Fawns born at Haumoana farm
There is surely no sight in the animal kingdom more graceful than to see recently-born fawns frolic in the fields of a deer farm.
Such an awe-inspiring sight can now be seen at the magnificently appointed Haumoana deer farm of Mr Gary Harding which “opened for business” last year.
His initial aim is to increase the number of his breeding herd.
Therefore, it was a moment of great joy when the first fawn arrived at the farm on November 21 last year.
Since then, many other fawns have been born, the last arriving about two weeks ago.
The exact number born is not known. Says farm manager Mr Warren Openshaw: “Try counting fawns in a large herd. It is almost impossible.”
However, he estimates there has been about an 80 per cent success record. “And that’s pretty pleasing.”
More importantly, both hinds and fawns are looking in perfect condition.
Which isn’t all that surprising as no expense is spared to ensure their well-being.
The farm, which is situated near the Haumoana school only a short distance from the sea, is generally regarded by experts in the deer business as being one of the finest in the country.
The farm has ideal shelter. Near the back of the property an abundance of Eucalyptus trees and small bushes offer the deer perfect shelter from the blazing sun which has shone for much of the last two months.
A dam at the end of a small stream which meanders through the trees is often used by the deer when they feel like “cooling off”.
Such surrounds are a far cry from some deer farms which have been established with little or no shelter.
Warren Openshaw’s daily job is to feed supplementary food such as deer nuts and pea hay, for which the deer have shown a fondness.
He says such a diet helps keep up the hinds milk content as well as assisting the fawns in adding weight.
Additional feeding was particularly necessary during the dry November and December months when the hot sun and blustery winds parched the countryside.
However, the recent rains have stimulated new grass growth which is now clearly evident.
Warren said the deer soon became accustomed to being feed [fed] each morning.
“When they hear the tractor they come running towards me.” he adds.
Photo caption – Feeding time at Gary Harding’s deer farm. Above: The deer are seen running from the trees, while at right, a fawn and its mother wait expectantly for the deer nuts being fed out by farm manager, Warren Openshaw.