Cert. Rural Animal Technology
Deer and deer
production in New
Zealand
Steph Mann
School of Veterinary Nursing
Aims of todays session
• Quick overview and history of deer in NZ
• Breeds of deer farmed in NZ
• Other breeds found in NZ...
Deer – what do you know?
School of Veterinary Nursing
Deer – what do you know?
School of Veterinary Nursing
• From the Cervidae family
• Browsing ruminant mammals
• Mating (aka...
Deer in NZ
• Introduced into New Zealand initially for sport and
venison in 19th C – after a shaky start deer thrived
and ...
Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ
There are currently three breeds of deer commonly
farmed in New Zealand and they are…
School of V...
Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ
• Red deer
School of Veterinary Nursing
Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ
• Wapiti or Elk
School of Veterinary Nursing
Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ
• Fallow deer
School of Veterinary Nursing
Other cervines found in NZ
As well as Reds, Wapiti and Fallows, other feral
breeds in New Zealand can be found:
• Rusa
• S...
Why deer are farmed
Deer are produced for three main reasons…
• Velvet
• Vension
• Trophy / sport
School of Veterinary Nur...
Velvet properties
Antlers are used (by deer!) for….
Antlers are produced by ….
a) Males
b) Females
c) Both sexes
School of...
Why antlers?
Antlers are used (by deer!) for….
• Defence at mating
We remove antlers for safe handling and to prevent
inju...
Antler growth
Antlers grow from pedicles on top of the stags skull.
A damaged pedicle will not grow a uniform or
matched a...
Parts of the antler
School of Veterinary Nursing
Velvet properties
Antlers in velvet
• Are sensitive, very warm to the touch, boneless
and covered in short, dense hair (he...
Velvet properties
School of Veterinary Nursing
Antler properties
After they are fully developed, antlers are
• Fully calcified, with no nerve or blood supply
• Sharp tip...
Antler properties
School of Veterinary Nursing
Velvet Growth Cycle
Spr:
Antlers sprout
Spr/Sum:
AMAZING
growth!
6 wks to a full set
Late Sum:
Full growth is
reached and
...
Velvet Growth patterns
• Male yearlings also called spikers
• Each year antlers increase in girth and length, and
produce ...
Velvet properties
Winter:
Antler
“buttons” are
discarded
Spr: Antlers
sprout
Mid sum:
Velvet is
harvested at
peak growth
L...
Velvet Harvesting
• Stags are peak growth are brought into the yards
• Some farmers sedate each animal
• Individually rest...
Velvet Harvesting
School of Veterinary Nursing
• Harvested velvet must be treated like a foodstuff
• Each antler is weighe...
Final word
Deer are high-stress animals, mainly because of they
were very recently domesticated (50 years in NZ) and
have ...
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Deer and deer production adobe session pwrpt

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Deer and deer production adobe session pwrpt

  1. 1. Cert. Rural Animal Technology Deer and deer production in New Zealand Steph Mann School of Veterinary Nursing
  2. 2. Aims of todays session • Quick overview and history of deer in NZ • Breeds of deer farmed in NZ • Other breeds found in NZ • Deer production • Velvet… what the…? • Harvesting velvet School of Veterinary Nursing
  3. 3. Deer – what do you know? School of Veterinary Nursing
  4. 4. Deer – what do you know? School of Veterinary Nursing • From the Cervidae family • Browsing ruminant mammals • Mating (aka “The Roar”) occurs in autumn, so short-day breeders • Generally have one off-spring • Only males grow antlers, a new set each year
  5. 5. Deer in NZ • Introduced into New Zealand initially for sport and venison in 19th C – after a shaky start deer thrived and became out of control • Government culling programme was put into place in 1920’s • This was escalated after WW2 once ammunition and man power was more readily available • 1960’s saw hunting from helicopter, 1970’s saw live capture from helicopter • Farming in NZ has only been in the last 50 years School of Veterinary Nursing
  6. 6. Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ There are currently three breeds of deer commonly farmed in New Zealand and they are… School of Veterinary Nursing
  7. 7. Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ • Red deer School of Veterinary Nursing
  8. 8. Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ • Wapiti or Elk School of Veterinary Nursing
  9. 9. Farmed Deer Breeds in NZ • Fallow deer School of Veterinary Nursing
  10. 10. Other cervines found in NZ As well as Reds, Wapiti and Fallows, other feral breeds in New Zealand can be found: • Rusa • Samba • Sika • White tail deer • Moose….? School of Veterinary Nursing
  11. 11. Why deer are farmed Deer are produced for three main reasons… • Velvet • Vension • Trophy / sport School of Veterinary Nursing
  12. 12. Velvet properties Antlers are used (by deer!) for…. Antlers are produced by …. a) Males b) Females c) Both sexes School of Veterinary Nursing
  13. 13. Why antlers? Antlers are used (by deer!) for…. • Defence at mating We remove antlers for safe handling and to prevent injury from fighting, as well as for velvet Antlers are produced by …. a) Males School of Veterinary Nursing
  14. 14. Antler growth Antlers grow from pedicles on top of the stags skull. A damaged pedicle will not grow a uniform or matched antler. School of Veterinary Nursing
  15. 15. Parts of the antler School of Veterinary Nursing
  16. 16. Velvet properties Antlers in velvet • Are sensitive, very warm to the touch, boneless and covered in short, dense hair (hence the term velvet) • Velvet also has very rich blood and nerve supplies Velvet must ONLY be removed with pain relief! School of Veterinary Nursing
  17. 17. Velvet properties School of Veterinary Nursing
  18. 18. Antler properties After they are fully developed, antlers are • Fully calcified, with no nerve or blood supply • Sharp tipped weapons, driven by thickset, muscular necks Antlers can be removed without pain relief School of Veterinary Nursing
  19. 19. Antler properties School of Veterinary Nursing
  20. 20. Velvet Growth Cycle Spr: Antlers sprout Spr/Sum: AMAZING growth! 6 wks to a full set Late Sum: Full growth is reached and begin hardening off Aut: Stags begin to roar and use antlers to fight for the right to mate Late Aut / Winter: Antlers are discarded (cast) School of Veterinary Nursing
  21. 21. Velvet Growth patterns • Male yearlings also called spikers • Each year antlers increase in girth and length, and produce another set of tines School of Veterinary Nursing
  22. 22. Velvet properties Winter: Antler “buttons” are discarded Spr: Antlers sprout Mid sum: Velvet is harvested at peak growth Late Sum: A second harvest may be achieved Aut: The roar / mating occurs as normal School of Veterinary Nursing
  23. 23. Velvet Harvesting • Stags are peak growth are brought into the yards • Some farmers sedate each animal • Individually restrained • Tourniquet is applied above the pedicle • Local anaesthesia administered below the tourniquet • Nick test is conducted • Velvet is removed, usually with a hand saw School of Veterinary Nursing
  24. 24. Velvet Harvesting School of Veterinary Nursing • Harvested velvet must be treated like a foodstuff • Each antler is weighed, tagged and frozen.
  25. 25. Final word Deer are high-stress animals, mainly because of they were very recently domesticated (50 years in NZ) and have come from feral stock. School of Veterinary Nursing
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