What causes does to have babies in the fall?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sidepasser, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    As strange as this is, we have a doe that consistently has a fawn every fall in our windrow. She normally will have this baby or babies at the end of August, no later than the middle of September. This has gone on for four years straight, same doe as she must have gotten hit by a car as she has scarring on her rear end. Every year the horses go nuts for about a week cause she's in the windrow making noise and after a few days will slowly slip out with her newest baby.

    All the other deer around here have their babies in the spring and by fall they are nearly as big as their mamas.

    Has anyone else ever known of a doe that delivers in the fall. We laugh alot at the babies and say they are our fall "calves", then worry ourselves sick that someone might shoot the mama thinking she has already had her baby for the year. So far, she's pretty smart and stays close to the windrow until after deer season. there's lots of acorns and hay from the horses and grass, so guess she knows she safe.

    Any ideas on this? It's not unusual for me to feed horses in the mornings and there be six to ten deer standing within yards of my door - I don't hunt and neither does my neighbor who owns the 400 acres behind me, so we definitely have a population here. I've only seen one buck in the last 2 years, but got a ton of does and doelings running around here.

    Take care,
    Sidepasser
     
  2. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Hi sidepasser! Don't know where you live and I sure don't know why that particular doe is always late. In your shoes I'd ask the local office of Fish and Wildlife just for curiousities sake. LOL

    That said, there are many studies about late births in does and it has been found that in a drought year in some states the average does fawning date was in the third week in August. Whereas in a year following several years of exceptional rainfall, the average fawning date was 2 weeks or a month earlier. This 2 week difference in breeding activity has been documented in other deer species for does on a nutritious diet compared to a substandard diet so diet often times makes the difference.

    Some does have a systemic problem which is condusive to delayed implantation by the fertilized ova also. The ova will "float" for an unusally long time before becoming attached to the wall of the uterus.

    The fact that she does this every year makes a person wonder doesn't it? You didn't say what species she is either?

    Very interesting and thanks for sharing. I love watching the fawns here. We have the advantage here of having both whitetailed deer and mule deer too.

    :p LQ
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  3. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I would bet that whatever scarred her rear end is the cause. It's not unheard of for does to not get bred until their 3rd or 4th heats and thus have late fawns, but there has to be some other cause for her than bucks not paying attention!
    Fat deposits around the ovaries will delay the onset of heat in does, and fat does will come into heat later in the fall as the cold weather uses up their extra fat. I wonder if scarring could have changed where she puts her kidney and rump fat deposits, leading to annual late heats.
     
  4. sidepasser

    sidepasser Well-Known Member

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    Shes a whitetail deer and fairly large compared to the rest of the does here. The scarring she has doesn't have any hair growing on it and is in hip area between the hip bone and the rear end. Looks like she might have gotten hit by a car but she walks ok. It's just a strange thing as all the other does have big babies by the time she gets around to having hers. The others are nearly grown.

    Thanks, was just one of those "wonder why" questions.

    Sidepasser
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a small idea!

    If her initial impregnation was lost due to her accident (her scar) she may have aborted and then been bred late after re- heating after losing the first baby...late Feb...given birth in August...nursing her baby until Jan. or Feb. leading to a cycle of late babies.....just a thought though