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Variation in the weight, specific gravity and composition of the antlers of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.)

  • H. HyvÄrinen (a1), R. N. B. Kay (a1) and W. J. Hamilton (a2)

Abstract

1. Antlers were removed in September from 2-4-year-old red deer (Cervus elaphus L.). Both well-fed penned stags and less. well-nourished grazing stags were studied.

2. For deer of the same age, both log antler weight and log antler specific gravity were related to body-weight in September and to body-weight gain between March and September. The antlers of 3- and 4-year-old stags were heavier and tended to be denser relative to body-weight and body-weight gain than those of 2-year-old stags.

3. For grazing stags of a given age, antler weight and specific gravity, and body-weight and body-weight gain, were progressively less in the three successive years of the study. This appeared to reflect increasing stocking rate over this period.

4. The composition of the antlers did not vary significantly between penned and grazing stags or with age. However the concentrations of ash, phosphorus and magnesium in dry matter showed significant positive correlations with specific gravity, that of zinc a significant negative correlation, while calcium, copper and manganese showed no significant correlation.

5. The antlers evidently provide a useful index of the changes in body-weight of the stags.

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References

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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