Central North Island Regional Workshop
“An example of the usefulness of knowing the weights of animals can be used when predicting first fawners’ reproductive success. If you are underestimating the liveweight of your mature hinds then you will potentially not be growing out your first fawners to achieve their full potential.”
He said a better understanding of what weights you should be targeting can be found using the Replacement Hind Conception Calculator on the DINZ website (deernz.org/replacement-hindgrowth-curves).
“Everyone agreed, regardless of their operation, the more fawns on the ground the better.”
Carroll recommended the Feed Cost Comparer (available online through www.deernz.org/deerapp), which checked the dry matter content of each feed and compared costs of many feed types such as barley, palm kernel and maize.
“If you don’t measure it, you can’t monitor it; knowledge is power.” Solis Norton from DeerPRO also attended the workshop. He said nationwide slaughter data originally collected as part of the Johne’s disease management programme had far more use beyond just Johne’s. “Our database has slaughter weights and dates, gender and age group, plus the farm of origin for 4.5 million deer. We saw an opportunity to feed benchmarked production information from it back to farmers.” He said the DeerPRO farm report gave a five-year performance summary for any farm. “Compare venison production from your farm over the past five years and compare yourself to industry benchmarks. It’s ideal for measuring the impact of management changes you’ve made, or for setting goals for next season.” Norton said the information was free to farmers on request (email firstname.lastname@example.org).