Formosan sambar deer fsd
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Formosan Sambar Deer (FSD). Cervus unicolor swinhoei native subspecies in Taiwan The deer are domesticated by controlling their breeding pattern, allowing the farmers to exploit them for the production of velvet antler. 40  N. 20  N. 0 . 20  S. 40  S. Introduction. Temperate.

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Formosan Sambar Deer (FSD)

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Formosan sambar deer fsd

Formosan SambarDeer (FSD)

  • Cervusunicolorswinhoei

  • native subspecies in Taiwan

  • The deer are domesticated by controlling their breeding pattern, allowing the farmers to exploit them for the production of velvet antler.

Formosan sambar deer fsd

40 N

20 N



40 S



Red deer (Cervus elaphus)Fallow deer (Dama dama)Sika deer (Cervus nippon)


Sambar deer (Cervus unicolor)Rusa deer (Cervus timorensis)Chitaldeer (Axis axis)

1. loosely breeding patterns or completely aseasonal

2. generally seasonally polyestrous and calve in summer

Asher et al., 1997; Mylrea et al., 1999

Sambar deer in new zealand

Sambar Deer in New Zealand

  • Sambar deer attained puberty at 7–19 month, had a mean estrous cycle of 17.2 ± 0.3 day, with a lower expression of seasonality.

  • Sambar deer demonstrated rutting behavior in May/June and fawning in April/May.

Asher et al., 1997

Semiadi et al., 1999

Formosan sambar deer

Formosan Sambar Deer

  • Little information is available in literature regarding the reproductive traits in FSD.

  • The aim of this study was to document general reproductive performance and fawn mortality of FSD in 4 semi-domesticated herds over a 2-4 years interval.

Materials and methods

Materials and Methods

  • Data were obtained from 4 semi-domesticated sambar deer farms in Nantou County (2328N to 2420N, 120E).

  • A total of 210 adult females FSD aging from 2.5 to 10 yr, from 4 sambar herds (size ranging from 80 to 200 deer) were used for the analysis.

Formosan sambar deer fsd

  • Adult hinds and stags were penned in the same area, in individual pens 3 × 2.5 × 3 m. Once estrus was detected by a teaser, the hind was mated in a designated mating pen twice for 1 day.

  • After fawning, the fawn was kept with the hind in the same pen until natural weaning.

Materials and methods1

Materials and Methods

  • Estrous cycle and Gestation:

    • The intervals between two successive matings and from the last day of mating to fawning.

    • Fawning interval:

  • the period between two consecutive fawnings.

  • Lactation period:

  • period from fawning to natural weaning

Materials and methods2

Materials and Methods

  • All data were analyzed SAS version 9.1 for Windows (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA).

  • Student’s t-test

  • One-way ANOVA

  • Tukey’s test

  • The normal approximation to the binomial test

  • Chi-square test

  • Fisher’s exact test

  • P< 0.05 was regarded as significant

Formosan sambar deer fsd


* A substantial difference between farms

Formosan sambar deer fsd

Season distributions of breeding and fawning

Pregnancy rate:

64.4% per mating

Fig. 1. Distribution of 494 matings in FSD hinds. Matings mostly occurred between July and October (93.1%, P< 0.05), with a peak in August (32.8%).

Fig. 2. Distribution of 318 fawnings in FSD hinds. Fawnings mostly occurred between March and June (90.1%, P< 0.05), with a peak in May (35.2%).

Formosan sambar deer fsd


* P < 0.05

# 28.6% due to dystocia

Formosan sambar deer fsd

Table 3 Occurrences of dystocia in 22 cases of FSD hinds from 19 farms in Taiwan

* from the initiation of parturition to veterinary assistance

Hu = human-caused disturbance

Formosan sambar deer fsd

Table 4 Causes of dystocia in FSD hinds in Taiwan



  • This is the first report of reproductive performance in female FSD.

  • FSD apparently had a similar pattern of estrous cycle lengths, in comparison with larger bodied species, such as sambar deer in New Zealand, wapiti, red deer, and fallow deer.

  • In the present study, the pattern of estrous cycle in hinds could have been favored by the year-round presence of stags.



  • As hand breeding started in June and was significantly concentrated in July/October (93.1%), fawning occurred from February to September, and was significantly concentrated in March/June (90.1%).

  • Gestation: 258.6 ± 0.3 days vs 249-284 days.

    • Gender of the fawn had no significant effect on gestation length(259.2 ± 0.5 days vs 258.1 ± 0.4 days).



  • The mean fawning interval of FSD was different from the previous report in New Zealand(369.6 ± 2.3 days vs 329 ± 29.7 days), which might be related to different breeding management and weaning program.

  • Based on the present study, farmed FSD could achieve yearly breeding.



  • Neonatal mortality and pre-weaning fawn mortality were relatively low.

  • We inferred that management factors, such as nutrition, appropriate shelter, and long-term lactation (85.1 ± 1.3 d), may enable the rearing of FSD fawns to achieve optimal results in Taiwan.



  • The low natural twinning rate in FSD meant that multiple breeding was not the major determinant, but high reproductive efficiencies (pregnancy rates of 64.4% per mating and survival rate of >92% for offspring) enhanced fecundity.

  • Interestingly, the male/female ratio (1.3:1) of fawns at birth differed significantly from the equal ratio. In terms of commercial strategies, this trend should increase the potential for velvet antler production on farms.



  • The cause of neonatal mortality could not be determined in most cases, however, dystocia caused 28.6% of the total mortality.

  • Twenty-two FSD dystocia cases, occurring between 2000 and 2008, on 19 deer farms in Taiwan were analyzed for the further study.



  • In our study, a high fawn mortality (72.7%) with the dystocia casesindicated the negative impact of delayed veterinary assistance.

  • The high percentage of parturient death of unattended fawns indicates that prompt veterinary intervention may beneficially impact the survival rate of fawns.



  • Farmed FSD could achieve yearly breeding. Their fecundity was enhanced by high pregnancy rates and high offspring survival rates.

  • Dystocia was associated with a low survival rate for FSD fawns. However, prompt veterinary intervention beneficially impacted the survival rate of fawns.

  • This study provides accurate estimates of reproductive characteristics and fawn mortality in farmed FSD hinds.



  • Wang YC, Chan Jacky P, Yeh KS, Chang CC, Hsuan SL, Hsieh YM, Chang YC, Lai TC, Lin WH, Chen TH. Molecular characterization of enrofloxacin resistant Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae isolates. Veterinary Microbiology, 2009. subject category: Veterinary 5/134 (3.7%); Impact factor: 2.370 (SCI) (accepted)

Formosan sambar deer fsd

Jacky’s Family

Thanks for your attention!

Formosan sambar deer fsd

Chital deer

Fallow deer

Red deer

Rusa deer

Formosan sambar deer fsd

  • Some statistics:- Shoulder height: 120 cms (male) and 80 cms (female)- Body length: 178-240 cms

  • - Body weight: 200-250 kg (male) and 80-100 kg (female)- Tail length: 15-30 cms- Habitat: usually found in virgin forests at elevations of 300-1500 m. (central range, Hwalien, Taitun); grasslands and near forest streams- Breeding Time: August and September - Weight of calves at birth: 3.8-6.4 kg

Formosan sambar deer fsd

  • The younger the stags are, the later the antlers cast off. Besides, the casting occurs much earlier for the stags in the south than those in the north.

  • Antlers will be removed mostly in spring until April (within 90 days after casting) as a farm management practice to harvest the deer velvet for traditional Chinese medicine trade.

  • Normally, the production gain of antler (with an average amount of 1300-2400 g, 35-64兩) will increase year by year and reach the highest amount during the 8th and 9th year of age, and decrease until the 19th year.

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