You would be forgiven for thinking I was about to launch into the details of a new children’s story book with the title “When Rudolph lost his antlers”. However it is actually a key part of the spring cycle in the deer world.
It was on the morning feed run last week that we noticed Rudolph prancing down for his breakfast, minus his beautiful antlers. Suddenly there was only a little height, and his obvious manhood, to distinguish him from the female does. It looked like he had fallen from splendour, yet this is actually a normal occurrence each spring.
Where are your antlers Rudolf?
We gave all the deer their breakfast before setting off on an exploration to find the fallen antlers. It was no easy task amidst the fallen branches and twigs from the winds of the previous week; everything looked like a possibility until we were up close. It was a challenge for little legs as our deer field is huge and farmer Nick was on a mission.
Hunting for fallen antlers
In the end it was me who found the first. The children had a new lease of life as they felt the weight and texture of Rudolph’s lost antler and pretended to wear it themselves.
Here it is
They are made of hair (keratin) and surprisingly heavy. Despite the bloody stubs that are left, I expect Rudolph is glad to be free of them for the summer. I liken it to a little like losing a wobbly tooth and a relief when it finally falls out. I think I may call myself the ‘Antler Fairy’ taking the antler in return for extra cornflakes at breakfast!
It makes a good nose pick!
Rudolph has 5 months for his antlers to reform into a new, more magnificent set ahead of the all important rut in October. Until then he will enjoy a summer of plenty in our lush field with the ladies and hopefully I’ll be sharing some baby fawn news next month from last autumn’s rut.
Just waiting for us to leave their field
The second antler still eludes us, so if you are visiting this coming week the hunt is on!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.