News & Advice

   Stay up to date with the latest news and advice for pets and farm animals from our team of dedicated vets.


Managing Stags Post-rut

Managing stags post-rut

The feed requirement of stags during the roar has been less than half that of other times of the year. This is despite the huge energy investment that goes into protecting their patch and herding hinds (or fence pacing) as stags simply do very little eating over this time. Consequently they lose up to 30% […]


Yersiniosis in Deer

Yersiniosis is one of the main causes of death in four to eight-month-old deer, resulting in stock losses of 10 and 30% in unvaccinated herds. Stress is a major factor in making fawns vulnerable to yersiniosis around weaning. Stresses include: Separation from mother Cold, wet and windy weather Poor nutrition or sudden change of feed […]


Velvet removal in deer – losses may occur

A stag

The removal of velvet antler from farmed stags is justifiable for both human and animal safety as well as for economic reasons, but it must be performed with all due regard for animal welfare. If a working crush is not available, then this often requires the stags to be given a chemical restraint (sedative) by […]


New deer drench: Cervidae Oral

A herd of deer

Cervidae Oral, the long-awaited triple drench for deer, has arrived. Cervidae Oral is a triple combination drench containing: Moxidectin (a member of the macrocyclic lactone (ML) drench family), Oxfendazole (a member of the benzimidazole (white) drench family), and Levamisole. Because of the unique way deer process or metabolise actives in drench, Cervidae Oral has been […]


Managing stags to maximise velvet production

Velvet production is highly heritable, meaning that much of the velvet weight and characteristics achievable from your stags are due to their genetics – however, for them to express their genetic potential they require optimal feeding. Good feeding rewards good breeding. Of course, good feeding is important at all ages and stages to ensure target […]


Leptospirosis in deer

Leptospirosis, or Lepto, can affect a wide variety of livestock including deer. There are three predominant strains or serovars of Leptospira bacteria that can affect deer: Leptospira Hardjo-bovis is the most common one, causing mild infections and sub-clinical disease. It does have the potential to cause significant production-limiting effects through reduced growth rates in weaner […]


Restricted Veterinary Medicine Authorisations

Many sheep, beef and deer farmers will be reviewing their annual scripts at this time of year, so why not use this process to your advantage rather than treating it as a pain in the proverbial? Often this is your one chance to sit down with your Vetlife vet and revise your animal health plan […]


Lungworm in young stock

Recent rain around Christmas will lead to unprecedented grass growth. Unfortunately, the conditions promoting good grass growth also promote parasite survival. Parasites like moisture, warmth and shade which are the conditions currently prevailing on most irrigated pasture and on a lot of unirrigated pasture. Lungworm reared its head last autumn on some properties, and the […]


Weaning strategies for deer

The timing of and process for weaning is crucial to the success and therefore profitability on deer farms. It is a highly stressful time for hinds and fawns, and careful thought needs to be given to the process to minimise this and maximise growth. While natural weaning does not occur until the fawns are at […]


Feeding hinds for fawn management

One of the problems with managing hinds over the summer is that the fawning of hinds does not match feed supply and demand as well as sheep and cattle lambing and calving in the spring. Hinds fawn after grass has gone reproductive and has largely lost its best feed quality. Deer are programmed to make […]


Deer Fawning / Calving

Hind nutrition and body condition, along with the environment of the fawning paddocks, are the important determinants in the success of fawning. The target body condition score (BCS) of hinds throughout pregnancy and into fawning is 3.5.  A BCS of 3 is moderate and 4 is good. Hinds should not be fat (greater than BCS […]


The importance of educated copper supplementation in deer

It is widely known that many areas in New Zealand are deficient or low in naturally available copper, and survey results show that nearly 80% of deer farms frequently supplement their herds with copper on a routine basis. However, we need to be aware that both too little and too much copper can cause health […]



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