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Raising Deer for Commercial Purposes: Tips and Tricks

Raising Deer for Commercial Purposes: Tips and Tricks

Deer farming is becoming a lucrative business in many developed and developing countries worldwide. While it is a challenging undertaking, rearing deer for commercial purposes can be very rewarding. Unfortunately, the commercial deer farming industry is still relatively uncharted compared to other agricultural endeavors. Below are some practical tips and tricks that you can use to get started on your deer farming venture.

Setting up the Farm

Choosing the Right Location

Choosing the correct geographic location is the most crucial step in deer farming. In general, you should select a location with abundant vegetation near streams or rivers, dense forests, and little human traffic. Make sure the area is free from human or animal health hazards such as pollutants, pesticides, and parasites. You should also factor in local regulations and zoning laws when selecting the location.

Building the Infrastructure

Once you have identified the ideal location for your deer farm, you need to build adequate infrastructure. Start by constructing deer pens with sturdy fencing tall enough to keep deer from jumping over. The pens should be spacious enough and have enough shade and ventilation to support deer grazing habits. Other essential infrastructure may include barns, breeding facilities, and slaughterhouses.

Choosing the Right Deer Breeds

There are two classes of deer commonly reared domestically; they are the white-tailed deer and the elk. The former is relatively more popular since it’s native to North America and better suited for the human lifestyle. When choosing the right deer breed, take into account the climatic conditions of your location, your production goals, and what the market is demanding.

Feeding and Nutrition Requirements

Deer have specific feeding habits that one needs to comply with to ensure a healthy herd. In general, deer are herbivores that mostly feed on shrubbery, grass, and leaves. Provide your deer with a wide diversity of greens to ensure that they get a healthy and balanced diet. Supplement their food intake with macronutrients and micronutrients to optimize growth.

Disease Management

Deer can be affected by various illnesses that you need to keep in mind to ensure a healthy harvest. Common diseases that affect deer include Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), BlueTongue, and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD). Make sure to have a veterinarian that understands the physiology of deer and a practical vaccination and prevention strategy.

Marketing and Sales

Marketing your farm products will depend on your locality and the season. During fall and winter, there is a high demand for venison in North America and Europe. You can sell your deer meat to butchers, supermarkets, and game farms. Other products that you can market include antlers, hides, and velvet from male deer. Establishing a brand that creates a connection with your customers can help you capitalize on repeat business.


Raising deer is a complex but rewarding enterprise, considering the numerous products and services it offers. It’s essential to understand the best practices in deer farming to ensure a healthy herd, from breeding and feeding to marketing and sales. Keep in mind all the regulatory hurdles that come with farming and provide a high-quality product to maximize profitability.


1. Is deer farming profitable?

Yes, deer farming is a very profitable business venture, mainly due to the high demand for deer products like meat, velvet, and antlers.

2. What do deer eat?

Deer are herbivores, and they consume grass, leaves, and shrubs.

3. What are some common deer diseases?

Some common deer diseases include Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), BlueTongue, and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).

4. Can deer jump over a fence?

Yes, some deer are capable of jumping fences. That’s why fencing your deer pens should be sturdy and at least eight feet tall.

5. Can I sell live deer?

Yes, you can sell live deer. However, ensure that it’s legal to do so in your area and that you have the appropriate licenses.

6. What is velvet from a deer?

Velvet refers to immature antler growth on male deer that are harvested for medicinal purposes.

7. Is deer farming environment friendly?

Deer farming is an environmentally friendly venture because they have a lower carbon footprint compared to other domestic livestock like cows and pigs.


Deer Farming in the 21st Century: An Introduction to the Modern European Method, by Kinsella, J.

How to Raise Deer for Fun and Profit, by Van Fleet, R.

Raising Deer for Fun and Profit: A New Approach to Keeping & Marketing Whitetails, by Childs, M.



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