How Long Are Formula Bottles Good For In The Fridge Raising Deer – How to Bottle Feed a Whitetail Deer Fawn

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Raising Deer – How to Bottle Feed a Whitetail Deer Fawn

My husband and I got our first white-tailed fawn when he was one day old. A few weeks before bringing him home, we applied for our wildlife breeder license through the Department of Natural Resources. You need to get this and the numbers of the breeder the calf came from. We allowed this baby to breastfeed for 24 hours to get colostrum before bringing him home.

We put him in a dog carrier to transport him home. The cubs are very scared and obedient and easy to handle in the first few days. He was kept in the house for the first 3 weeks and then moved outside to the kennel. Whitetail deer can jump straight up from a very young age. We recommend a minimum of 4 feet of fence until 12 weeks of age and 9 to 10 feet of fence thereafter.

White-tailed deer are fed goat milk replacer. It can be found at many feed or farm stores. We used a regular baby bottle with a rubber nipple for feeding. You can also buy a long red rubber nipple that is used to bottle feed goats and lambs. The substitute bag will tell you how to mix the mixture. We would mix up a big batch and store it in a container in the fridge.

We started with a 3 hour feeding schedule. It is very important that these calves are fed at least 6 times a day in the first few weeks. Start with the ounce formula. Our newborn just laid there for the first week and didn’t get up or move much. For feeding, we put him on a towel and fed him lying down. We had a lot of problems feeding him. He didn’t take to the nipple well at all and we used a syringe to force feed him for a few days. After he got the hang of it, he ate like a pro. To prevent diarrhea, it is recommended to add 1-2 tablespoons of unflavored yogurt to each bottle. Diarrhea can be fatal for chicks and you can lose it very quickly. If the diarrhea still persists, it may be necessary to talk to a wildlife or exotic vet about medication.

The reason most people lose fawns is because they don’t know that after each feeding they need to wipe the deer off to stimulate urination and defecation. This is mandatory. Fawns cannot use their bodily functions independently until about 4-6 weeks of age. If not swept, they can easily become septic and die. We placed our yellow Rubbermaid tubs with newspapers lining the bottom. We used wipes to wipe the baby and did it after every feed.

At about 12 weeks of age, the chick can be weaned from the bottle. We started offering deer pellets and water in a bowl from the 3rd week. He started eating solid food around 8 weeks old. We also feed clover, corn and soybeans to supplement his diet. Our bottle feeding schedule is as follows:

1.-3. day 2 oz every 3 hours (force feeding if necessary)

4-7 day 4 oz 6 times a day

8-14 day 6 oz 6 times a day

Day 15-21 8 oz 5 times a day

Day 22-28 8 oz 5 times a day

Day 29-35 9 oz 4 times a day

Day 36-42 10 oz 3 times a day

Day 43-49 10 oz 3 times a day

Day 50-56 12 oz 2 times a day

Day 57-63 12 oz 2 times a day

Day 64-84 16 oz once daily

Remember that every deer is different and adjustments may need to be made. The main problem with bottle feeding is overfeeding the pups. All deer farmers do things differently, we have found this system to be the one that works for us.

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