Spring nutrition

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Emphasis should be on weaners and velvetting stags at this point. Hinds need only be fed at maintenance levels for another month or two until spring growth is well under way. The exceptions are hinds with a body condition score less than 2.5. 

Mating management

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Hinds that have a condition score of 2.5 or below should have been priority fed and weaned early to regain condition. If this is not possible then it may be worth culling them and those that failed to rear a fawn last season. 

Johnes Disease

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This is an emerging disease in the deer industry in that the more you start looking for it the more you find it. It is estimated that the disease could be costing New Zealand deer farmers up to $5 million dollars per year in lost production. 

Cryptosporidiosis

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This disease is caused by a small organism (a protozoa called cryptosporidium), which can multiply in the cells of the gut and cause diarrhoea. It is considered to be self-limiting and is found in normally healthy animals, however it will overwhelm immuno-suppressed animals and in association with other infectious agents can cause high death rates. 
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