At this stage the antlers are covered by a hairy skin called velvet carrying the nerves and blood vessels that feed the rapidly growing bone. Deer welfare: during velvetting, the welfare of the stags must take priority at all times. Stags (male deer) grow antlers every year. Antlers, by contrast, are made of bone and develop from a point on the top of the skull called the pedicle, rather than from the skull itself. The removal of velvet is classified as a controlled surgical procedure under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and can only be performed by a veterinarian or a person specifically trained under veterinary supervision. Red deer Fallow deer, Wapiti and Elk and other breeds. Spiker velvet is a valuable contribution to farm income if harvested correctly and more than one cut can sometimes be obtainable in a season. Stage 1: Transition from Velvet to Hard Antler, Start of the Pre-Rut. The following photos illustrate antler growth for 1 buck from 26 March 1999 through 15 September 1999. Another reason antler growth is slow in coming during April is the lack of quality food because spring green-up doesn’t normally come to the no… Photo about Impressive mob of red deer stags, Cervus elephus, in velvet, Westland, New Zealand. If the frontal bone is damaged, it can prevent antler growth entirely. Image of velvet, outside, wild - 28559520 Furthermore, some of the genes involved in antler growth are the same ones that cause cancers in mammals, such that antlers appear to essentially by a controlled form of bone cancer. Deer Antler Growth Cycle. These are valuable minerals in many woodland ecosystems and, consequently, when they're shed they tend to be eaten by deer and other animals, particularly mice and squirrels. Find the perfect deer in velvet stock photo. The first are female deer with velvet-covered antlers. A Red deer (Cervus elaphus) stag in the early stages of antler growth during April. Effect of photoperiod (day length) on breeding, Environmental Management Code of Practice, Deer Feeding Resources Animal health and Drought Management, Daily energy needs per season, sex and sub-species, Parasite control plan and risk assessment, Paired catchment study on the Invermay deer farm, Stagline OnLine articles & ENews articles, Reproductive measurements-setting targets. Reeves' muntjac appear to be a special case, having “decoupled” their antler and reproductive cycles. The resulting antlers may be stunted or lop-sided and may fail to cast properly, if at all. Figure 6. Between February and May, the red deer stags lose their antlers. Red Deer stags (Cervus elaphus) resting in the long grass, in velvet antlers. Where do hinds range in the high country? The older deer generally lose their antlers first. These deer are referred to as stag bucks. Velvet antler is covered in a hairy, velvet-like "skin" known as velvet and its tines are rounded, because the antler has not calcified or finished developing. Fax: +64 (4) 472 5549, velvet is a low volume, high value product which must be handled with care whether on or off the animal. Whitetail stags are bucks that lack functioning testes. There are a number of factors that will affect the growth and quality of velvet antler production in stags, whether weaner, rising two-year-old (‘R2’) or mixed age older stags (‘MA’). Product #: gm1146506618 $ 12.00 iStock In stock The primary reason for this is that the amount of daylight is much less than what it will be in June. Red Deer Stags in the woods among the ferns. Scientists refer to this condition as cryptoridism, and it’s rare. And an interesting fact: In most cases typical deer antlers begin growing out a buck’s head in a backward motion, then quickly change direction and sweep forward as we commonly know. The velvet contains various amino acids including all eight essential ones (i.e. Moreover it grows extraordinarily rapidly, and the rapid growth is likely to be regulated by pharmacodynamic substances that are either unique or that can be found in other tissues but are at particularly high concentrations in deer velvet. found many of the same genes involved in the formation of both structures, implying a common ancestry. Various stages of development of nasal bots from deer. See feed intake requirements. Deer appear to have a very active collection of anti-tumour genes that help keep this rapid growth process in check, however, and this probably helps explain why they also seem less prone to suffering with cancers than other mammals. For a more comprehensive overview of how antlers form and what function they serve, the reader is directed to the antler Q/A. Commonly called a “stag,” the oddball buck exhibits unusual antler growth and retains velvet on the antlers due to low testosterone levels. At this time, small stub-like antlers will start their growth from the base of the pedicle. Growth Cycle. New Zealand venison from wild deer was first exported to Germany in the 1960s. Velvet antler is the whole cartilaginous antler in a precalcified growth stage of the Cervidae family including the species of deer such as elk, moose, and caribou. Velvetting must only be carried out under supervision of an approved veterinarian. those that are required in the diet and can’t be synthesized by the animal) and may also be eaten. Do your research, as there are many smaller WMAs scattered across the area. Antler Growth Stage III: Velvet to Bone The process of mineralization occurs largely toward the end of the annual antler growth cycle. Figure 7. swedes), the weaner stags should be off winter crops and onto grass by mid-August if possible. September: Once September hits peeling of velvet continues or begins and most velvet will be gone after the first week or two of the month. It is important to have weaners up to weight prior to their first winter; you should be seeing some pedicle development happening by the end of May. Older animals tend to cast and clean their antlers first. The more you work with the 2 year-old stags the more settled they will become; feeding supplements will quieten stags. A true hermaphrodite is a buck that has both male and female sex organs with antlers, but these deer typically stay in velvet and shed their antlers early. White-tailed deer antler growth usually begins during the month of March or April, and by August or early September antler growth has ceased. Fallow) may also gain a similar advantage. External Resources on the NZ deer industry, NZDFA Nomination forms & constitutional information, What's involved in being on the DINZ Board, Tony Pearse address to the Elk & Wapiti Society 30th Anniversary Celebration, Understanding Johnes disease: The Way Forward, Rural Professional Workshop Attendees 2017, Deer Workshops for Rural Professionals 2018, Deer Workshops for Rural Professionals 2019, Deer Workshops for Rural Professionals 2020, Next Generation Programme @ Conference 2014, Future Deer Farmers Experience Selections 2020, Future Deer Farmers Experience Selections 2019, Future Deer Farmers Experience Selections 2018, Quality Assurance Standard for Deer Farming, Venison Processors Industry Agreed Standards. These animals usually have normal female reproductive tracts and are capable of bearing fawns. At that point blood flow to the antlers will cease and the hardening process will begin. Add to Likebox #84011137 - Moose or elk wild animal head isolated sketch. The new antler tissue, called velvet, is soft and grows fast. hard horn), it will still cast and re-grow antlers, but the velvet will never dry out and the antlers will not be shed. A herd of Red Deer Stags sheltering in the shade and eating oak leaves. However, spiker velvet growth can be variable and some animals will start growing their velvet/spikes earlier or later in the season than the majority. Deer in this stage of antler development are said to be in velvet, and in some states, concessions are made for hunters during this stage of antler development. How can I determine the optimum hill/high country stocking rate? Deer first begin to grow antlers between early winter and late spring. Of course in addition to this are the claims of a significantly improved libido which tie in to the fecundity aspects of the Stag and Deer. They can also be used by would-be interlopers to assess their chances in a fight and are used as physical weapons to both repel an attack from, and initiate a challenge to, a contender. Avoid mixing mobs of stags once in full velvet as this can cause fighting and velvet damage. Sort 2 year-old stags into groups of early, medium and late velvet removal. Note that weaner/R1 stag management will also depend on whether it is planned to remove velvet spikes or grow them until hard to assess their potential adult heads. Horns consist of a bony projection of the frontal (forehead) bone enclosed by a sleeve of keratin – they maintain a venous (blood) and nervous supply that allows keratin to be deposited (and hence the horn to grow) throughout the animal’s lifetime. Wipe clean any blood and moisture on the stick before freezing and any hard, dry soil from velvet after freezing. Several authors note that muntjac bucks shed their antlers during April or May, but this seems highly variable and I have observed bucks in velvet during March and with new antler buds in early June - they can breed at any time of the year. Because of the popularity of this stat… Many studies on captive deer have demonstrated that if a stag is castrated while in full antler (i.e. Although they are smaller than buck antlers, you may find does with short antler stumps in their skulls. Deer try to avoid injury during their velvet stage. The most widely accepted theory is that antlers evolved as weapons where deer compete for resources; predominantly, although not limited to, mates. Do adverse weather events affect a hind’s habitat usage? Thanks to the fact that the antlers regenerate each year and the harvesting is harmless to the animal, a manufacturer can obtain the velvet … Avoid mixing 2 year-old stags with older stags due to older stags being dominant. Injury and Disease. In most species, casting of antlers is initiated by a drop in blood testosterone. Under normal circumstances, antlers are shed and re-grown annually to coincide with the deer… Under normal circumstances, antlers are shed and re-grown annually to coincide with the deer’s breeding season. It pays to do this before velvet is much longer than the brow tyne to avoid damage. Deer antlers have androgen (male sex hormones) receptors and it appears that an increase in circulating testosterone (probably related to increasing day length) triggers the blood supply to be severed and the velvet to die and dry out. During fall and early winter after velvet is shed, male white-tailed deer will have hardened antlers. And search more of iStock's library of royalty-free stock images that features Animal photos available for quick and easy download. The buck referenced in the story above has antlers covered in velvet, so the testosterone levels are low and have remained low over several years. Antlers are dropped, or cast, and grow back over a period of months while covered in a furry skin called velvet. Velvetting is best carried out in the cool of the day, preferably in the morning to give the opportunity to check animals post removal. In the first instance antlers are an indicatior of fitness – they require a considerable amount of energetic and nutritional expenditure to produce and a large antler set typically reflects an animal in good condition, although there’s an element of genetic control and habitat quality involved too. Spikers that have been grown out to hard antler should have the antler removed by early February. Deer velvet is a unique structure, because it is the only organised mammalian tissue that regrows completely, and it does so every year. When a deer sheds its velvet, its hormone levels have reached its highest point. Antlers represent a huge mineral source, including calcium, phosphorous, sulphur, magnesium and potassium. Recent data on the genomic analysis of antler and horn development among deer and bovids (cows, sheep, goats, antelope, etc.) August 6. The family also fed supplemental feed to deer living in the area. hard horn), it will still cast and re-grow antlers, but the velvet will never dry out and the antlers will not be shed. Red, Fallow and Sika shed their antlers during April and May and the new growth is complete and cleaned by August/September. It can result from a birth defect or disease that causes a … New Zealand Deer Sales, Deer breeders, stag sales, hind sales, semen sales, public auctions and private treaty sales. Recent studies on moose in Europe have suggested that the antlers may also act as parabolic reflectors of sound, so moose with antlers have more sensitive hearing than those without. Mature bull reindeer cast antlers during November, immature males and non-pregnant cows tend to cast during February, while pregnant females won’t cast until May, shortly after giving birth. 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