How Much Does a Baby Deer Weigh?

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A baby deer or a fawn is the youngest member of the deer family, and you will expect not so much weight from the youngling, begging the question:  how much does a baby deer weigh? Well, at birth, a fawn weighs between five to eight pounds depending on several factors. Buck fawns weigh a little more than doe fawns at birth. 

At birth, the fawn cannot sense smell since their scent glands are not yet developed at birth. They come with a reddish-brown coat that helps them camouflage against predators in the woods. The fur of the fawn is covered with white spots that spread evenly on the fawn’s back.

Fawn is also odorless at birth so that predators cannot get attracted to them through smell. So the mother will try as much as possible to keep away from the fawn in the early stages of the fawn’s life to avoid rubbing its scent on the fawn’s body. 

How Can a Fawn Achieve Maximum Growth Rate after Birth?

Fawns can achieve a high growth rate of up to 400 grams per day if treated right or exposed to desirable conditions. Getting a fawn to grow faster and gain weight at this rate begins from the conception stage of the mother.

A doe or a hind can impact its future offspring’s weight and growth rate based on its feeding habits during the conception and pregnancy period. A pregnant doe should have enough food for the entire pregnancy period, with the ration increasing in the last three months of pregnancy. These last three months are crucial as they are the months when the fawn grows rapidly.

Below are some of the ways a fawn can achieve maximum growth rate after birth.

Getting Enough Milk

Fawns survive on milk for the better part of their life until they hit two weeks old to start supplementing milk with natural forage. They continue lactating until they are 10 to 16 weeks old after birth. After they hit the age of ten weeks or 2 ½ months old, fawns can survive and live to maturity without milk. However, it does always wean them up to about 16 weeks or four months when they can entirely depend on natural forage and survive on their own.

This lactation period is crucial for the fawn as the milk plays a significant role in bringing up the fawn in the desired weight-gain rate and growth rate. This means the mother must feed well during the lactation period to provide enough milk to its fawn. Proper lactation can see the fawn gain up to 400 grams of weight in a single day.

Eating a Balanced Diet

A fawn starts immediately supplementing their milk diet with forage; at two weeks of age, their growth rate increases rapidly. They are much likely to gain their birth weight three times by the time they clock one month old. While it may be hard for them to locate feeding spots with naturally balanced diets, they can graze alongside their mothers for a perfect weight gain.

A challenge only arises when diseases, pests, and parasites start knocking. This is why most fawns may be eating a lot and not recording any significant weight gain as most of their food is shared with worms and other parasites

Minimizing Energy Loss

Fawns start gaining weight rapidly, and the only place they can spend the increasing energy in their bodies is when they run around and start playing games with their peers. All the running up and down the demand that the fawns spend extra energy and therefore eat more food. If a fawn cannot strike a balance between the two, then one thing is evident; weight loss.

Do Baby Deer Stay with Does or Bucks? 

A baby deer is closest to its mother than it is to any other deer in the family. This close relationship is exposed when the fawn is in danger. Anytime the fawn cries out for help, the mother always responds by bleating and tracing her fawn to the bleating source. 

Baby deer also depends on the doe for protection and guidance as the bucks rarely care about the fawn’s wellbeing after birth. The bucks leave the doe in charge of everything in the young one’s life. 

Mother deer also ensures the fawns are cleaned three to four times a day. The initial cleaning is done when the fawn is lying down. The mother does this by licking the fawn to ensure they do not leave their scent on the fawn’s body.

This baby-mother closeness has made it easier for hunters to track down by simply tracing and mastering the ‘careless’ fawns. However, in places where hunting is restricted, doe hunting is always banned to protect the fawns during the weaning and lactation period.

Can a Baby Deer Run For Safety Immediately after Birth?

Fawns are helpless at birth, but can manage to stand within the first hour and take a few steps around. Immediately they are up on their feet and can walk around; the doe will lead them away to a new sheltered spot called a form. They may try to jump up and down and make some leaps running around in a training mode.

After birth, most of the mother’s protection is offered, and very little comes from the fawn. Their color, odorless smell, and small sizes may also come in handy in hiding their predators’ presence when in a group of older deer. Running is not any trait they can count on at birth for their safety.

Summary

Baby deer gain weight faster in their first few months of development. This is a significant step to their entire life development cycle. Along the way, however, they encounter a lot of challenges with their health that impact on this fast growth rate. 

A lot of discipline in feeding habits, environmental factors, and predator-survival tactics must maintain a steady growth rate for the fawns. Otherwise, it remains just a wish they only desired to achieve.

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