When Rudolph lost his Antlers

Posted on May 13th, 2017

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?

Rudolph with no antlers

 

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

Hunting for fallen deer 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

We found an antler from the stag

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!

Deer antlers up the nose

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

Deer in field at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays

The second antler still eludes us, so if you are visiting this coming week the hunt is on!  

Country Kids