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Old Sep 25th 2020, 07:55 AM   #1
  Aug 2020
Question estrous or illness?

First a big thanks to those who run and contribute to this forum. Such a wealth of helpful information.

I am not deer farming, but my current environment gives me lots of contact with deer.

I live in an area with large lots, and many whitetail deer. Since our lot is dog free and the neighbors on both sides have dogs, our property is a deer corridor of sorts. The deer have a route that has them traverse our property each morning and evening. Since there is no hunting in this area, many of the deer have become quite comfortable around people. One of the adult does who we call "Samantha" is the boldest of the bold. At times when my father has been working in the yard she has even come up and gently tapped him on the back to let him know she is there, and would appreciate something to eat. Currently she has one nursing male fawn, 2 yearlings, and a young adult doe who are part of her family group. Her mother is the Alpha Doe who leads the group of about 8 adults and 5 fawns.

This last Tuesday she began acting strangely. In the morning she was reluctant to approach for her favorite treat, corn tortilla, and did not come down off the knoll which overlooks our driveway to get the evening corn I scattered there.

The following day she disappeared and was not seen, even though her family group passed through, and her nursing fawn hung out on the property all day.

Yesterday I saw her hiding in a little thicket that is adjacent to the knoll that the fawns hang out on. I got some 18% feed and some horse treats she likes and placed it near her on the ground. She very slowly, unsteadily walked out and ate the treats, but left most of the feed. Her eyes seemed very glassy and she looked unwell. A short while later she very slowly walked up the hill in the direction the the others had gone. I saw her stop and eat a little grass before disappearing up the hill in the direction the others went.

Her fawn is much larger that all the other fawns from this season. During the last week he has even developed small antler nubs. This leads me to believe he was born a month or so before the other fawns in the area. So his mother "Samantha" likely goes into estrous very early. In fact a couple weeks ago I saw her running around with horizontal tail followed by a large buck.

I known does in estrous may want to avoid other does. But she looks pretty unwell. Would a sick doe avoid other deer as well? She definitely seems to be keeping her distance from her group.

So my question is: Do you think this doe "Samantha" is ill, in estrous or maybe pregnant?

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Mstarcom; Sep 25th 2020 at 08:02 AM.
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Old Sep 27th 2020, 01:13 PM   #2
  Aug 2020
Well after observing her for a couple more days I think I can definitely say she is sick.

She disappeared for a couple days during which time her nursing fawn was unattended, so I figured she was dead. She then reappeared and is eating some again. However, she is very unsteady on her feet.
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estrous, illness

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