This is the place to keep up to date with news of special events, culinary innovations and new arrivals among our herds of deer.
Have you noticed our deer are looking a little scruffy at the moment? People often ask at this time of year “Why are they losing their hair?” Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with the deer, they are very healthy and doing exactly what nature intended – moulting.
Deer change coat twice a year, known as moulting, once in spring into their summer coat and again in the autumn into their winter coat. They have two very different coats and hair types to suit the two extremes of weather plus colour variation for better camouflage in the winter months.
The spring moult is very obvious as they are losing their thick winter coat so can look scruffy and moth-eaten as their hair falls out in patches and clumps!!
The moulting usually begins at the neck and moves down until their entire body has lost the winter coat and displays the new summer coat, ready for the warmer weather of the summer.
As the weather gets milder, warmer and daylight hours are extended, they no longer need the thick, coarse winter coat that has kept them warm over the colder months. They start to lose their winter coats in April and May. This process takes 4 – 8 weeks, depending on the age of the deer, the younger deer will start first. Older deer change coats later than younger deer and it isn’t uncommon to see an old hind with remnants of her winter coat in June.
Their winter coat grows through the summer, more or less invisibly and is a steady change which does not have the same extreme look.
Geographical location affects the start and duration of moulting. For example, in Scotland the moulting can start later and take longer due to the colder climate.
Come and visit our deer, feed them at the feeding station with their special deer food and ask the Rangers any questions while you’re at the Farm.
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