The proper feeding of deer is essential for optimum production, ie. affects growth rates of young animals, body weights of all stock, reproductive performance, velvet antler production and health.
Both the quality and the total amount of feed offered can affect a range of parameters: lighter body weight hinds will conceive later in the season than heavier ones, higher body weight stags usually produce more velvet than others on the farm, poor feed quality for fawns in autumn can contribute to Yersiniosis, body condition score of hinds can affect weaning weight, date of fawning and fawning percentage, etc.
Feed management can be a little more difficult on a deer farm, as deer naturally fawn near Christmas when the spring flush of growth is past. Management needs to address this to ensure young stock have access to quality green grass which is not easy during a dry summer.