Seasonal Comparison of Voluntary Intake and Feeding Behaviour in Korean Spotted Deer (Cervus nippon)

  • Moon, S.H. (Department of Animal Science, College of Natural Sciences, Kon-kuk University) ;
  • Jeon, B.T. (Department of Animal Science, College of Natural Sciences, Kon-kuk University) ;
  • Lee, S.M. (Dept. of Anim. Sci., Snag-ju National University) ;
  • Kim, K.H. (National Livestock Research Institute) ;
  • Hudson, R.J. (Dept. of Agric. Food and Nutri. Sci., University of Alberta)
  • Received : 2000.01.26
  • Accepted : 2000.04.22
  • Published : 2000.10.01


This experiment was carried out to examine the seasonal changes in feed intake and feeding behavior in Korean spotted deer under farmed condition to obtain basic information for efficient feeding management. The seasonal daily gain was the highest (p<0.05) in summer and the lowest (p<0.05) in winter. Dry matter intake (DMI) was the highest (p<0.05) in spring (2,685 g/day) and the lowest in winter (1,929 g/day). Intake of roughage in the DMI was the greatest in spring and that in winter was significantly lower (p<0.05) than in spring. Also DMI, expressed in terms of metabolic body weight ($kgW^{0.75}$), was 85.5 g, 70.6 g, 70.9 g and 65.1 g for spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively, and thus was the highest in spring and the lowest in winter (p<0.05). Deer exhibited similar eating patterns, comparatively short and frequent periods, in all seasons. They showed comparatively intensive patterns of rumination during midnight for autumn and winter and relatively continuous patterns of chewing activity during spring and summer. There were no significant differences in seasonal eating time and ruminating time. However, exercise time was the greatest for winter and the lowest for summer and there was a significant difference (p<0.05) between summer and winter. Although not significant, eating time per 100 gDM ingested tended to be short in spring and summer and long in autumn and winter. Ruminating time per 100 gDM ingested was the shortest (p<0.05) in spring compared with in other seasons. The conclusion can be drawn that since deer have seasonal differences in feed intake and feeding habits, it is necessary to establish and develop an efficient feeding system for deer.


Deer;Daily Gain;Dry Matter Intake;Seasonal Change;Eating;Ruminating


Supported by : Konkuk University

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