Posted by: 347bennetrd | May 4, 2010

TB Testing – Deer

Time to test all the deer for tuberculosis.  Same deal as the cattle – a guy has to come up, inject each beast with a serum, wait 3 days and check if there has been a reaction (hopefully not).  So on Monday we gathered each of the mobs up into the yards and waited for Danny the TB tester guy to arrive.

It’s still the period of the rut so the stags are quite feisty – I’ve already said this, but gosh the wapiti stags are huge…  So the idea is to either separate them from the hinds and fawns out in the laneway, or get them into a separate pen while we deal with the rest.  I was helping Danny to push a small group of deer into a tight pen (maybe 6 hinds and 5 fawns) and he would get to business.  He wears a battery pack on his back that powers a shearing hand piece.  He goes through and shaves a large patch off the neck of each deer, rather like this;

And here is what the finished shaven patch looks like;

Once all are shaven, he injects each one and three days later, feels the patch to see if there is a lump.  It’s such physical work.  The deer are so flighty and don’t want to go where they should so you have to push them.  Then they mill about, pushing and reversing and trying to escape.  And apparently our deer are much quieter than many others, so I can’t imagine how that would be!

After all the testing was done, we marked the fawns.  Same as the sheep – we cut a V out of the front part of the ear (remember JP Garden is left for boys and right for girls!).  And there’s no other way round it – the only way to figure out if the fawns are hinds or stags is to lift their tail and feel if they have one or two holes!



  1. hi Jo, Awesome blog – have just had a flick over it and its a work of art.
    was great catching up the other night.
    Thinking of you xxoo

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