The content of shoot fodder in the autumn and winter food of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.)

Janiszewski, P.; Szczepanski, W.

Sylwan 145(5): 83-90


ISSN/ISBN: 0039-7660
Accession: 003965330

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A total of 177 samples of red deer rumen contents were analysed. The percentages of dry mass of shoot fodder (trees and shrubs) and dry mass of herb fodder (grasses and sedges) were calculated. The material served to calculate the percentage share of both kinds of fodder in the rumen mass, as well as proportion of shoot fodder to herb fodder. Moreover, within the category of shoot fodder, a calculation was made of the proportion of tree shoots to those of woody shrubs. It was found that shoot fodder was the basis of the red deer diet. It was shown that the share of shoots to herb fodder depended on gender and age of deer. In the diet of hinds and calves, two parts of shoot fodder were eaten to one part of herb fodder. In the diet of stags, over three parts of woody plants were eaten to one part of herb plants. The browsing by deer also changed with the time of year.