Thursday, May 28, 2009

week 3 and they're still coming!

It is now my third week here at Fawn Country, and we now have 4 fawns! And they are a handful! We feed them goats milk as a substitute for their mother's milk and they are fed every three hours from 6 am to 12 pm. Phew! Fortunately since there is a second intern besides my self, one will do the 6 am feeding and the other will do the 12 pm feeding. There will be a third intern arriving in June, and she will be arriving just as all the does start fawning out. And that will mean more babies to feed and more butts to wipe!

Yes, we wipe their butts at each feeding to stimulate them to go, just as their mothers would do, except we use baby wipes.

Another exciting event happened this week. The pregnant does (owned by a mix of owners) were moved from one ranch to here, to fawn out (although, one doe did so a few days prior to the move). There are 25 moms to be that are 2yrs+ in age. While I was not there in person to help with the move the night it happened, (some one was needed to feed the babies) I was told how it would work. Over the course of the week, a shute was set up outside the pen. This shute was then lined with thick black plastic. Plastic that is thicker then say the plastic of a milk jug.

**The plastic is to prevent to does from injuring themselves on the fence, should they become spooked and decide to try to jump it. Deer are the ultimate optimists. If they feel threatened and feel the need to flee, they will look for an escape route. And if that route is a hole say only four inches around, they will be sure they can fit through it and will attempt to do so.

So, at the end of the shute, there is a large horse trailer. This is where all the does need to be moved to. The black plastic is left up for a few days, so the does loose their fear of it. And the night of the move, they were slowly herded into the shute and into the trailer. The fawns were put into a lined dog crate for the trip. The fawns were then watched the next day to make sure their mom was still feeding them. Fortunately she was.

Now that the pregnant does are here, the new intern and I spend time each day in their pen. This gives the girls time to get to know us, and for us to learn to identify them and learn their mannerisms. It is important to know who is who and how they behave, because a change in behavior can mean a change in health. It also gives us a chance to look at the deer for any possible sign of injury, and to look to see if any of the girls are developing a milk bag. A bag is a sign that she may be giving birth soon.

There should be more fawns with in a few weeks. Its going to be crazy!

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