- Wapiti is a strong
animal, very well adapted to our climate and not prone to sickness.
span: males: 12 to 14 years - females: 15 to 20 years
uses its food efficiently..
appetite fluctuates with the seasons; hence, the importance of providing it with
a well-planned diet
first antler velvet harvest is done when the animal has reached 2 years of age.
It is also at this age that it attains sexual maturity. Variation in the length
of day plays an important role in setting the wapiti's natural cycles. Hence,
with less sunlight, the testosterone level increases and the animal enters into
the rut, the testosterone level decreases until Spring and then starts the growing
of new antlers. When the antlers are grown, the testosterone level increases again
wapiti is well suited to the environmental concerns of today. This animal produces
three times less pollution than cattle.
for selecting velvet producing males :
2 years old; 10 to 12 lbs
old; 13 to 15 lbs
4 years old; 16 to 20 lbs
5 years and older; 20 to 40
lbs and over.
farming is special as it is being done under conditions that enhance the well-being
of our animals. Consumers also appreciate the benefits of our products to their
fertility rate of does reaches 100% under optimal farming conditions. Dystocia
problems can be avoided by checking the overall body condition.
are born in late May and at the beginning of June after a gestation of 247 days
(with a variation of 7 days either way).
In the hours preceding birth, the
female looks for a quiet place away from the herd.
When future mothers'
body condition is adequate, there is a lapse of about 60 to 90 minutes from the
onset of labour to the birth. Normally, wapitis give birth to one fawn per year.
The average weight is 45 to 50 lbs for a male and 34 to 40 lbs for a female. The
fawn keeps its white spots until it is 3 months old.
During the first days
of its life, the fawn gets up mostly to suckle. Its sole defence is to curl up
among tall grasses and bushes. The mother keeps an eye on her young one from a
distance so as not to reveal the hiding place.
When many females calve
in the same paddock, it is common practice for them to take turns watching the
young while the others go feed themselves.
Calving takes place when pastures
are luxurious and nutritious. This abundance of food is rightly timed for the
fawns who need high quality milk to grow to their full potential.
a wapiti breeder has to bottle-feed a fawn, for any reason, he must make sure
that he gives it some colostrums, especially if he suspects the fawn did not get
its first suckling. The colostrums of goat, sheep or cow can be used. Later, ewe
or kid replacement milk would be a good choice as it is very similar to wapiti
Wapiti is a herbivorous
mammal. It is important to provide this forager with a feed that is well suited
to it. Hay is the best feed for winter. It is economical, available, and, moreover,
it is more efficient than concentrates to warm them up.Wapitis like alfalfa, either
in pastures or in silage.
The quality of a pasture has much to do with the maturity of grasses; the shorter
the grass, the higher the protein content.It is very important to have a good
pasture rotation if the wapiti is to fully benefit from pastures.
it has the choice, wapiti prefer a four-week old pasture.
The three criteria which
are of tremendous importance to help wapiti to use their feed to the fullest are:
quality, quantity and proximity.
Trees and shelters
Trees have always been part of the wapiti's environment. They help to cool them
down in the Summer and protect them against cold Autumn and Winter winds. This
protection from the heat of the Summer sun is vital to fawns who can dehydrate
themselves have to be protected from the wapiti males who like to pull long bark
strips, especially when they grow their antlers. Wooded pastures should be fenced.
should be erected to increase the animals' comfort and to limit stress factors
The wapiti's life is conditioned by the seasons. Its metabolism slows down in
winter and, as a consequence, its nutritional needs decrease.
can graze for up to 16 hours in Summer. This is the best time to give it the richest
feed because males may lose up to 150 lbs during the Fall rut. When the rut is
over, it is important to help it to regain weight if one is to expect a good velvet
harvest the following year.
des besoins du wapiti
needs are partially taken care of by the feed (hay and grains). Special attention
should be given to selenium and to iodine as Québec soils lack these trace
and phosphorus are also required in great amounts.
wapitis requires patience and calmness.
are easy to handle but they are sensitive to stressful situations. This trait
has to be kept in mind when designing facilities.
long straight corridors.
progress of the animals is eased when they gradually discover the exit ahead.
- The control
of inside light, helps in reducing stress.
hydraulic chute should be well built so as to provide security, both for the handler
and for the animal..
hydraulic chute should be functional and accessible to allow for the diverse interventions
required by farming practices.
management, see Omafra at: (babillard