Mindful nutrition

How to assist the ideal nutrition of the stock?

To take good care of our cervids from a nutritional point of view, we have to keep three factors in mind.

WHEN? to feed, andHOW MUCH? WHAT WOULD?the composition and the content of the feed be like? These are complex questions for farmers, due to the unpredictable environmental conditions.

Basics of Nutrition

Cervids like red deer and fallow deer are adaptive types when it comes to nutrition. They are grazing, eating broad-leaved plants and herbs, but also eating buds and cust from trees and bushes. They can adapt to different environmental conditions. Cervids graze 4-6 times daily without regard to the time of day.

Wild ruminants are not directly obtaining nutrients from the feed they consume, but the nutrients the microorganisms produce in the rumen. If the conditions are not suitable for the microorganisms, we cannot satisfy the needs of the animal even with the most excellent feeds.

This complicated system needs to be supported for exploiting the genetic potential of the cervid by Cervi Granulated Feed products.


Nutrition management of wild ruminants

Nutrition practices of wild ruminants with supplementary feeding are targeted to complete the nutritional requirements of the animal during periods of feed deficiency. The applied forage and crops, as well as mineral licks, are sufficient to meet the maintenance requirements if the number and sex ratio of the animals are properly estimated. However, practical nutrition does not concentrate on supporting health and antler growth.

However, practical nutrition does not concentrate on supporting health and antler growth.

Nutritional requirements of antler growth are extremely high, as this process is one of the most intense tissue growth in the animal world. According to on-farm studies, negative effects (mainly nutritional) after troat have a serious impact on the next year’s antler growth.

According to on-farm studies, negative effects (mainly nutritional) after troat have a serious impact on the next year’s antler growth.

As an evolutional specialty, the rumen of cervids is smaller –as a key factor to survival- during winter. This fact makes nutritional supplements more important during winter.

Regardless of antler falling is age-dependent, older stags fell theirs during at the beginning of February and start to grew the new one. Thus, the animal has to be in perfect condition to this period, in addition to store minerals and vitamins in an appropriate concentration for antler growth. Molting in spring cannot be seen, however, deer also have to prepare for that.

So it is easy to understand, that supplementary nutrition has to concentrate on maintenance and antler growth in this period. These needs cannot be satisfied only with maize, pasture hay, and byproducts even in proper amounts.

The animal tries to fulfill maintenance energy needs during feed intake. Thus besides the energy needs, it is important to balance other parameters such as crude protein, micro-and macro elements, vitamins, etc. of the feed. Filling the body with these elements needs approximately 4 weeks, so they need to be fed from mid-Decemeber in an amount and composition as in the late stage of antler growth. After troat, the capacity of rumen grows for a short period, then becomes smaller and feed intake only increases from mid-January. Time from the reproduction period until the end of April is critical from a nutritional point of view.

Classic licking mineral contains the necessary amount of Na, however, it rarely consists of other minerals in acceptable amounts for deer.

Mineral sources for wild ruminants are from the plans they consume, coming indirectly from the soil. Accessibility and proportion of macro and microelements may vary even within the same hunting area. As a result, laboratory analysis of plants and hair samples of dead animals may help to create a new mineral supplement or feedstuff. It is advisable to give the deer access to a properly fortified mineral supplement based on the environmental specialties.

These feeds and feed supplements are modified by many factors such as:

  • size of the specie
  • Lifestage of the individual (reproduction, embryogenesis, lactation, antler growth, )
  • Dry matter and energy content of the feed
  • Phenologic stage and mineral content of consumed plants
  • Distance from a drinking place
  • Human interruption of the area (lower needs of Na in less stressful conditions)
  • The animal density of the area
  • Concurrent species

Distrustfulness of wild animals comes up also in the field of nutrition. Thus habituation of feedstuff takes time. Changing of feeds during the year (2-3 types) needs great care from the farmers.

In summary, our products are expected to make a long-term increase. Along with increasing trophy weight they lower the possibility of antler fractures /injuries. They also support the immune system providing a suitable amount of minerals for embryogenesis and growth. Reasonably-placed feeders and feedstuff with optimal energy content prevent wildlife damage in agricultural fields.

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