The month started with half a day splitting firewood for the winter, its simply one of those jobs that keeps getting put off, until you realise that its very close to winter and there is no split dry firewood!
The first week of April saw the completion of our annual Artificial Insemination(AI) programme for 80 selected 2 & 3yr old hinds of high genetic worth. We have received the results of last year’s programme back and while the overall result was about 70% in calf to AI the 2 year old hinds achieved a very pleasing 80% rate (to AI). Who says you can’t put mate hinds to AI as a 2 year old?
Mid April saw Puketira Deer host a public field day for the Deer Industry’s North Canterbury Advance Party Group. The theme of the day was “What does Environmental Sustainability look like in 2018?” The day was well attended with Janet Gregory from Landcare Trust and Michael Bennett from Environment Canterbury providing pragmatic advice on how deer farmers could minimise their impact on the land (and water). High light of the day for us (apart from the opportunity to show case Puketira Deer) was being presented the Duncan and Co 2017 Environmental Award for “Excellence and Vision in a Demanding Environment”.
With the field day behind us it was back to working with deer. The mob of AI bred weaners , first calvers fawns and replacement hind fawns was brought through the yards to their second Yersinsia vax shot, a parasite drench and to be weighted. It has been 49 days since they were weaned. The fawns were very calm and settled in the yards and were in great condition with shiny coats. The best of them were growing at 500 grams/day. That’s 24.5kg of liveweight gain since the start of Mar The average daily gain across the entire mob was in excess of 300 grams/day so they are all doing well.
Given the quantity and quality of the feed they went back out onto we would expect good growth rates to continue for a bit longer yet, although we do know that the growth slows as winter approaches.