Deer are a unique animal to New Zealand farming and ever since the early days of deer farming have played a large part in the practice. In the latter years there has been a drop off in the number of deer farmers in Nelson due largely to poor returns and changing land use, but as a veterinary practice we still work with around 40 dedicated deer farmers.
Services that The Vet Centre offer to deer farmers include TB testing, Velvetting Artificial Breeding programmes and Pregnancy scanning of deer. Additionally, nutritional advice (including feed budgeting), disease prevention programmes and management consultancy are all provided.
Commonly encountered diseases of deer include , , including and
The majority of the deer farmed in Nelson are European Red Deer, either imported recently or derived from original stock of European descent from the New Zealand wild (Rakia or Nelson West Coast strains). Some farms breed Elk or Wapiti, or hydrids of this type for meat producing farms where these larger animals are used as terminal sires. The Elk type animal are more prone to some health issues, such as parasites, compared to the hardier Red Deer which are smaller in frame but breed more consistently with on average less health issues. In addition, they are considerably easier to manage in deer handling facilities.
If you want more information about deer farming or health issues associated with farming deer, please with your query.