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Deer Feeding

Deer Feeding

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Deer Feeding

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  1. Deer Feeding DG Pugh DVM MS Dipl ACT & ACVN

  2. Ruminants vs Monogastrics Ruminants have a fermentation vat of 4 (sheep, goats, deer, etc) compartments They graze/browse to ‘feed’ bacteria…who digest, or begin the digestive process of forages

  3. Ruminants vs Monogastrics WTD ARE NOT PIGS AND SHOULD NOT BE FED LIKE THEM………. or => acidosis, founder, polioencephalomalacia, urinary stones, Clostridium enteritis, etc

  4. Feedlot Style High fermentable CHO intake => Acidosis => sick rumen => sick animal + suppressed immune system => Death for acidemia/ toxemia => Pneumonia => poor health => poor reproductive ability

  5. Feedlot Style Pen raised WTD predisposed to mal-nutrition due to decreased forage intake And… have decreased immunity to parasites (McCall 1988)

  6. Feeding White-Tailed Deer • Browsers-/concentrate selectors – select the nutrient rich/dense portion of plants • Frequent eaters/browsers • Fairly resistant to bloat

  7. Feeding White-Tailed Deer • Legumes should be the major proportion of the diet & make up much of the natural portions of the diet • Browse is part of the natural diet, but not necessarily nutritionally required • When allowed to graze, WTD select ~80-90% legumes & 10-20% grass from mixed pastures

  8. Energy • Forages have less energy per unit vol… and designed by the Lord for the deer • Concentrates have more energy per vol…. but are designed by man for what we think is best ??????

  9. Energy • TDN = total digestible nutrients • Great assessing tool for energy content of feeds

  10. Body Condition Score • Best way to assess ‘energy’ intake – 1-5 scale (1 emaciated, 5 obese) Alberta White-tail & Mule Deer Associations Deer with less body fat and muscle,=> later estrus cycles + lower pregnancy + lower twinning rates And …..a lower probability of becoming pregnant (Tollefson, J Wildlife Management 2010)

  11. Focus on assessing and improving quality of forage available in summer and autumn = better BCS = better fertility (Tollefson, J Wildlife Management 2010) Legumes (alfalfa, clover, kudzu, etc) – higher protein, E, Ca, Vitamin A, Ca:P ratio of 6:1 (Offer a mineral with P) Alfalfa Clover

  12. Using Forage Based diets • Always analyze forage samples • The following examples are for specific forage samples… all alfalfa, orchardgrass, Timothy grass, or other samples may not have the same analysis.

  13. Females Requirements

  14. Alfalfa

  15. Feeding the Doe: Gestation CP >14.5 (~) => decrease fertility (lowered insulin & LH; increased uterine ammonia; depressed sperm survivability; depressed CL function) => lowered fawn rates (Jordan JDS 1983;Visek JDS 1984;Ferguson JDS 1986 & 1989) Cottonseed meal ????? Gossypol??????

  16. Alfalfa

  17. Alfalfa

  18. Timothy Compared to legumes - lower in CP, E, higher in fiber, better Ca:P ratio May meet adults nutrient requirements Orchard grass

  19. Timothy

  20. Timothy

  21. Timothy Orchardgrass

  22. Feeding the WTD Doe BCS of 2.5-3 (1-5) and gaining wt Flushing – good response moderate condition - poor response good to fat does - begin 2 -4 wks pre-breeding=>for 2-4 wks Ex - 2lbs cracked corn/ doe/d

  23. BCS: 1 • Ribs, vertebrae, pelvic bones and all body prominences are visible from a distance. • No discernable body fat • Obvious absence of muscle http://www.albertadeer.com/pdfs/AWMDA-Body-ConditionScoring.pdf?PHPSESSID=078174feffa39a9bfb86713ef0707986 Alberta White-tail & Mule Deer Association

  24. BCS: 2 • Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. • Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible • Pelvic bones less prominent • Obvious waist and abdomen http://www.albertadeer.com/pdfs/AWMDA-Body-ConditionScoring.pdf?PHPSESSID=078174feffa39a9bfb86713ef0707986 Alberta White-tail & Mule Deer Association

  25. Feeding the Doe: Gestation Trimester 1 & 2 => maintenance (BCS 2-3) Trimester 3 => increase CP & E - CP >14.5 (~) increase in pregnancy loss

  26. BCS 4: • General fleshy appearance • Ribs palpable with difficulty • Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar spine and tail base • Abdominal tuck may be slightly present BCS >3 => potential for dystocia and pregnancy toxicity http://www.albertadeer.com/pdfs/AWMDA-Body-ConditionScoring.pdf?PHPSESSID=078174feffa39a9bfb86713ef0707986 Alberta White-tail & Mule Deer Association

  27. Nutrition and Reproduction Puberty keyed to lean/fat ratio – ability to achieve ovulatin of fertilizable ovum…. Puberty is NOT aged based.. Time to puberty is determined by energy balance Puberty 60-66% bw……. (R Van Saun – Scholar – Proceed SFT 2008) Heavier females have higher ovulatory and conception rates

  28. Feeding & Reproduction • And they were as fed horses in the morning, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Jeremiah 5:8

  29. Buck Requirements

  30. Buck Requirements Alfalfa

  31. Alfalfa

  32. Buck Requirements Timothy

  33. Timothy

  34. Timothy

  35. Buck Requirements Orchardgrass

  36. Orchardgrass

  37. Hay / Forage Analysis in USA • Alfalfa – deficient Zn in ~ 63% • Bermuda – highest % samples with adequate concentrations of Cu, Mn & Zn • Fescue – Cu marginal or deficient on ~ 65% of samples, & Zn in ~ 80%

  38. Mineral Nutrition and Parasites • Ca (legumes) • P (winter forages) • S (if browsing & feeding NPN)

  39. Juveniles Requirements

  40. Management Management Management Management