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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Deer (Cervus Elaphus) farming in the west of France : technical and economical results

INRA Prod Anim., 9 (2), 121-131.

M. BENOIT¹, A. BRELURUT²

1INRA Laboratoire Economie de l’Elevage Theix 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle

2INRA Laboratoire Adaptation des Herbivores aux Milieux Theix 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle

Abstract 

Technical data issuing from 10 deer farms of the west of France were recorded from 1991 to 1994. These recent farms house around 60 hinds and are, all but one, a diversification of the farming concerns’ activities. During the four years, we observed a wide variability in results between farms and a drop in zootechnical performances (from 0.81 to 0.68 weaned fawns/hind/year on average), most likely linked to the dense population within the enclosure which reached as high as 14 hinds/ha (7 LSU/ha). Venison deer, representing 68 % of animal sold, are mainly marketed on the farm. Wholeale prices dropped severely during the period (from 77 to 50 F/kg of carcass) and breeding stock sales tailed off. The gross margin decreased from 2408 F/hind in 1992 to 1394 F in 1994, following a fall in retail prices and a déterioration of performances. An equivalent margin to that of suckling cows or sheep would necessitate a productivity of 0.85 weaned fawn/hind/year and a retail price of 60 F/kg of carcass.

Tehnical success lies in an approach adapted to the particularties of Deer and in a reduced population density within enclosures. Moreover, the low productivity potential of this wild species demands a high retail price for products which can, in the absence of an organised network, be achieved within the context of agrotourism around deer farming.

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