Being a Deer Mother… Daisy’s Turn

Two years ago, when I took on raising Daisy, an orphaned deer, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I discovered this sweet, little baby deer wandering around down below our slope one morning in late May of 2011. After observing the fawn from a distance for two days, being worried sick about its safety, and wondering what might have happened to the mother, FD and I decided to take this speckled babe into our home. FD searched the nearby woodlands, pecan orchard, and the ditches along a busy, nearby road, for signs of a doe who had died or been killed, but never found anything. We finally decided (and later had it confirmed by the game warden) that, with it being an extreme drought year in Oklahoma, perhaps the mother gave birth to more than one fawn and had abandoned this one, not being able to provide enough nutrition for herself and her fawns. In the world of wildlife, self survival comes first.

Daisy leading her little doe fawn into a new bedding area.
Daisy leading her little doe fawn into a new bedding area.

By October of that year, I found myself completely exhausted. Not only had it been one of the hottest summers I can remember, it was also one of the driest on record. I spent every morning and early afternoon watering my two gardens, flowerbeds surrounding the house, and landscaping plants that we had put in when we moved here two years prior. I was not about to let all of our struggling plants die in the brutal conditions. The only good thing I could find about the extreme heat and drought that summer, was that the mowing had, thankfully, come to a screeching halt. Our Bermuda grass burned up in the scorching sun, as did all of the weeds. At least I did not have to worry about spending my usual seven hours a week mowing this place!

After nursing, the doe fawn follows Daisy through the dew-covered weeds to find a new bedding spot for the day. Daisy gently touches a hoof to the head or back of the fawn to let it know she wants it to stay. The fawn actually seeks out its own bedding spot in that approximate area.
After nursing, the doe fawn follows Daisy through the dew-covered weeds to find a new bedding spot for the day. Daisy gently touches a hoof to the head or back of the fawn to let it know she wants it to stay. The fawn actually seeks out its own bedding spot in that approximate area.

Even with these brutal conditions to deal with, adding the care and responsibility of raising a little deer to my daily watering and harvesting of two gardens was a welcomed change… in the beginning. Daisy was so cute that, other than making and feeding her goat milk formula every four hours, I did not mind the added work involved. Actually though, the process was a little more involved than just having to mix and feed. I also had to sterilize her bottles the first few weeks, and there was cleanup after a feeding, extra work helping her to potty and cleaning that up, extra time for brushing and bonding, and making sure she had an area to exercise in safely, and an adequate place in the house to hide and rest.

But after a few months, the worry and responsibility for seeing to Daisy’s needs increased, and I found myself tired and weary by the end of a day. I watched as this little deer paced the fence, having to remain penned up until hunting season was over in mid January. I did my best to keep her company, and FD built additional pen space to provide more room for running. We searched the woods for browse and brought these goodies to her to eat. Despite doing this, and referencing numerous books on whitetail deer, reading every bit of material I could find, I often felt that I fell short of providing Daisy with everything she would need to survive when released to the wild. But I did my best.

For those who would like a little refresher, or to catch up with Daisy’s story, I wrote about my experience raising her in the post, Being a Deer Mother….

In time, Daisy proved to me that she could manage just fine on her own. Once she was free to be wild, her instinct took over and time and again, my worry proved needless. Each time I saw her in the wild, I was proud. Daisy had managed to balance living in a human world, with living in the wild of nature. She was, indeed, resilient and strong.

But now that Daisy has become a mother for the very first time – and to twins no less – my worry has started anew. Would instinct, once again, guide her in this new experience? After all, her own upbringing was quite unorthodox. Would she possibly rely on some of that experience to care for her young? I wondered, do we really learn that much from our parents about caring for our own offspring? And, if that was the case, how on earth would Daisy manage?

Daisy spends a lot of time licking her fawns, keeping them clean, grooming them, and spending time bonding.
Daisy spends a lot of time licking her fawns, keeping them clean, grooming them, and spending time bonding.

In answer to my questions, Daisy made it evident from the day she gave birth, that she had her own way of raising her little fawns. She hid them in the tall grasses in our neighbor’s backyard, a distance from where she had birthed them. And she guarded them ferociously. In fact, our neighbor reported that Daisy let him and his three older dogs know, on day one, that she was in protective mode and would tolerate no curiosity from the likes of them! He said when he let the dogs out for their morning pit stop, Daisy went over to his very old Labrador, clubbed him on the head three times, and stood staring staunchly, as if to say, “You may LEAVE NOW!”. Apparently they got the message, as all three dogs ran for the house! He also mentioned his four cats had been scarcely seen that day. Fortunately, he understood Daisy was just being a good and protective mother. In fact, he was so proud about Daisy having her twins in his backyard that he gave us permission to come and go to check on her and her fawns whenever we pleased.

Even the ears get a thorough cleaning!
Even the ears get a thorough cleaning!

On the day they were born, I was able to observe Daisy feeding each of the fawns, usually about two hours apart. It was such a delight to see and hear! Eager feeders, they sucked with such vigor that I could actually hear the noisy production from my observation point a distance away! Daisy was loving and gentle with her babies, and she cleaned them meticulously. While a fawn was nursing, Daisy licked its anal region, stimulating its bladder and bowels. Instinctively, she consumed all the fawn released in an effort to keep the fawn’s scent down. Then, after nursing time, Daisy provided a really good bath for baby, licking any milk froth from around its mouth to ensure all traces of odor were eliminated. I was so proud to see that Daisy was being such a good mother to these two sweeties!

Daisy is on "patrol" and ever alert to possible danger or threats in the area. She appears to cover about a 5 acre radius of where her fawns are cleverly hidden.
Daisy is on “patrol” and ever alert to possible danger or threats in the area. She appears to cover about a 5 acre radius of where her fawns are cleverly hidden.

By evening that first day, Daisy had decided there was too much dog and cat traffic up top behind our neighbor’s home, and she should move her twins to the woodland area below. Daisy maneuvered down the steep decline with her usual ease, but both fawns had difficulty following. The first fawn rolled and tumbled to the bottom, while the other became entangled in wild honeysuckle, finally giving up and simply dropping in exhaustion. With Daisy not stopping to wait, FD assisted the tired little fawn, a buck, and freed him from the honeysuckle. Down at the bottom, the other fawn, a little doe, became stuck in the wire of an old, metal gate that was partially buried in the woodland bottom. FD freed it as well, and attempted to put the gate in an upright position so the fawns would not become entangled again. Daisy, foraging ahead in the dense trees, brush, and weeds of the woodland floor, was still on high alert for predators, but was not bothered by FD’s presence. Leaving the twins safely again with their mother, FD walked away and, in time, they each found a place to settle down and rest.

Daisy with her little buck fawn, getting a little exercise and searching for a new bedding area.
Daisy with her little buck fawn, getting a little exercise and searching for a new bedding area.

All seemed well with the arrangement of having her fawns in the neighbor’s woodland area until the afternoon of day two, when Daisy showed up with her right eye mostly closed, and some scratches and scrapes on her nose. Seeing Daisy’s condition, FD and I looked around for the twins that evening, but only spotted the little buck still lying in a rather dangerous spot near the fence line bordering the pecan orchard – and very near a well-traveled animal trail – where I had seen him earlier that morning. Finally, we discovered Daisy with the little doe up top in the neighbor’s backyard. This was quite a distance from where the buck fawn laid and, though I had seen Daisy nurse the doe in this area a couple of times that day, I had not seen her nurse the buck at all. Perhaps the buck had moved on his own, and Daisy had not been able to locate him. By dark, Daisy seemed to be looking for the buck up top, calling and pacing nervously in the area he had been the day before. Finally, FD and I made the decision to retrieve him from the dangerous spot he had chosen to bed down in near the animal trail. It was a good decision. Daisy seemed very relieved to see her boy again, and he nursed heartily as soon as his little hooves touched ground!

Daisy's little buck spies me looking over the fence. He's not a bit camera shy!
Daisy’s little buck spies me looking over the fence. He’s not a bit camera-shy!

On day three, Daisy had opened her right eye, but she still had a lot of facial swelling from some kind of altercation the day before. I gave her plenty of attention that morning, which she seemed to enjoy. That afternoon, I was away from the ten-acre ranch for a few hours, going to a nearby city for supplies. On my return, I heard a terrible ruckus coming from down in the canyon. There was repeated deer snorting, and crackling of dead wood. Hearing all this commotion, I dropped my goods and ran to the bottom of the slope, finding Daisy thrashing wildly at something in the fence line bordering the pecan orchard! I had never seen her like this! She was crashing into the fence repeatedly, with her front hooves beating the thickets along the fence line. Her loud snorting echoed loudly in the woodland bottom, while chattering squirrels and screeching birds joined the din! I could not make out just what it was that she was after, but it was very clear Daisy was serious about warding off the “whatever-it-was”!

Daisy spending a little time bonding with her little fella. Soon he will wander off in search of a clever hiding spot, until his mama comes to feed him again.
Daisy spending a little time bonding with her little fella. Soon he will wander off in search of a clever hiding spot, until his mama comes to feed him again.

Daisy remained on high alert the rest of that day. She patrolled the neighbor’s backyard almost constantly. By the time FD got home from work, it had become clear Daisy was searching for a better place for her fawns. We watched as she led the little doe to the chain link fence that separates our property from our neighbor’s backyard. Soon, Daisy jumped over to our side, but when the fawn could not follow, both became distressed. The fawn scampered back and forth, mewing like a kitten. Daisy encouraged the fawn to follow her, with short, deep grunts. But the little fawn could not jump the fence, nor could it find a way along the fence to get through to Daisy. Daisy did not seem to understand why the little doe could not follow. Finally, after about an hour of watching Daisy and her fawn go back and forth along the fence, with the fawn mewing and Daisy grunting, then the fawn resting while Daisy continued to pace, then the whole process starting up anew, FD and I made the decision to assist. FD climbed over the fence, retrieved the little doe while Daisy supervised intently, and handed her over to me. Daisy was right there as I put the little doe on the ground. Mother and baby where now both very happy, and with a low grunt from Daisy, they headed off together to FD’s mother’s iris beds, located under a lovely canopy of trees that Daisy used to enjoy as a comforting place to rest when she was a young yearling.

It's time to find just the right spot for a nap!
It’s time to find just the right spot for a nap!

Of course, seeing all this now had FD and me wondering what would happen to the little buck? We knew where he was hiding in our neighbor’s back yard, but dare we move him now? It was already dark and any assisting at this point would have to be done with flashlights – and quickly! We decided to go ahead and bring the buck to Daisy so that she could settle the little fella on our side of the fence and not have the same pacing, bawling, and grunting scenario come up again in the night. So, while I watched Daisy settle the little doe, FD went off to retrieve the little buck.

After the doe laid down, Daisy began to graze in the pasture just south of our house while I walked with her. Suddenly, she became very alert and bounded off swiftly and purposefully in the direction FD had gone! Panicked, I yelled to FD that Daisy was heading his way and to “PLEASE SAY SOMETHING!” because Daisy was acting as if she sensed a predator in the area where she had left her buck fawn and might be in attack mode!

Arriving at the fence, Daisy looked ferocious, her body language showing full-tilt concern! Quickly, FD did his “Daisy” whistle and then spoke gently to her. I could see her body relax in the flashlight beam, but she was still worried and continued to pace the fence. Finally, FD emerged from the trees and handed the little buck over the fence to me. Once in my hands, I held the fawn out for Daisy to sniff. Immediately, she licked her boy and, making two, low grunting noises, beckoned the little fella to follow her as I set him down. Daisy led this fawn towards Mom’s house as well, while FD and I looked on, exhausted. Here it was, 11:15 at night and FD had to be up early for work the next day.

I often observe Daisy "catching scent" these days. She seems to be ever alert, all of her senses highly keen to danger.
I often observe Daisy “catching scent” these days. She seems to be ever alert, all of her senses highly keen to danger.

The next morning, I felt the need to call my own Mom. She had mentioned many years ago, that when she came home from the hospital after each of us kids were born, her mother always came to assist for a few days after. During these times, Grandma helped with cooking and housework so that Mom could rest and enjoy a little pampering. As I chatted with Mom, I wanted to know more about Grandma’s help and what it had meant to her. I explained to Mom how very tired I had been these past days, but that I was also glad to be able to help Daisy when she had a few little problems. I do not suppose anyone takes on the role of being a new mother while knowing exactly what to do or how motherhood should be, other than by tapping into instinct and what we remember from our own experiences of “being” mothered.

After all the events of this first week of Daisy’s motherhood, I realized that, in some ways, she still needed assistance from her weird parents. I also wondered if, just maybe, she drew on the loving and petting and care she received from us in her own “childhood” as guidance in being a loving and caring mother to her offspring. Thinking this was possible, I felt a pride and warmth inside, realizing just how good it feels to be needed, and how rewarding it is to be able to help someone we love…

Daisy's doe (on left) and buck (on right). FD took this photo after their tumble down an embankment into the woodland area below our neighbor's backyard. Until their legs are strong enough to run and keep up with their mother, it is instinctual for them to lay motionless until danger has passed.
Daisy’s doe (on left) and buck (on right). FD took this photo after their tumble down an embankment into the woodland area below our neighbor’s backyard. Until their legs are strong enough to run and keep up with their mother, it is instinctual for them to lay motionless until danger has passed.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


72 thoughts on “Being a Deer Mother… Daisy’s Turn

  1. Such a heartwarming story, Lori. And those are two adorable babies! Thanks so much for giving us all a peek into Daisy’s amazing life. I’m wondering if you’ll be naming the fawns?

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    1. Thank you, Kim. We will probably give them names once we see what kind of personalities they have. It will probably be a couple more weeks before Daisy takes them out much. Although, we were surprised on Tuesday this week when Daisy sat out in the open, near my blackberry shrubs, with the little fella. He didn’t seem to want to stay put that day, and we found him playfully gamboling around Daisy. I think she was hoping he’d wear himself out! We saw her again later, still trying to get him settled! Evidently, mom’s of all sorts have trouble getting their kids to take naps sometimes!

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  2. What a wonderful blog!! I think Daisy knows you guys will help her if she needs it. It’s really wonderful that she let’s you both handle her babies. Your pictures are great. Thank you for sharing.

    Sue

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    1. Thanks, Sue! We get tickled sometimes how independent Daisy can be, yet other times she seems to bask in the attention and spoiling we do for her! I am so thankful she’s shared this time with us. We try to keep our distance, though, respecting her need to keep them secretly hidden.

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    1. I appreciate that Yvonne! I just need to learn to listen more to my body, and perhaps do as Daisy does… find a shady spot and just RELAX! Daisy is an amazing girl… we’re so fortunate to have this experience.

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  3. Awww that picture of Daisy catching scent is precious, and she’s doing SO well!! You raised her good. I love how you helped her but she still managed to get up on her own feet and care for some little ones of her own. Nice job. I had no clue it’s instinct to stay motionless! oO

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    1. Oh, I know! I love when I sight Daisy catching scent! She always has a “dreamy” look, as if she is really in touch with her surroundings, at all sense levels.

      For many mammals, the ability to be motionless and stay hidden are paramount to survival. These little fawns instinctively know how to hide, and remain invisible by being motionless. Even when they begin to play together in a couple of weeks, they will play “hide and seek” which is beneficial to them later on… practicing to be skilled at hiding!

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  4. Wow, it is sooooo cool to vicariously see and hear Daisy and her exploits. Sundog, You are one great storyteller and I look forward to your postings. I even find myself worrying about her when things look bleak but keep it coming. I wonder how many people around the world know about Daisy? Finally, you and FD are wonderful grandparents, LOL!

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    1. Ha ha!! Thanks Louis! I hope we are not intrusive grandparents, just there to lend a hand or two when needed. I’m sure there are many people worldwide, who are touched by Daisy’s amazing story. It is nice to hear positive feedback on Daisy.

      I hoped this last post wasn’t too long for reading. There is just so much happening right now, and I don’t have time daily to write about the events surrounding Daisy’s motherhood. I will try to be more brief in posts. I’m glad you enjoyed it Louis.

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  5. Wow, such an amazing post and incredibly beautiful photos! I love reading all about Daisy, and it’s even more wonderful now that she has 2 little ones! It’s so heartwarming how Daisy trusts you, and how much you really are family to her. Looking forward to more stories and pictures! 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much Dounia! As usual, Daisy seems to be handling everything resiliently. She is a great protector and defender, yet gentle and attentive to her babies. It’s very amazing to watch her. It’s lovely too, that she still comes to chill near the house here, and keep an eye on the area where the babies are hidden. I’ll try to post again soon!

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    1. Well, Auntie Ruthie, I’m sure Daisy will allow you to see the kids one day soon! If nothing else, you can bet Zoe will attack you for attention the moment you arrive!! LOL

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    1. Thank you so much! There are many stories about Daisy and how she came to be in our lives. She has truly changed my life… and I think she has quite an audience world-wide. It’s amazing to think of how she has caused many of us to be more aware of nature and the messages that come forth each day. We are so happy that Daisy continues to share her exceptional life with us!

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    1. Thank you so much Marie! Daisy has been pretty good to allow me to follow her with my camera and big zoom. I’m so thankful the zoom allows me great photos from a distance. That way I can be respectful of Daisy’s space, and roaming area with her babies! I’m also happy my camera has an “action” mode. Those fawns can really run fast!!

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  6. I’m so excited! Baby pictures! And I lovelovelove that grandma and grandpa’s help is so accepted and welcome! I never expected her to even let you guys near her babies. This is so amazingly cool!

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    1. Thanks Sandy! I’m happy you love the photos. We never expected Daisy to allow us this either. Though she lets us know not to be too close, she has also let us know when she was stressed and needed help. Communication isn’t always easy, but we find a way. And, we try to be very respectful. Any photos are taken at quite a distance. Thank goodness for the zoom lens!

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  7. You’ve given us a wonderful glimpse into a world that remains hidden to so many. Thanks to you, too, for taking the time to take the pictures, provide the context, write the narrative and reflect on your experience – that takes a good bit of time, too!

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    1. What a wonderful compliment! This experience is just too wonderful and amazing not to share. Having studied up on whitetail deer for more than 2 years now, I thought I knew a lot… but Daisy always takes us to a higher place, doesn’t she?

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    1. Oh, thank you so much! I’m so thankful Daisy allows us to observe from a distance. I’m even more thankful for the help of that zoom lens! And yes, Daisy is starting her own little herd!! Well put!

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  8. Lori this is a lovely post :). Daisy has decided to come back to the fold where she knows it is safe and that should tell you that all of those months of hard work have paid off. I just set one of your beautiful images as my desktop background so that I can think of daisies fawns when I study 🙂 Have a great weekend being “grandma” 🙂

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    1. Thank you Fran! We are very happy Daisy feels safe here. Yesterday FD and I talked about how interesting it is that she has chosen spots on our property to hide her babies, where she, as a yearling, hid during the days to rest. I am also thankful she trusts us enough to “hang about” and photograph her and the twins. I’m just so very proud of our girl!

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      1. Steve got up yesterday and said “That’s a lovely photo you have on the desktop” he thought it was a professional photograph taken from something like National Geographic :). I told him who took the shot and he is suitably impressed with your photography. I think that aside from your obvious talent behind a camera, your love for Daisy and her babies brings out some magic in these fantastic shots :).

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        1. That just made my day! Thank you SO much! A week ago a friend of ours stated my photos were, “Bad Ass”, which made me feel really good. Sometimes it is difficult to take credit personally. Truly, it’s my love of nature, and great technology that allow me some wonderful opportunities for wildlife photography. A 100mm – 400mm zoom lens helps to get those distance shots a little closer. And thankfully, Daisy and her fawns aren’t camera shy. For other wildlife, it requires being sneaky and having a bit of tracking knowledge… and of course a lot of LUCK! Out of 100 shots, I might get 3 or 4 nice shots and maybe 1 exceptional photo. And then there are days where nothing goes right. This morning, I was attempting a shot of a Common Buckeye butterfly (which are NOT that common around here!) in a patch of weeds that were chest high. Not able to actually see where I was stepping, I slid my foot forward with the camera in hand, camera focused ON the butterfly. As I stepped forward, landing in a small depression in the ground, I lost my balance and tumped over, INTO the weeds! Of course my beautiful subject flew away! Oh, and the worst of photography in the surrounding woods right now and anywhere on our property, are the ticks and mosquitoes. It’s truly a labor of love to go down in the canyon for any kind of photos these days!

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          1. Thank you for your efforts because they are SO worth it for the rest of we tick free unbitten computer chair voyeuers :). Steve is discovering just how hard it is to get that “perfect shot”. He has little patience as it is but he is having to learn ALL about patience as part of a photographers journey 🙂

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          2. Fran, you always give me a good laugh!! Tick free and unbitten… how funny! I admit I have struggled with patience all of my life. Photography seems to be the one outlet where I at least try (until the mosquitoes, gnats and ticks drive me away!) – where I can focus on the subject and observe all that surrounds me. Sometimes, by waiting, something even more interesting or intriguing comes along that I might have missed had I given up! Ah, there are opportunities all of our lives to show us what we are missing. Impatience causes us to miss a lot of awesome moments!

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          3. Hopefully photography can teach Steve that :). It’s amazing how patient he can be when he is working on something that interests him though…selective patience methinks! 😉

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    1. Yes, we call the twins our granddeer! This is especially personal and special for me since I have no children of my own. I always worried and fretted over Daisy being out there in the wild on her own, and I can already tell I worry about these little fawns. Hopefully, Daisy will manage to keep them hidden and safe until they’re a little bigger and able to keep up with her. We’re doing our part by keeping the front gate shut to help ward off dogs (people in town let their dogs run loose a lot) and keeping the area quiet and as stress-free as possible. Daisy is very ferocious about protecting her babies… and I can say as Grandma, I’m pretty ferocious myself!! LOL

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  9. What a marvellous family! Daisy’s faons are so pretty! Thanks for sharing. You are very lucky, my dear friend. Have a nice and lovely week-end! Big hugs.

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    1. We are enjoying an overcast day, and I’m sure Daisy and the fawns are happy to get a reprieve from the hot sun! Thank you so much for the lovely compliment on Daisy’s fawns. The little girl looks dainty and sweet, just like Daisy did when she was little. The little buck is rambunctious and cute as he can be! He might resemble his Daddy… I’ll have to look at the photos from November to be sure!! I hope you are having a lovely weekend, my dear friend! Love to you…

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  10. Lori, your description of her attacking what ever it was down by the fence line gave me gooseflesh! The new babies are so adorable. I’m glad they have you and FD as an assist when they needed to move on.

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    1. Lynda, I had never seen Daisy so ferocious! Today her face finally looks better; less swelling and the scrapes and scratches are healing well. For anyone who has never heard a deer “snort”, it sounds like a heavy rush of air, kind of a huff, but tremendously loud! The first time I ever heard it I thought there was some kind of beast in the woods. Daisy was snorting constantly and those hooves were striking with determination. I also saw her go after a feral cat the other morning. She’s on patrol much of the day, and I suspect at night too. Life is difficult for wildlife… caring and protecting their young.

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      1. Wow, allow me to be the first to congratulate you for the above honor. L-Sundog, that is great news indeed. I am feeling so proud to “know” you and to know how much your blog is appreciated that I am left speechless. WONDERFUL WORK!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Isn’t it just amazing how instinct is strong in animals? Something we’ve noticed, that I will be blogging about, is that Daisy is hiding her fawns in two areas (they bed them separate about 50 to 200 feet apart) that Daisy herself loved to bed down in after she was set free. We have also observed Daisy trying to get the little buck interested in hiding in the deer pen in the canna’s where Daisy was kept as a little fawn. Of course the little fella doesn’t want to be there… but I think it’s interesting that Daisy would take her fawns to the very pen she was raised in, to bed down and find comfort.

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  11. I’ve been saving this post to read quietly as I’ve been busy. I admire your restraint in not always jumping in to help straight away, but isn’t Daisy lucky you’re both keeping an eye on her. Do you think you will interact with the fawns or try to keep away from them, so that they stay wild? I love the image of Daisy bopping the neighbor’s dog on the head.

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    1. Daisy does have her ways of communicating when she needs or wants something. She has let us know she prefers privacy when she’s nursing the fawns, but she does allow us to stand at a distance to watch. I have a good zoom lens to get closer. We often see her take each fawn out separately, for exercise in the pasture just south of our house. I think the fawns will probably allow us to be around, and maybe won’t be bothered with our presence, but I’m doubtful we’ll be able to pet or groom them like we do Daisy. They will be less afraid of us because Daisy is comfortable with us, but I don’t feel Daisy will want us to interact with them. It’s instinct to protect them and keep them alert and wild.

      Daisy has been very protective since birthing the fawns. She went after our biggest Japanese Chin, Tori, the other afternoon! Tori had no idea he was about to get a rap to the head! I quickly came to his rescue! Daisy patrols the area often… we see her laying down a distance from where the fawns are bedded down (separately) but she’s always on alert!

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  12. It is amazing wild babies ever make it to adulthood given all the risks and dangers they face, as your post reveals in just this small slice of time and place. It is great you are able to lend a hand just enough to help them over those man-made hurdles (fence, wire, etc.) but then respectful enough to back away with that zoom lens to bring us back in close, so the babies can grow wild as possible to hopefully avoid those who intend to do them harm in the future. The instincts of animal mothers or parents is incredible, when you think about Daisy’s upbringing, as you note. Your photos are so touching.

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    1. Thanks Kat! Animal instinct IS amazing. Watching Daisy use instinct, and yet practice some things she grew up with (using Mom’s iris beds near the house for protection – knowing that was where SHE felt comfortable as a fawn). Daisy has not relied on us much for survival… that has been completely instinct. There is much that I’m noticing about Daisy with her fawns. She’s so alert, and careful to patrol for predators. She takes odd paths and is secretive about the whereabouts of her fawns. She nurses in hiding, having privacy while bonding with her babies. Humans parade around with their babies, exposing them to everything from the get-go. I have to wonder if there is something we might learn about following instinct rather than social inclination in raising our own children.

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    1. You are so complimentary… makes me feel good! I have a Canon T1i, and my favorite and most used lens is a Canon zoom lens EF 100-400mm image stabilizing. It’s a fairly heavy piece of equipment so I don’t bother carrying a tripod. Most of my work is done in the auto-focus setting, because I don’t often have time to manually focus when photographing wildlife. The zoom lens is an expensive piece, but it’s an investment that we have never regretted. It’s been worth every dime!

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  13. Hi Lori, I am enjoying the photographs of the fawns in this post. I feel you are embarking on a new journey as you and FD interact with Daisy and her fawns. I am wondering how many of Daisy’s offspring and descendants may come to regard your property as a haven or refuge.

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    1. Good morning Margaret! We have a friend in Texas who raised Sassy deer – http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimra/sets/1689807/. I believe Sassy is 8 years old now and has a family herd of her own. She brings her local herd to eat corn each morning. FD and I hope that Daisy might do the same, raising her own family herd here. My friend has warned me that the deer will eat every bit of vegetation unless it’s fenced in. Frankly, the birds eat a lot of what is fenced in… so unless we put up a dome or greenhouse of some type, the wildlife here on the property will enjoy the fruits of our labor. FD and I are just fine with that! We love having Daisy here… and her family will be welcome.

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  14. Lori, I just read the blog on Daisy’s twins. How wonderful that she has come to you and FD for help. What a wonderful blessing to have her and now the twins. I have been having computer issues so haven’t been able to get messages. Love to you all. Mamie

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    1. How wonderful to see you and Lynn here this morning!! Woo hoo!! My Chin friends!! Or should I say woo woo!! I wish you were here with me this morning, as we watched Daisy look for her little buck for about an hour and a half and finally she located him quite a distance from where she’d been looking. I think the buck relocates himself throughout the day, and poor Daisy goes looking for him! Boys!! The little doe minds Daisy very well, and she’s pretty and dainty like Daisy. We’ve named them Spirit and Rowdy. I’m sure you can guess which is which!!

      I love you, my dear, sweet friend! Be well and I hope you solve those computer issues!

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