Thursday, December 3, 2009

Behavior Modification

This is one of our buck fawns. He wasn't bottle fed. We’ve been working on behavior modification with our deer and we’ve seen some amazing results. They aren’t normally this tame unless they’ve been bottle fed and handled when young. This one was only touched once when newborn and we did our initial tagging, microchipping, etc. I started working with him about 1 month ago. He'll start standing on his back legs for a cookie as soon as I walk in the pen. I was in the pen yesterday and "felt" someone was looking at me. He was behind me on his back legs looking over my shoulder!

If we can alter behavior to make the deer more tame we believe stress levels will be lower and health will be improved. I also believe the bucks will have more antler growth. Less stress should also result in higher growth rates, better milk production, and better body condition. The main disadvantage for tame bucks is they are more dangerous during the breeding season. NEVER trust a buck in hard antler!

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