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Old May 22nd 2012, 12:26 PM   #1
  May 2009
  Mosheim, Texas
I do not have the ability to bottle raise my fawns, but would like the doe fawns to be as tame as possible. What has been your experience with imprinting the fawns during their first 3 days by simply spending a quiet 20-30minutes with each one for those days. I read a article a cuple of years ago that said this works. Have you tried it? Also is there additional benifits to having the mommas raise the fawns?

Classic Canyon is offline  
Old May 22nd 2012, 01:19 PM   #2
  Apr 2009
  Fombell PA
Personally I think they are healthier on the's hard to beat a mothers care.......imprinting is tough but it will help....but after about three days the fawns will bolt as soon as you get somewhat close to them........spend a lot of ttime in your pens daily and the fawns will get used to you......feed treats will be surprised how calm the fawns will may not be able to pet them but they will come up pretty darn close to you and not be bouncing off the fence.......good luck!!
ddwhitetails is offline  
Old May 22nd 2012, 01:50 PM   #3
  Apr 2009
We do not bottle feed all of our fawns either. We just bottle feed all of our Ai doe fawns. The last couple of years we have brought all of the fawns in for weaning at 12 weeks, with the bottle feds and the fawns that were not bottle fed are as tame as the bottle babies within a couple of weeks.

So maybe you could just bottle feed a couple and then bring all of the rest of them in at weaning and I think they will all be really calm and at least not real spooky. Just a suggestion.
Midwest Deer Sales is offline  
Old May 22nd 2012, 02:03 PM   #4
  May 2009
  Northwest Illinois
I agree with Dennis. I do not believe we can beat mother's milk or her care.

Spending time with the newborns might prove significantly beneficial. When we started our fawns on the bottle, all weren't exactly enammered with our presence at first. In those cases, I would go in and lay with them(had them in the house). Pet them as they lay...then stop for a bit...and then pet them some more...and keep repeating this process until they would raise their head in comfort in your presence. When they hold their head up as you are petting them, instead of laying it flat and stiff out in front of themselves, and I'm of course talkin about raising their head up without getting up and taking off, it is then you have made significant progress in taming them. And from there, of course the more time you spend with them the tamer they will be.

As soon as momma has them dried off and fed them for the first time is the time to get in there and begin this process I have described to you, cause EVERY hour after that WILL make a difference in your ability to approach them successfully without them getting up and taking off, which of course all of them will eventually do anyway. But I believe that whatever time you spend with them up until that point will help them be tamer than they otherwise would have been...IF you have the time to do this.

Then, as Dennis suggested, feed them treats. One of the quickest ways into a deer's heart other than time spent with them is through their stomachs. I've always used bread for treats for my deer. Others use peanuts, but I would certainly think that as far as fawns go, they would start quicker eating on the bread.

Time spent with them...and feeding them treats, and you will have manageble deer to raise without bottle feeding. Deer are individuals, so even though 2 deer get the same amount of attention via treats and time, their demeanors will vary.

On more than one occassion, I have been able to pet mother raised deer. Also, on more than one occassion, I've not been able to pet a bottle fed fawn once they got older. Individualism weighs in yes, but first and foremost, it's all about the time you spend with them, and then of course the treats.

Best of luck to you Classic Canyon!
Sandridge Whitetails is offline  
Old May 22nd 2012, 03:03 PM   #5
  Dec 2010
  Sydney, Australia
Classic Canyon,what are your long term objectives.Maybe just bottle raising a couple might sound good at first,but it will soon get old.

Too tame is a real issue as the males are dangerous,& the girls fret & try to go out gates with you or into the ute every time you try to leave them.

I dislike bottle raising as these deer fail to thrive for several reasons.

It's sad for a herd species when they can never really fit back into a mob of their own kind.

I have some rescues which are good as pets or an educational tool,but they are so tame they are not able to live/thrive with their own.I cant even use them a "judas" deer as no one will follow them, unless they are only recently acquired & looking for any leadership.Once new deer settle in they soon reject the hand reared ones too.

I have found the best management is to wean the fawns/calves at three to four months in solid walled yards & have someone feed them twice a day.

Within a week they are running up to the trough & forget or don't care about the human there.This is also the time to run them through the yards a couple of times.Trained not tamed in this way gives you deer which still know they are deer,they continue to thrive when placed back into whichever mob they go to,yet are much more managable for their entire life.

Also know/establish the matriarch in each breeding unit & get her working for, not against you.

One of the big advantages of farming deer is they should require less,not more, work than other more domesticated species.

Cheers Sharkey
sharkey is offline  
Old May 23rd 2012, 04:32 AM   #6
  May 2009
  Mosheim, Texas
Thank you all for your insight. I just want calm manageable deer. I will continue to try the imprinting but will add the training at weaning. Makes sense. Good luck to all of you with your Fawns this year.
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