|RED DEER STAGS, HINDS AND CALVES|
Red deer are native to Great Britain with the largest populations to be found in the Highlands of Scotland. Although generally seen on open hill and moorland they are in fact a forest animal and would prefer sheltered woodland areas particularly in the winter time as oppose to windswept hillsides. The wild population of Red deer in Scotland is thought to be approx. 350,000 and in the absence of a major predator, other than man the population is increasing.
Our Red deer on Wild Farm are originally from farm and park stock so they tend to be bigger and grow larger antlers than the hill deer. We obtained our original breeding hinds in the autumn of 1998 from a small deer farm at Echt, Aberdeenshire. They came to us ‘in calf’ and so the following spring we virtually doubled our herd size. During the winter of 1998 we bought a stag calf from Warnham Deer Park and that stag became our main breeding stag for a number of years. At his prime he had a magnificent set of antlers that had 38 points when cast weighed 20lbs! When he was 8 years old he lost his dominance to one of our home bred stags.
Our Red deer hinds calve in May and early June. For the first few days the calves hide in tall grass and nettles before they find their feet and join the main group. Over the summer the hinds and calves go out to our fenced hill ground, not returning to the fields until the autumn ready for the rut. We tend to keep the stags back on the fields and feed them well so that they gain weight and grow good antlers. Stags cast their old antlers at the end of the winter and immediately begin to grow their new ones. By the end of July they strip the velvet in preparation for the rut. During the rutting season we make sure the stags with the breeding hinds are in a ‘safe field’, somewhere that we do not need to go into on a daily basis because the rutting stags are quite aggressive. We run a few breeding stags in any one season. Red deer will happily graze on normal grass fields and during the winter months eat good quality hay or silage. They also enjoy root vegetables like swedes in the winter.
Red deer are very easy to keep as long as you keep the stags at ‘arms length’ and not too tame. Very tame stags can be extremely dangerous particularly in the rut. Like most deer they need 6 feet high fencing but of all the types of wild deer they are with out a doubt the easiest to handle. They willingly come through gates and can be easily encouraged by feed through one field to another. The hinds can become quite tame, delightful to hand feed and not at all dangerous like the stags. Indeed a couple of tame hinds can help to encourage the rest of the herd to come up during feed time. We always have Red deer available for sale, stag and hind calves, mature breeding hinds and young stags. We are able to handle our Red deer relatively easily with the best time of year to catch and move Red deer being middle to late winter, January to March.
|© The Reindeer Company Limited 1952-2018.
Last revised:- March 12, 2018