Are your deer underperforming, off colour, or just not behaving right? We can help with your soil’s fertility and grass species to satisfy the optimum nutritional requirements of your deer.
Deer are animals of the woodland-edge and forest and prefer to graze on grasses, forbes (any herbaceous plant that is not grass), as well as heather and bilberry.
Tree bark and shoots are often taken to supplement a meagre winter diet. Their preferred mixed diet means that a carefully structured sward management plan must be developed to generate a self-sustaining environment to allow deer to thrive.
Lordington Park Agronomy can offer you specialised advice tailored to increase the health and well-being of your deer by generating an unremitting five-year sward management plan that is specific to their environment.
This can be generated once soil has been analysed to assess the Cation Exchange Capacity and the sward is assessed to identify which grass and companion species would be appropriate to sustain productivity.
GRASS SPECIES FOR DEERS
Ryegrass Lolium Spp
Italian Ryegrass has a productive life of three years and produces 18 Tonnes / Hectare of Dry Matter (DM), making it ideal for Silage / Haylage / hay, but not appropriate for grazing because it has a high sugar content and short productive life. Perennial Ryegrass has a productive life of more than five years and produces 13-15 Tonnes / Hectare of Dry Matter (DM) – ideal for grazing situations as the lower sugar content that Italian Ryegrass is perfect for keeping deer well nourished and increasing live-weight gain.
Rooting depth of 60mm
Sheep’s Fescue Festuca Ovina
This grass has the great ability to adapt to poor soils because it generates mycorrhizal fungi. As a consequence, the plant community structure within the sward. One significant aspect of the fungal hyphae expanding deeply in the soil and covering plant roots is that the surface potentail available for the Cation Exchange (CEC) process and the absorption of water and nutrients increases increases.
Rooting depth of 25-30mm
Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata
A persistent bunch-type grass, that once it is established provides nutrient levels similar to Perennial ryegrass, and has the additional benefit of being winter hardy and therefore difficult to kill. Because of its dense upright growth habit it creates a dense environment for insects to populate and consequently helps to increase the biodiversity in any environment Generate a yield similar to Perennial ryegrass of 13-15 Tonnes of Dry Matter (DM) / Hectare.
Rooting depth of 120mm
Meadow Fescue Festuca pratensis
A deeper-rooted low nutritional value species that helps maintains sward viability and drought tolerance. Perfect to include in a grazing mixture to provide bottom to the grazed area Ideal for inclusion in any grazing mixture as it survives in adverse environments, and is especially tolerant of acidic soil conditions.
Rooting depth of 75mm
Creeping Red Fescue Festuca rubra
This plant provides invaluable bottom to any sward. It propagates by the use of underground rhizomes – stems that ensure the plants drought tolerance and therefore confer the ability to provide grazing in dry weather. Low nutritional value when compared to Ryegrass but continues to grow in dry weather. Grows out from the initial seed in a similar fashion to a spiders web and propagates other clones of itself as it spreads.
Rooting depth of 50mm
Timothy Phleum pratense
A persistent grass that provides valuable forage in a dry year. Grows at lower temperatures that Ryegrass, so provides valuable grazing at the beginning and end of the Season. Ideal for inclusion in a grazing mixture to provides invaluable ground cover and therefore grazing in a cold spring. Lower nutritional value than Ryegrass but essential species for drought prone environments.
Rooting depth of 75mm
Upper layer of soil covered in grass
When looking down at the grass, no soil should be visible. Therefore a highly productive grazing environment for
horses, and one that will survive daily wear and tear.
Creeping underground stem that stores carbohydrate for the plant to use in stressful growing conditions.