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Effect of extended daxlength on appetite, liveweighr performance, and attainment of slaughter weight in weaned deer stag calves

  • M.H. Davies (a1) and A.P. Wade (a1)

Extract

Deer are strictly seasonal animals. In mid-winter a period of reduced feed intake and growth ensues, and is especially pronounced in weaned calves (Kay, 1989). As a result the majority of farmed venison is slaughtered at 15-20 months of age. Research has shown that winter inappetance is affected by photoperiod (Simpson et al., 1984). This may offer the potential to manipulate growth rates, and alleviate the current problem of venison marketing and continuity of supply. The objective of this experiment was to investigate the possibility of producing carcasses of an acceptable size and quality at different times of the year.

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References

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Kay, R.N.B. (1979). Seasonal changes of appetite in deer and sheep. ARC Research and Review 5, 1315.
Simpson, A.M., Sutt1e, J.M. and Kay, R.N.B. (1984). The influence of artificial photoperiod on the growth, appetite and reproductive status of male red deer and sheep. Animal Reproduction Science 6, 291299.

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