On Schedule

By the looks of Daisy deer’s udder on the afternoon of June 1st, I suspected she would give birth sometime that night or perhaps the next morning. Sure enough, Daisy promptly disappeared for nearly a week before we saw her again down at the feeders, looking slender and quite svelte with her beautiful, glossy red coat that doe mothers wear in spring. After a couple of attempts to follow Daisy to see where she might have her babies hidden (See my earlier post: A Beautiful Place), I realized my presence in the woods only caused problems. Further complicating the situation, we had three other does frequenting the feeders who had delivered babies in the days and weeks following the birth of Daisy’s babies. And there is yet another doe in this group who is still quite pregnant at this time. So, with so many fawns hidden in the area, and more to come, FD and I decided it might be best for all that we not interfere by traipsing around the woodland bottom.

When Daisy began patrolling the area up top of the canyon (around our home and pasture) a couple of weeks ago, we were finally able to give her a little attention. Around our home, she found the usual edibles to nibble on – plants that she would never find in the woods. Orange chard, various leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, roses, sand cherry shrubs, raspberries, and blackberries to name a few. FD and I enjoyed spending time picking ticks and parasites off of her (we might be a little weird that way, ya think?) and giving her a little mutual grooming time. As always though, she was very alert and often went running back down the slope to check on her babies, hidden in the woods nearby. At times, Daisy stopped to touch noses with Emma deer, groaning deeply as she moved away from her old pen. I am not sure what to think of this. Does she long to visit inside her old pen where many natural, deer-friendly edibles can be found, or does she wonder about the new occupants? I cannot help but think it is a good sign that Daisy continues to visit her old pen and does not seem hostile to Emma and Ronnie’s’ presence.

Daisy carefully looks from behind blackberry shrubs to make sure it is safe to cross the pasture in broad daylight.
Daisy carefully looks from behind blackberry shrubs to make sure it is safe for her and her baby to cross the pasture in broad daylight.
Daisy quickly leads a fawn across the pasture to bed down in my Mother-in-law's iris beds.
Daisy quickly leads a fawn across the pasture to bed down in my Mother-in-law’s iris beds.
Daisy grooming the male fawn.
Daisy grooming the male fawn.
Daisy showing her fawns the water tub, feeders and plant edibles at the bottom of the slope.
Daisy showing her fawns the water tub, feeders and plant edibles at the bottom of the slope.

Just this past week, Daisy’s fawns reached the age of one month and Daisy was spot on about bringing her twins out together. Over the past four years, FD and I have consistently observed that Daisy’s offspring were first introduced to the immediate area at about one month of age. And perhaps it is not so much that it is Daisy’s idea, but rather that by the time fawns are three to four weeks of age, they become more curious and playful. The fawns still bed down separately, and there are many times when I see Daisy with one fawn grazing alongside her. But often, especially in the evenings, we observe Daisy with both fawns.

One of Daisy's twins is a male. We have not been able to identify the sex of the other.
One of Daisy’s twins is definitely a male. We have not been able to positively identify the sex of the other.
These two seem to be playing, but they are also practicing skills they will need in the wild.
These two seem to be playing, but they are also practicing skills they will need in the wild, like leaping over creek beds and sparring to establish their place in the herd.

Daisy's Fawns 2016_6189 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6188 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6187 IMG_6186 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6185 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6184 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6183 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6182 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6181 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6180 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6179 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6178 Daisy's Fawns 2016_6169

It will not be long, and the woodlands will have many spotted babies scampering alongside their mothers and interacting with each other in play. I can’t help but wonder if this might be a very good sign for Emma deer and Ronnie deer at some point. I am hopeful for what the future might bring for Emma and Ronnie – that Daisy and her fawns and friends will accept these two orphans into their tribe someday…

Daisy and Fawns 2016_6054

 

© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


56 thoughts on “On Schedule

    1. Thank you, James. Yes, the collars let hunters know the deer have been raised by humans. Also, it helps our neighbors identify Daisy easily. I am surprised Daisy allowed us to put the last collar on. She’s gotten more wild in the last year, and she’s never liked the collars much. Ronnie won’t have one once he grows his antlers.

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        1. I have a license with the State of Oklahoma to care for orphaned and injured wildlife (if I choose to take them in) with the understanding that they will be freed to the wild when they are able. I do worry… but we do what we can to prepare them to be on their own and offer a “soft” release where they can still come back for security, and venture out a little at a time or all at once. It’s up to the animal/bird. Squirrels often stay in their shelter for a few months before venturing off to the woods. We continue to feed them as long as they come back to visit.

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          1. Thank you so much! I totally agree about the connections we make and the way it all networks and interweaves in the world. I always find that everything comes back to nature and how we treat her and take care of her. Just think what like-minded people can do as one! 🙂

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  1. And the wonderful cycle of life goes on :). I wonder if the fawns are both male? They seem to be sparring equally? Lovely to see Daisy looking so healthy and her beautiful fawns and the more she interacts with the orphans the better.

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  2. Oh my goodness. This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us! They grow so fast, these animals. Amazing what they are up to in a month’s time. I love animal intelligence. We are so wrong to think we are superior in all things.

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    1. Ha ha! I loved that crunching, chomping noise too. I’m surprised that the iPhone has great audio. I’m still trying to get better with the videos. Just like with photographs, I might get one good one out of a bunch of them!

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  3. What a treat to get to see the video of Daisy and Emma and Ronnie. Delightful. I laughed at hearing Daisy crunching into the orange chard! Cute photos of the fawns sparring, too. What a fun post, thank you Lori.

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    1. Thank you, Ardys. So much of the daily activity with the deer is humorous and quite entertaining. I miss a lot of good video when I don’t carry my phone. I’m on the hunt for pants with lots of deep pockets. So far a couple of pair of Dickies scrubs are fitting the bill for pockets, lightweight fabric, and extreme comfort. They just look very baggy!

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  4. What beautiful captures – Daisy is such a wonderful Mum – I worry for her and her babies – I know you do even more – it is so hard to allow them the freedom of the wild – such a strong thing – and with it comes such beauty. I hope your two can move out into the world at large just as Daisy did.. wonderful – love love.. c

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    1. You describe perfectly my thoughts and feelings the past years – worry and concern for Daisy and her fawns. And in the past there has been so much loss for Daisy. This year, grief over losing Zoe has numbed my emotions a bit. More than anything, I tend to worry about Ronnie deer. Does have a much easier life than bucks. And he seems to be a small deer. I hope that with so many deer in the area this year, that these two will be welcomed as members of the local herd. Time will tell. And you can bet I will be observing, documenting, and photographing it every chance I get!

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  5. Lori the pics and the video or marvelous. Really, the vid came out very good. Daisy made me laugh as I watched her bite off a stalk of Swiss Chard. Your yard and everything growing in it looks lush. I know that you must work yourself down to a nub to keep it all looking so good.

    Love the enclosure FD built for the fawns. It’s perfect. Daisy and the fawns are sure looking good.

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    1. Thank you, Yvonne. FD is so handy at everything! He cut a door for the old barn so that Daisy could easily access the barn when she was little. Emma and Ronnie use it a good bit. They have food and water inside and a mineral block. There is water outside too, and I cut elm branches and cat brier each morning for them to nibble on. The enclosed pen was Daisy’s pen, but we will be expanding it soon as we need to find tree shade for these two. They’ll have better shade near the chicken pen. Unfortunately, they’ll have to be even closer to those noisy roosters!

      I’m using an old crock pot as a bottle warmer. The bottles kept falling over in the water, so FD designed a holder from wire fencing. He’s a very clever guy… always doing what he can to make my job easier.

      The property is lush and green right now. We’ve had nice rains this spring. Now it’s heating up… we’ll see how long the green lasts! 😀

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  6. What a delight to see a video of Daisy, the little ones and your ‘spread’. I so hope all the fawns will stay safe. Thank you so much for finding time to share with us xxx

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  7. Daisy’s two fawns on the hill side with the big ears all alert is a darling picture. Maybe having Daisy stop by her old pen, and her fawns playing near willlead to a chance your new orphans will find a peer group!

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  8. Ah, it is so wonderful to see Daisy alive and well with fawns and also munching down on those foods in the video. Did you have any left after that?! I do hope Emma and Ronnie will be accepted too. Let’s hope her reactions to smelling the pen are a good sign. Thanks as always for sharing such beautiful pictures and thoughtful words, Lori. x

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    1. Ha ha! Yes Jane, never fear, the chard is plentiful. Oddly, Daisy never kills out plants. She nibbles what she likes and leaves enough to grow back. FD got a phone call last night from a neighbor across the street who spotted Daisy coming from the neighborhood, crossing the road and heading in the pecan orchard direction. I had no idea she even went INTO the neighborhood across the street (in town). Here we have had so many thoughts about Daisy taking Emma and Ronnie into her fold of family and friends, and now we realize she’s IN the neighborhood. Has she always done this? Did one of her fawns get away? Another mystery… will we ever have all of the answers, Jane?

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  9. I always look forward to your Blog. You are so talented. Your writings and pictures are amazing. I always feel better after reading this and seeing the pictures. Thank you.

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    1. I have so many photos that it’s hard to pick from them. I wish I was able to dedicate more time to my blog. There just isn’t enough ME to go around! 😀

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  10. What a lovely post! And the video and pictures are beautiful! I was wondering about tics. You mentioned about picking them off Daisy. If a cat or dog gets a tic and it’s not picked up immediately it can be deadly. How dangerous (or not) are they for animals like deer? x

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    1. Almost all mammals carry them around here. I have seen on deer where masses of ticks can congregate around the eyes. I imagine they can get infected but I have not heard of them being deadly to the animal. I think the risk is more about transmission when humans have contact with them. I should probably take more precautions when picking them off of Daisy. Mother mammals in the wild usually keep ticks and insects off of their babies with mutual grooming. But I am sure there are cases where a large infestation could sicken or even cause the death of a baby.

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      1. I wonder if ticks are a different type here. One can be enough to make a dog or cat very sick and if it’s not noticed can kill them. I’ll have to do some research on Australian ticks and see if that’s the case.

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  11. That bottom photo where both fawns are looking right at you, right at the camera- straight to my heart. Love how you take care of them, wonderful, all of this.

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  12. Hi Lori, I enjoyed the photographs of the fawns and the video of Daisy savouring her vegetables very much. I guess your mother in law’s iris are very resilient given they are frequently used for bedding by deers.

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    1. Yes, Margaret. The iris thrive here and do not have setbacks despite being smashed down. There are lots of tree saplings sprouting well in the area as well, so it all makes for great cover for the fawns.

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    1. Thank you for thinking of us. We have been entertaining family the past few weeks, which is normal in the summers. This year it has been a big help to have visitors – they feed the deer and Daisy has brought her little ones out a lot, and of course Buddy the squirrel is a regular visitor to the back porch, so it’s kind of a wildlife camp for all to get a taste of our lives here. I have GOT to make time to tell about other situations… I’m just so tired by the end of the day and I cannot think to write! We have gotten ample rain off and on to help keep things hydrated most of the summer. Just now we’re seeing the grass dry up some. I hope you are managing with the heat? Just think… a couple of weeks from now hurricane season starts for you. I’m already hopeful fall weather will arrive early so we can get some of that August and September rain!

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