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Is raising deer better than cattle farming for the environment?

by cattlefarmer on September 11, 2009

bella asked:

What would be the benefits/disadvantages or swopping cattle for deer farming?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

fred September 14, 2009 at 7:54 am

in a typical farm situation deer don’t convert feed to meat as efficiently as a cow. (10kg food -> 1kg beef). Sheep may be better.

but if you are in a tundra situation then reindeer are the only solution – so long as they are nomadic & don’t overgraze an area.

In dry arid situations there are lots of other local considerations to ensure sustainability

Jeb S September 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

Well no but the efficiency of feed to rabit growth is quite good. The North Koreans have actually took a vested interest in such a thing.

byderule September 18, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Yes,you can raise deer and other animals in Nature ,but under management,under the trees ,with camps (corals)with out harming Nature as such,

Cattle means eliminating Nature and exchanging it for pasture


You do not need to stop eating meat ,just stop eating cows ,they are very destructive .

They are not natural animals but are an invention of man.
Their feet and weight compact the ground and raise the salt to the surface ,
They change the natural pampas grasses because of their limited preferences

And they consume a lot of water ,

If not carefully managed ,they over graze and kill the grass by eating it down to the roots.

They are also expensive to raise because of disease and parasites(medicines and tick baths),as well as constant vigilance ,(extra labor)
On top of all that forests are cut down to make way for the grazing land ,

Mexico is being destroyed by tortillas and beef ,
their principal food (they hardly eat vegetables)

And now we are told over and over again that they contribute to Global Warming Although how this is determined beats me ,maybe they got fart meters

So bad cows ,but really bad people not so much the ones who raise them ,they merely respond to the market,but the ones who insist on eating them ,and those promoting the product.
If only we could be persuaded to change our diets ,maybe make it a new fashion to eat wild life ,but managed and bred.

Wild boar,Rabbits ,Deer(many varieties), Pheasants ,Buffalo, Partridge ,Iguanas,Ducks ,Crocodile tail(delicious)vipers (double delicious)the list is endless,,can all be raised and produced with out harming the Environment under the trees using Natural Flora or Fauna with some extra food and salt licks thrown in. ,

And so turning forests into meat raising and tourist operations(controlled hunting and photography).culling the males ,

Ending up with sustainable situations with multiple benefits ,both economic and Environmental ,the meat ,the hunting ,the Eco tourism ,and the Environment as a whole.

The best example ever ,of sustainable grazing or land use for animals , which offers the maximum benefits, has never been employed ,

People are so clever .

And that was the African veld or prairies ,these places were jam packed with many hundreds of species of animals and grasses ,an immense treasure of meat ,and the food needed to sustain the production included in the landscape, with a quality and disease control build in ,(in the form of predators ).

All we needed to do ,was to protect it and cull the males for the market.

Man in his wisdom killed the animals ,changed the flora ,added cows and destroyed the place within a 100 years

This is what happened in South Africa ,Many places that once were full of wild animals are now deserted(abandoned) ranches because of desertification due to over grazing and over use of subterranean water supplies.

So when we talk about sustainability , Nature is still the master

The hooves of deer are pointed ,they punch holes in the ground (which is one method of reclaiming deserts ,punching holes in the ground)this forms a micro climate where one seed can sustain it self into germination by the one drop of condensation that is created by the hole,

d4 September 19, 2009 at 8:37 am

Deer farming? What are they good for?

campbelp2002 September 19, 2009 at 11:39 am

I can’t think of any benefit. An animal is an animal. A bunch of deer in a pen being fed corn will not be more environmentally friendly than cattle roaming free on natural grass land. It is more about how you raise them than what kind of animal it is.

Captain Algae September 21, 2009 at 6:14 am

Maybe minor…

but the the problem is factory farming of any animal for meat is a wasteful proposition.

the real solution is to eat less meat, get rid of the big factory farms and create smaller, local farms that feed a region, not the entire country….

yeearp September 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm


For one thing, you don’t need to raise deer, they raise themselves. All you need to do is buy a licence to Shoot them. In the US the deer population is doing very well. Deer are one of the few animals that were able to adapt to living in urban settings and frequently roam through cities and often across busy highways.

The other reason is that cattle are much better at converting food into meat. We wouldn’t have been raising them all this time if they weren’t.

The problems that do occur from cattle are in situations where an animal is introduced into an environment that they are not suited for. It’s like introducing an invasive species into an environment that cannot handle it. Putting cattle into a tropical area is not a good idea since they are temperate plains animals. You need to have the correct type of animal for the correct type of environment you live in. Goats & sheep do well in arid and dry places. Cows do well in plains. I’m not sure what would be good for tropical settings. And some places, like jungle are just not supposed to have herds of animals being farmed there.

As long as you do not have too many cattle in the amount of space you have for them they do not harm the environment any more than any other animal. Packing too many animals into a small space however will cause the same effect no matter what kind of animal it is.

John-Joe October 22, 2009 at 4:39 am

Seriously, deer farming??? No. Why would we stop farming cattle now after hundreds of years for some skinny deer? And what do you suggest we do with the millions of cattle around the world if there not being killed for meat, put them all in zoos? “Oh whoa, it’s a cow…” Unlikely.

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