February 1, 2016

New Zealand farming. Deer - Glossary of terms

Dr Clive Dalton

Farmed Red deer hinds

Deer in New Zealand
All deer were introduced into New Zealand in the late 1800s by the early European pioneers for sport, after which they multiplied to become classed as noxious pests due to the damage they did to native bush and were then subject to government culling programmes.  Later in the 1960s deer were successfully farmed (see * in list) for the export of venison, velvet and other body parts.

Virginian (white tail)
Japanese Sika
Himalayan Thar

Antlers:  Distinct from the permanent horns of sheep, cattle and goats which grow on bone structures which are part of the skull.  Antlers grow anew each year from pedicles which are permanent growths on the frontal bones of the skull. They are shed in September/October (early spring) each year and new growth starts almost immediately.

Bugle:  The  sound made by male Wapiti during the mating season to attract females and to challenge other males.

Coronet: Ring or burr around the base of antlers.

Doe: Mature female used for breeds other than Red deer and sometimes Wapiti.

Havier:  Castrated male deer.

Hind: Mature female Red deer and sometimes Wapiti.

Hummel:  Castrated male deer.

Male deer:
Buck: male Fallow deer.
Bull:  male Wapiti
Stag: male Red deer
Spiker: juvenile male with two spikes which will eventually grow into full antlers.

Calf:  Red deer and Wapiti.
Fawn: Fallow deer, but also used for other breeds.

Mane: Increased growth of hair on the enlarged neck of male Wapiti and Red deer during the rut.

Palmation: By about their third or fourth season fallow deer develop a distinctive flattening or palmation at the end of their antlers. The edges of the palms are marked by a series of points called spillers or snags.

Pearling: Knobbly or ridged texture or the antlers on some species of deer.

Pedicle: The first part of antler grown on a deer’s head from which the antlers grow.  Often called the button.

Pelage: The coat of deer.

Roar:  The sound made by male deer of some species during the mating season to attract females and challenge other males.  The mating season is sometimes referred to as ‘the roar’.

Rut:  The mating season when males start to attract females and challenge other males.

Slink: Deer calf or fawn in utero valued for its skin.

Snags:  See palmation.

Spillers:  See palmation

Spottie:  Young deer (usually fallow) up to three months old when it still shows the spotted coat pattern.

Young Fallow deer showing spotted coats

Tine:  The points or branches off the main ‘beam’ of antlers.  The number increases each year with age and are given names e.g. brow, bray, tray.

Velvet:  Early vascular growth of antlers before they harden off. Characterised by soft velvet coating which dies and is rubbed off by deer as antlers mature and harden.  Deer are very protective of their antlers when in velvet and avoid challenges among males.

Red deer stags in velvet

No comments:

Post a Comment