Fawn Rehabilitation

We have gotten a lot of questions asking about the deer program.  Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.  As we get more common questions, we will add them to this page.

Q: What exactly do you do with these deer?

A: We are what is referred to as a "primary" deer rehabilitation facility.  We do not release deer on our property, but run another facility where we do release them. Our "job" is to take in sick, injured or orphaned fawn, treat any injuries or illnesses they may have, get them on a bottle and stabilize them for transport to the primary release facility.

Once they have moved to our primary facility, they can be there for months.  We go out up to three times a day to feed and care for them, but do not socialize with them, to prevent imprinting.

Q: How much do you get paid to rehabilitate deer?

A: Contrary to popular belief, rehabilitators do not receive any money for rehabilitating wildlife.  All of the funds come out of our pockets and through donations from the public.

Q: What if I find an orphaned fawn, can I take it in and feed it cows milk.

A: Unless the fawn is in immediate danger, please leave the fawn where it is and call a deer rehabilitator.  NEVER feed any baby of any species cows milk!  This is a common error and can kill the baby.  We've taken in many babies of all different species that had been fed cow's milk for a time and seemed to do fine.  However, we get them once the effects start showing and they are beyond hope.  Cow's milk is NOT for baby animals!

If you find a fawn that is in immediate danger and you can safely remove it to a safe place. Keep it in a warm, quiet area without humans or other animals and call a deer rehabilitator.  Please do not try to feed it!

Q: Why do many of your pictures show the deer inside? I thought deer would have to be kept outside.

A: Most of the deer that come to us are very young, and must be kept indoors for their own safety. Keeping deer inside is quite interesting. They must be kept on non-slippery surfaces because their hooves can cause them to do "the Bambi on ice thing" and their legs will slide out from under them. While this is made to look cute in the movie, in real life they can break their legs and cause other serious and life threatening injuries.

Q: Is this why it looks like they are standing on carpet or blankets?

The room we keep our deer in has a linoleum floor. To avoid injuries, we must create a non-slippery surface for them. To do this, we place two comforters on this floor with towels over that at all times. The towels are changed at every feeding and the comforters are changed each evening after the last feeding. Most of the deer are so young, they are actually kept in crates except during feedings, because in the wild they would lay in one spot all day waiting for mom to come and feed them and the crates help them to feel safe. These crates have a thick layer of towels on the bottom which are changed at every feeding to prevent urine burns. At the height of rehab season, we are doing approximately 8 loads of laundry a day just for the deer.

Q: Can I volunteer to help with the deer?

A: Because deer imprint so easily on other species, the deer program stipulates that we must allow only one caretaker for the deer, two if there is an emergency, but the second person must always be the same. They also must be kept in a room that is away from the main area, to minimize noise. Nobody, including our own children are allowed to see the deer.

Q: What do you feed the deer?

A: We start out feeding them a special formula, mixed especially for deer. As the fawns grow, we must bring in unlimited amounts of browse (leaves and other greens) for them to eat to help their digestive systems develop.  Eventually, we need to feed them acorns to help the next chamber of their stomach develop.

Q: If you keep them on comforters, why do some of the deer in the pictures appear to be on carpet?

Because the crates we transport them to the primary facility in do not fit through the doorway of the deer rehabilitation room, the deer are moved through a small, carpeted area to get them into the crates. At this time, I take advantage of the opportunity to take individual pictures of each deer.

Q: Do you take pictures of all the deer that you get in?

A: The deer you see in the pictures are only the ones who stayed at our facility for a time. We were actually called out on hundreds of calls that either resulted in us reuniting fawn with their mothers, helping to end the suffering of those who could not be saved or transporting them directly to our primary deer facility.

Q: How do you get licensed to keep deer?

A: You must contact the Wildlife Commission, the link is given on our Rehabilitated Wildlife page.

Q: Is there any way I can help with the deer?

A: If you really want to help with any of the animals here, monetary donations are always needed and greatly appreciated.  Rehabilitating fawn is one of the most expensive things we do here.  Also, please look at our wish list page. We are constantly in need of help for all of the animals here.

CLAWS, Inc. is a non-profit corporation. © 2012

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