (44% and 60.7%, respectively). In second place is mountain ash (35.8% and 28%, respectively), both species also use bird cherry (8 and 11%). Maral eats birch along with bird cherry, but doe does not eat it.
  2. If there is about 1 ha of sown pastures per maral, then such a load does not lead to excessive depletion of pastures. Good resistance to trampling and good renewability was shown by the following mixture composition: 30% - perennial ryegrass, 20% - meadow timothy grass, 20% - meadow fescue, 10% - meadow clover (red), 10% - hybrid clover (pink), 10% - meadow bluegrass.
  3. About 1 kg of hay per bird is better given in rolls or scattered over the snow to moisten it than using nursery feeders.
  4. In the composition of the grain mixture, the ratio turned out to be optimal: 60 - 65% oats, 25-30% corn, 5-10% wheat. The predominance of wheat led to bloating. The daily norm of this feed was 1.6 kg in winter and 1.2 kg per head in summer.
  5. A wild boar in an enclosure requires year-round feeding with concentrated feed (oats or corn) in the amount of 2.2 kg per head per day, which provides 25.74 MJ of metabolizable energy.


  1. Alikserov A. Animals in enclosures. Aviary is a long-term project // “Hunting is a national hunting magazine. - No. 7/ 2012. From 24-26.
  2. Danilkin A.A. Farm hunting. M.: publishing house "Association of Scientific Publications of KMK", 2011, 132 p.
  3. Danilkin A.A. Wild ungulates in hunting (basics of resource management). M.: publishing house "GEOS", 2006. 366 p.
  4. Danilkin A.A. Deer (Cervide) / A.A. Danilkin. – M.: GEOS, 1999. - 552 p.
  5. Lunitsyn V.G. Modern approaches and methods in feeding deer / RAAS, VNIIIPO. - Barnaul: ABC, - 226 p.
  6. Novikov G.A. Field research on the ecology of terrestrial vertebrates, - L.: Publishing House "Soviet Science", 1949. - 352 p.


  1. Alekserov A. the Animals in the cages. The aviary - long term project // "the Hunting - national hunting magazine. - No. 7/ 2012.
  2. Danilkin A. A. Farm hunting farm. M.: publishing house "Association of scientific publications KMK", 2011, 132 p.
  3. Danilkin A. A. Wild ungulates in the hunting economy (foundations of resource management). M.: publishing house "GEOS", 2006. 366 p.
  4. Danilkin A. A. Deer (Cervide) / A. A. Danilkin. - M.: GEOS, 1999. - 552 p
  5. Lunitsin V. G. Modern approaches and methods in feeding deer / RAAS, VNIIPO. - Barnaul: AZBUKA, 2013.

    Learn more