Thursday, 20 August 2015
Red Deer in 'Tatters'
Our red deer stags have been growing their antlers since they cast earlier this year, and at the beginning of the week our master stag... Albus Dumbledeer, began to shed his velvet. This process is known as the stag being in 'tatters'.
The antlers are cast every year in the Spring, and take around 16 weeks to fully grow back. Each year the antlers usually grow back a little bigger, but following a similar 'pattern' to previous years. While growing they are covered in a soft furry skin called velvet, which supplies the antlers with the nutrients they need to grow. Then once fully grown, this is when they strip the velvet off to expose the bone of the antler.
Looking back at last years photos, and coincidently Albus started to shed his velvet on exactly the same date!
You can see here with Olivandeer that he is still in full velvet, although I expect him to shed his soon. He is still not quite as big as Albus so I doubt he will take over control of the herd this year, but I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to chance his luck later this year during the rut.
The rutting period for our red deer is usually early October. I will let you know here when it all begins to kick off.