Weight Gain of White-tailed Deer Fawns Relative to Fawning Date

Fifty-two white-tailed deer fawns (Odocoileus virginianus) were obtained from penned breeding stock (31) and wild captures (21) during the 1985 fawning period. Birth dates ranged from mid-April to late August. Fawns were reared in pens on evaporated milk. Water and calf starter were provided ad libitum. Fawns were weighed at 2 week intervals. Birth weights recorded for 23 fawns and estimated for 8 fawns of known birth date, differed (P ≤ 0.05) among early, middle, and late born fawns. Weight gain also differed (P ≤ 0.05) among birth categories with fawns born during the middle period gaining weight the fastest and reaching the heaviest weaning weights.

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