April Blog: Shipley’s Science

Doc Shipley writes:


      Finally a few nice days with sunshine and no rain! It has been an incredibly hard winter throughout most of the Midwest.  Snow, rain, wind, sleet, more of same and repeat from November to mid May.  It’s the perfect case for supplemental feeding if your state will allow.

      My observations of local deer here in east central Illinois and the farmed deer I work with is that they came through winter in poorer condition than normal.  You may want to check your food plots and pastures.  Mine suffered almost a 50% die off due to standing water and freezing and thawing.  I frost seeded in February and am praying that that will help but even concerned about that as it has done nothing but rain, freeze and snow since and new stand looks thin as of yesterday…time will tell.

     Fawns will start to come in a month or so in the wild.  For those of us farming deer, this will be the money maker for us.  With good weather, vaccinations for our does prior to fawning to improve colostrum and proper nutrition and care, our fawns will hopefully be healthy. 

     I wish I had a controlled study to brag about, but last year with Maximizer in my feed, I had the best fawning percentage ever and lost only one fawn (out of 43) and it was a very small triplet with the other two fawns being “normal sized” and fine.  Antler growth is occurring right now and it is vital that deer have all the nutrients they can get.  The last 6 weeks of gestation is also important as half of fetal growth occurs at this time.  I switched from my winter 14% protein feed to my summer 16% protein feed 3 weeks ago to accommodate this energy,  protein and mineral requirement.

Doc Shipley
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