Friday, 22 August 2014
Earlier this year we started a week by week photo project of our Master Stag, Albus, growing his new set of antlers. Seeing the pictures side by side really do show that at his age onwards, you can see the antlers growing week by week. Incredible when you think about it!
I have included a few here below, and for those that wish to see all of the photos... that's one a week for the 18 weeks they took to grow, head over to our sister blog linked above under the tab "More BWC Photos"
As you can see from the very top photo, the stags don't always lose both of their antlers at the same time, but they usually are cast within a day of each other. Then even by week one above, you can begging to see bumps where the new antlers are beginning to grow.
Week five and the antlers are showing a bit of shape with a few different tines forming. Some people say that a stag grows a new tine for every year of their life, but this is not true. The number of tines vary from stag to stag... but the antlers do generally get bigger year on year until their later years, so you can guess the age of a stag by the size of the antlers to some extent.
Week nine and starting to look like antlers, and showing off the velvet much clearer. The velvet is the soft furry skin covering the antler through its growth. This supplies the antlers with all they need to grow before being shed and exposing the bone.
Week thirteen and the real shape of the antler is now coming through. You tend to find the each stags antlers will be different from each other, but their own antlers will be similar year on year. They tend to follow a similar shape but just grow larger and/or and an extra tine or two.
Week seventeen and they are now fully grown. All that is left is to strip the velvet off...
And this is known as the deer being in "Tatters", which is where we get the saying from when we describe something as being a mess... or in tatters.
Velvet fully shed, blood cleaned up in the weather, and looking more handsome than ever... Albus Dumbledeer, BWC Master Stag 2014!
To see the other pics in the series, follow the tab above "More BWC Photos"