Shared by Jason Pollock, Riverview Whitetails, Inc., Parker, Pa.
I have been raising whitetail deer for only three years. For those of you who don't know anything about raising whitetail deer, let me tell you a little bit about it. Raising deer is fun and work.
Starting around the end of September, we give all the deer their shots. They include wormer, vitamin, antibiotics—seven in all. Then around the end of October, we get the doe ready to breed. We artificially breed the deer, so we bring them into estrus.
Around the first of November, we breed them. You can do it a few different ways: AI, Lap AI, or use a buck. AI is done vaginally and Lap AI is done by putting the deer to sleep and turning them on their backs. A vet then makes two incisions in the stomach and uses a laparoscope on one side and drops the semen on the eggs on the other.
We cut all the bucks' antlers off in the fall so they don't injure any of the other deer in the pen. In the spring, around mid-May, we have fawns. We bottle-feed all fawns, not because the moms' milk is no good but because it makes the deer calmer to handle. Mom's milk is best. We pull hair and run DNA on all fawns. All fawns get shots for toxins, wormer, antibiotics and a tube of colostrum. We bottle-feed four times a day: 6 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 10 p.m. Eventually, we wean them around 12 weeks.
- Fence must be at least 8' high in Pennsylvania and is regulated by the ag department
- I give alfalfa hay in winter
- The deer get grain all year long
- Farm-raised deer can score up to 500" or more
- I have shelters for all my deer
- Semen for deer can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or more; it depends on what you can afford