Saturday, June 13, 2009

Week 5 with 14 fawns

Thats right, we now have 14 fawns! Many of the newest fawns are from a customer who is paying Fawn Country to hand raise them for him so that he may have a tame herd. One of them is from a doe, Spirit, in one of our pens. She gave birth to a buck and a doe this past saturday. The doe was pulled about 24 hours after birth as the mother is not as tame as they would like her to be.

One recent discovery was made involving one of our fawns. Miss Ann, our is not a Miss Ann, but rather an Andrew! Some how, this important fact was missed. Bucks, as a rule are not hand raised for safety reasons. There are exceptions however, such as when a buck becomes ill and his best chance of survival is to be pulled from the mother.

It's been getting rather hectic with 14 fawns to care for, along with keeping an eye on all the does. The does will chase each other sometimes and its important to know who is being chased by who. If a doe is kept running, her fawns could starve. If such behavior is caught early, the does can be separted. The doe pen also needs to be walked frequently. Not just to make sure the does are healthy, but also to check to see of there are any new fawns, and to make sure any current fawns are healty. Fawns in the doe pen are checked for a full belly, and for cleanlyness and ant bites around their rear ends. Fire ants are a big problem here in Texas and will literally eat the fawns from the inside out. The fawns response to the bites is to play dead, so it is very important to check for bites, and to check the pen for ants.

A reason to check to see if the rear is clean, is not just to see if the mother is tending to her fawn, but a dirty butt can be a sign of an illness. Many times, the first sign of an illness can be found by looking at the fecal matter of the fawn. The quality and smell of it, and how often it is removed from the body, can inform us if the fawn is ill. But this is where it can be a bit complicated. How the fecal matter of a healty fawn looks, and how frequently is it voided from the body ( some will go almost every meal, while other onle once a day), is affected by the age of the fawn, thier diet (are they eating just milk, or milk and pellets?) and external temperature. Really hot weather can affect how the fecal matter looks. This is all very important information to know, and is rather challanging to absorb. But I am getting better at analyzing fawn waste, it just takes practice.

peace out!

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