Pet Profile: Fun Facts and Information About Deer
Learn all about deer through this month’s PetAg pet profile feature!
As pet owners, it is easy to familiarize ourselves with the behaviors and actions of the pets living in our homes. By interacting and caring for these creatures on a daily basis, you begin to learn all of the quirky things that come with their personality. For instance, perhaps the fact that your dogs favorite treat is ice cubes, or your pet hamster enjoys cuddling, but only with people he is familiar with.
However, while you may only have one or two different pets living under your roof, that does not mean that those are the only animals that you are surrounded by. Hundreds of different types and species of animals live outside of our homes at any given time, whether it is in the woods outside, the pond down the road, or a nest in nearby tree.
One particular type of animal that is frequently spotted walking around or making home of the wooded areas all across the country is deer. In fact, these beautiful creatures can be found across all the continents of the world, with the exception of Antarctica and Australia. That is because deer are very adaptable creatures, which allows them to live in a number of different habitats.
To help you learn some more fun, factual information about these interesting creatures that live just outside our window, we have put together some basic facts, data and info about the deer family.
Types of Deer
There are thirty-eight different species of deer across the world, including such animals as the elk, caribou, reindeer and moose. However, the most common types of deer in America are classified as “odocoileus.” There are also a number of different names for deer which fall under the genus odocoileus. For instance, male deer are often referred to as a stag or buck, while female deer are referred to as a doe or hind.
As we mentioned earlier, deer can adapt well to just about any type of habitat. However, they prefer to live in “edge” areas―human-made or natural habitat breaks, such as woods or croplands. Deer will often use woodland areas for cover and shelter, while they prefer open land to graze in.
Deer have a lot of interesting qualities about them. For instance, they have an outstanding sense of hearing and smell. Their nose also helps to play a large role in communication with other deer in the area. Deer produce scents with glands that are located on their head, legs and hooves. These scents provide information to other deer about their gender, social status, physical condition and whether or not an area is safe.
All deer are herbivores. This means that their diet mainly consists of grass, leaves, berries, herbs, mushrooms, wild fruit and any agricultural crops that they can find. However, during the winter months when less food is available, deer will become less active so that they can get by eating only about one third of the food that they normally eat.
A doe, or a baby deer, is similar to a lot of other baby animals in that they need milk from their mother in order to service well through their first few months. If their mother is not around, doe milk replacer is a good substitute. This powder milk replacer is specifically formulated for deer, and all you do is add water. Not only does the formula work well for white tail deer, it can be fed successfully to other species of deer such as mule deer, red deer and even north American elk.
Learning a little bit more about deer can not only give you a better insight into the life of animals outside of your home, but it can also educate you about the nature and behavior of this type of animals. However, if you are looking to get even close to this wonderful creature, consider taking a trip to a local farm or petting zoo. After all, nothing is better than getting up and close with these furry creates and learning about them first hand.