The Buck Stops Here

At Erway Farms… is he not a beauty? That is if he is not rubbing the bark off your trees and eating your flowers. But, that is nature in progress and living in deer habitat is bound to create some tension. But here at the Farm, these deer live in conditions similar to their brethren out in the wild, but have it even better.

It has been awhile since I posted on GA. I have been very busy working at Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure in Wilson, New York. I report on the fun and activities on Garden Walk Garden Talk to partially help promote Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure and, to have their customers read about the what is happening at the Farm. Take a look at the website. I designed it and took many of the photos. You will see other activities and animals at the Farm. I usually have posts on making Christmas wreaths and Kissing Balls, and things like Santa visiting and the tree cutting fun on GWGT.

I took some photos of the deer I would like to share because they are pretty stunning creatures, ones that if they were roaming free, would likely be hanging on a wall by now.

I think this deer is a pretty one and I took a lot of photos of him. He does not have the biggest rack of the deer at the Farm though.

He even gave me a nice pose. This is the walk to the deer pens below. Calling them deer pens seems not accurate because all the deer have large fields filled with trees and grasses. I showed on GWGT how the deer can hide in the brush undetected, just like they can in the wild.

These deer are very tame and the kids can feed them. There are signs that the deer could nip, but I have never had any nipping issues. You can see the white feeding tubes that helps keep little fingers where they belong, on the kid’s hand. I pet and feed the deer when the owners give me fruit for them.

This deer below is on loan to the Farm. He is a real sweetie. He is a small bodied deer with very large antlers. The owner told me that the rack is very heavy and the deer will lay the rack on the ground while resting. Here he is not doing that, but I have seem him lay them down.

The next deer is named Moe. I was walking by while he was way back in his pen. I and all the customers were watching him because he appeared to be in a trance for about ten minutes. He was just staring and his back-end was swaying side to side. He appeared to have his hind legs together, barely balancing himself.

I had to ask why he was doing this and found out that they have tarsal glands in their back legs at the hock area that they rub together.  They may use these glands during rutting season. These glands consist of a tuft of elongated hairs that is underlaid by an area of sebaceous glands. These enlarged glands secrete a fatty substance, lipid, that adheres to the long hairs of the leg.

This image comes from NY Antlers Outdoors website. I showed it so you can see what I am talking about. They also helped me with some of the information I am posting.

All deer – bucks and does, adults and fawns – urinate on the Tarsal Gland in a behavior called rub-urination. The bucks do this to establish dominance over other bucks, it is thought. There are many bucks at Erway Farms and I just never saw this behavior before. As the urine runs over the Tarsal Gland, the fatty material is secreted from the glands to the hairs. The urine that remains on the gland undergoes some kind of reaction with the air outside and with bacteria to produce the gland’s musky smell.

I know that this information does not paint a pretty picture, but I was intrigued when I saw the trance like behavior. So let’s end the post with a photo of a dainty doe eating corn provided by the nice customer. So much more a blog friendly image.