Central to successful deer farming in New Zealand is reproduction management. Poor performance in this area can limit farm productivity. Management of fertility, photo-periods (day length), calving and stags all contribute to performance.
Deer Select is the New Zealand’s national deer recording database which stores pedigree and performance (trait) records, then uses this data to provide estimated breeding values and economic indices.
Maintaining good deer health is crucial to maximising production gains in your herd.
Stags are an important part of the mating programme on all farms.They must be well managed and in good condition at the beginning of the rut sot hey can perform to the best of their abilities.
For most deer farms, the reproductive performance of hinds on the breeding unit is the key measure of on-farm productivity and profitability. Good hind management is essential for ensuring the best performance of the herd.
Farmed red deer and wapiti crossbreds in NZ calve in early summer, from late October to early December. Most hinds within the herd will complete calving within a 3-week period, although there will typically be a few hinds conceiving at later oestrous cycles that calve over the next few weeks.
Artificial Insemination (AI) and Embryo Transfer (ET) are well-established, viable and practical tools to improve rates of genetic gain within the NZ deer farming industry.
Seasonality in deer is regulated by day length, technically known as 'photoperiod'. Photoperiod is the relative amount of light to dark (day to night) in a 24-hour period.
The adoption of standardised terms and definitions will go a long way in reducing confusion when it comes to reproductive figures and benchmarks within the industry.
Benefits of scanning your hinds to increase productivity and make better informed management decisions on farm.
Not what you were looking for? Try these sections:
Keen on Genes podcasts
This series of six podcasts called "Keen on Genes" takes you through the story of deer genetics and sheds light on how important deer genetics are to future productivity and profitability on the farm.
New Zealand red and fallow deer are known for the quality of their antlers among international hunters who visit our game estates for the chance to shoot a trophy stag. Game estates are not part of the NZ deer farming industry.