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Dry-matter intake during early phases of growth for subspecies of deer (Odocoileus hemionus) O'Keefe, James John


Forty-five fawns, representative of races of Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis, and Odocoileus hemionus hemionus were raised together under similar environmental conditions. The daily dry matter intake was recorded for all of the animals for periods of from eight to twelve weeks during the early phases of growth which preceded puberty. It was found that dry matter intake reflected the net energy demands of maintenance and growth. Dry matter intake was also influenced by plane of nutrition, composition and digestibility of the ration, and condition of the animal. Some subspecific differences in growth and nutritional efficiencies were observed. It was shown that dry matter intake during early phases of growth of subspecies of Odocoileus hemionus could be estimated if net energy requirements of the animals and the digestibility coefficient of the ration(s) were known. Knowledge of the pattern of growth in the animal is essential for accurate calculation of the net energy requirements.

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