Feeding of captive deer- intention to respect biology or to enhance productionIng
During evolution ancestors of present deer species were driven to cope with changing environmental and climatic conditions and inhabited new areas. It resulted in speciation when specific adaptation to various habitats and food resources happened. There has been force in deer to not just survive, but also to maximise energy intake from diverse herbaceous material by different feeding strategies. We can, based on knowledge of feeding ecology and morphology of digestive tract, categorise them in feeding types, but still is quite rough division not including seasonal dynamics of plant quality and availability with different energetic and nutritive requirements of deer based on sex, age and reproductive state. Different situation to free ranging deer, where selectivity and choosiness may help, is in captive deer, because food resources are available based on grazing capacity of fenced area and on provision of feeds by human. Therefore, keepers always want to know, what is optimal diet and what feed he must use to maximise growth, size of antlers etc. The answer is more complex and area/stock specific. In this context, every fenced area simulates drivers forming deer during evolution just processes can be accelerated thorough selection and intensity. This contribution will demonstrate above described constrains also on example of different feeding practices resulted in different quality of antlers.
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