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Influence of Protein-Energy Intake on Deer Fawns in Autumn

Louis J. Verme and John J. Ozoga
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr., 1980), pp. 305-314
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3807960
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3807960
Page Count: 10
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Influence of Protein-Energy Intake on Deer Fawns in Autumn
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Abstract

Fawn white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were fed 2 levels of protein (16.2 vs. 6.6%) and 2 of energy (3,000 vs. 2,700 kcal/kg) in a factorial-design study for 10 weeks in autumn. Twenty-seven physical parameters indicative of body growth, metabolic state, and lipogenesis under these nutritional regimes were examined. Fawns receiving diets higher in energy exhibited greater gains in body weight and skeletal size, had larger internal organs, and accumulated heavier fat depots compared to animals on lower caloric intake. Level of dietary protein in itself had minimal effects on the relative well-being of fawns, although substantial protein-energy interactions often were noted. Differences in physiological status among test groups were confirmed by blood assays from these animals. The role of autumn nutrition in promoting proper growth and health of fawns, the potential consequences of protein or energy deprivation, and the management implications of these findings are discussed.

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