As you gaze out at the magnificent view from Tiny Home, the only thing to keep you company is the wildlife and our herd of beautiful red deer which share the hillside location with you (in their fenced off acres of course).
As traditional farmers, we are proud to be able to use our experience and location to naturally rear our herd of red deer here on the family farm in the shadow of Ruberslaw.
Let us introduce our neighbours to you with some interesting facts about deer and what to look out for at different times of the year.
The Boys (Stags):
In March the males start growing their antlers, the antlers can grow at a rate of 6cms a day.
Once fully grown, antlers can weigh 9kgs each.
The antlers are covered in velvet as they are growing, once growth is complete the velvet will shed; the stags help this along by rubbing them on shrubs, trees or the carefully placed logs that we put in their fields. This process they go through is completely painless – just a little itchy for them.
Between late September and early November, this is the rutting season. If you are visiting us then, listen out for their call – it will be unlike anything you have heard before.
During the rut, the guys are marking their territory and can get a bit feisty as the high levels of testosterone is pumping through their system. So that there are no serious injuries during this time, we remove their antlers mid-August. The guys don’t feel a thing, just a little inconvenienced by having to leave the sunshine for an hour or so.
Over the course of the rut, the stag will loose 30% of it’s body weight. This is because they spend so much time guarding their harem of girls and fending off the other males.
A stag typically has 40 girlfriends each year.
The Girls (Hinds):
The hinds will calf mid-May through to beginning of July. The tiny home has some binoculars… try looking for what looks like a mole hill in the deer fields – this is likely a wee one, and are terribly difficult to spot.
Red deer generally will have one calf, twins are very rare.
Hinds will try hide their calves for the first four days after birth, but will return about four times a day to feed the calf.
The calves are light brown, white spots, about the size of a medium dog and ridiculously adorable. It takes 2 years until they are adult size.
The hinds are left out over winter and dine on turnips and swedes. The youngsters spend a cosy first winter tucked up in the sheds.