Muntjac deer taming?

eckles(8)February 8, 2012

Hi everyone. I'm new here and new to my UK environment. I moved here a few months ago and we have muntjac deer roaming around wild. We live in a nice area and the people leave them alone. They're not really scared of people around them but still very warey. I have a little female that comes to the garden each morning (probably the same one that eats my pansies :-/) and I feed her peanuts and talk to her. She's getting a little more trusting each day and this morning when I opened the door she was waiting for me and just came right up to me. I'm really thrilled she trusts me. Has any one here had one that trusted enough to let you pet/pat them? I don't know whether its a good idea for them to trust humans that much because there's some horrible ones out there..but she's so sweet. She has a fawn too but we don't see him too often. I'd love her to trust me enough to bring him with her next time. Anyone know of any irristitable foods that they like? Thanks & regards Julie

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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Im not familiar with that type of deer but the white tailed deer here love field corn.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 2:58PM
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eckles(8)

I'll try that. This morning she was very skitish and I could hardly get near her. Its a process of patience.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 3:20AM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Maybe her baby was near. Where in the UK are you? I have lots of friends there..

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:52PM
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eckles(8)

Hi Lisa. I live in Suffolk. Its been really cold here and I think the deer has some sort of mange or skin condition where her fur is coming out in patches. She'd have cold spots all over her backside. She brought her little son to see us this morning. When I go out to feed her, he disappears, so I just have to be content to put the nuts out and watch them from the window.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 1:20PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It is, without a doubt, not a good idea to feed a wild animal...especially an introduced species that is one the verge of becoming something of a pest. This little deer is considered a major threat to native woodland areas.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:33PM
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eckles(8)

Yes I know rhizo. I'm always in two minds about doing it. Firstly, the deer get too trusting of humans. I'm an animal lover but others aren't. What people don't think about is...they were introduced by who...? Humans! We have to have some empathy for them. We made this mess so we have to put up with it. We don't live in native woodlands. Unfortunately there isn't many parts of UK left with native woodlands...due to humans. When I see an animal injured I try and help it out, no matter what it is. I've been known to rescue mice from the cat and let them go. Cats....! Now there's an introduced species that have desimated most countries native species. I hate to see it happen...but I like cats. Sharing this Earth with all creatures is important. I see both sides of the coin but I must go with my conscience.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 12:00PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Your strong sense of sympathy (which I totally understand) is leading you down a path that is not in the best interests of the animal. Feeding creates an environment in which they might breed more than under normal conditions. More breeding means increased population, means more starvation, road deaths, illness, etc. Feeding them makes them unfearful of humans and puts them into more danger. It's simply unhealthy.

It is well documented that the strongest and healthiest animals live in an environment in which populations are kept in balance...either by natural means or by humans.

Yes, we have made this mess, but we don't have to put up with it. And we certainly shouldn't foster it. If these deer haven't become a public nuisance in your community yet, they probably will. At that point, they will probably need to be culled and feeding will become subject to fines.

I sure hope that it doesn't happen, because those little deer are precious.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 10:29PM
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eckles(8)

You make some good points and I agree totally. I notice that the skin condition on the doe is now on the buck. I'm wondering how bad it could get before it impacts on their health. They've had a few fawns, they breed all year round. If I could be firm I'd adopt your stance. I was busy this morning at the usual time the doe comes to get handouts so my husband stepped in to do it without me knowing. I glanced out to see him sitting there talking softly the same as I do and the doe coming close and very interested in the nut container he had in his hand. I couldn't help but feel the warmth of caring he gave her and sensed the trust. There's a part of me that will always faulter and help them along and I know he's the same. Some of us just can't help interferring in nature. Nature is a rough place to be so there will always be soft hearted people like my husband and I. It brings us closer together too. It can't be all bad.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 3:22PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Could the skin condition be a normal "molting" type thing as spring is coming?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 3:25PM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

How are the deer doing??

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:47PM
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