Interactions between fawns and does of farmed fallow deer Dama dama in the postnatal period

Anim Sci J. 2018 Feb;89(2):483-487. doi: 10.1111/asj.12926. Epub 2017 Oct 18.


The aim of the present study was to describe the suckling behavior of the offspring of farmed European fallow deer Dama dama in the postnatal period. Video surveillance footage from the first 18 days postpartum was analyzed in detail to reveal that the duration of interactions between the mother and the offspring changed with the fawns' age. The duration of mother-offspring interactions was longest between postpartum days 12 and 18. The frequency of interactions at different times of the day varied in the analyzed periods. The results of the study could be used to increase the welfare of farmed deer.

Keywords: Dama dama; deer farming; doe; offspring; suckling behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic / psychology*
  • Animals, Newborn / psychology*
  • Animals, Suckling / psychology*
  • Deer / psychology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*