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Farmed red deer and wapiti crossbreds in New Zealand calve in early summer, from late October through to early December. Most hinds within the herd will complete calving within a 3-week period, although there will typically be a few hinds conceiving at later oestrous cycles that calve later in the following few weeks.

Peri-natal (around the time of birth) and post-natal (more than 24 hours after birth) mortality of calves is the single biggest source of reproductive wastage occurring on NZ deer farms, accounting for about 8% of calves born (see Reproductive Wastage). While it is recognised that there will always be losses around calving, there are ways to reduce overall calf mortality. This can involve simple on-farm changes in management and calving environments.

Calving environment
Assisted births
Post calving environment
Matching calves and dams
Effect of seasons on calving
Red deer foetal ageing manual

More resources

Asher, G.W., Fisher, M.W., Fennessy, P.F. (1996) Environmental constraints on reproductive performance of farmed deer. Animal Reproduction Science 42: 35-44.

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