On Sunday we drove out through the valley to Samsonvale to visit the Lyell deer farm. Our big girl won a family pass a little while ago ~ we had no idea it was even there, and so close to home.
The wee one fed Bambi
and Bambi seems to quite like the taste of her!
They only have little teeth on the bottom at the front - the serious chewers are at the back.
There are four species of deer bred on the farm, Red, Fallow, Chital, and Rusa; they are mainly left to roam and entertain the visitors but the farm does supply deer for venison and their hides (which are so amazingly soft - like velvet)
This is a Rusa
and a Chital.
Owner, Maureen, explained to me the reproduction of the antler growth. Antlers are hormonally controlled; falling off naturally each year around August. The following season they grow new and bigger ones. Most of the bucks on the farm are castrated so that their antlers don't grow - less risk of injury from all that testosterone.
If I remember rightly ... the antlers closest to the front are from a Red deer, next along are Chital, Fallow and lastly the Rusa. If you look at the base of the second set (Chital) they have actually been sawn off, look back at the first one and you can see what they look like at the base when they come away naturally.
Maureen and Des hold Native American workshops on a regular basis including Medicine Drum Workshops and every month there are Ceremonial Full Moon Drumming Circles. I have left my name with Maureen for the next drum making workshop - how fabulous will that be?