How Long Is A Deer’s Pregnancy -how Long Is A Female Deer Pregnant

Summary: Deer pregnancy is a fascinating subject and is something that most wildlife enthusiasts are interested in. One of the primary questions anyone who has an interest in deer would ask is how long a deer’s pregnancy lasts. Well, here is an informative article that will answer that question.

1. Understanding Deer Pregnancy

Deer pregnancy is a rather long process, and it begins with the mating season. The whitetail deer’s mating season occurs between October and December, with deer bucks competing amongst themselves to mate with does. Once the mating process is complete, implantation of the fertilized egg occurs within two weeks.

Deer fertility rates vary across populations because of numerous factors such as age, nutrition, and genetics. In general, deer have a high reproductive rate, often giving birth to twins or triplets. Younger does typically give birth to only one fawn during their first pregnancy.

The gestation period for whitetail deer has been the subject of research over the years, and it is commonly agreed that the length of the pregnancy is about 200 days, roughly seven months.

2. The Factors Influencing The Gestation Period

Although the average gestation period is 200 days, there are a few instances where deer pregnancy can be shorter or longer than that. Some of these factors include age, health status, and overall environmental conditions within the ecosystem. Younger first-time mothers tend to have longer pregnancies than older, more experienced ones.

Similarly, external factors determine when a deer gives birth. If the conditions within the ecosystem are not favorable for a pregnant deer, then the gestation period may be prolonged. Food is one of the critical factors since a lack of food causes stress on the mother, leading to miscarriages and premature labor.

Another factor is the overall health status of the mother. If she is not in good health, then the pregnancy may last longer as the mother tries to find the energy to sustain the life of the fawn.

3. What To Expect During The Pregnancy?

During the pregnancy period, the doe will go through several physical changes to prepare themselves for parenting. One such change involves their appetite, which increases due to the high energy needed to support the growing fawn.

The weight of a pregnant deer also increases significantly as it progresses through the gestational period. However, one notable difference is that pregnant deer tend to lose weight during the winter months since they have limited access to food. This weight loss could lead to complications during birth.

Another critical change that occurs during pregnancy involves the behavior of the doe. During the period, she becomes more timid and tends to stick to familiar territory. Does also avoid male deer, which are continuously fighting during the mating season, to protect themselves and the unborn fawn.

4. The Signs of Deer Birth

As the pregnancy draws to a close, there are physical signs that indicate the birth of the fawn. One such sign is the swelling of the udder, which becomes hard and large as it prepares for nursing the young ones. This sign is clear evidence that the birth of the fawn is imminent.

The doe also prepares a specific area where she will give birth, commonly referred to as a fawning bed. This area is usually free from external interference and provides ample shelter for the newborn fawns.

Deer owners who notice these physical signs can expect the birth of the fawn within the next few days. It is essential to note that newborn fawns require proper care and protection, and interfering with the fawning process could harm both the mother and the fawn.

5. Caring for Newborn Fawns

Once the newborn fawn is out, it heavily relies on its mother’s care to survive. The fawn stays close to its mother for up to eight weeks, during which time she teaches it to find food, shelter, and avoid predators.

After two weeks, the fawn begins to eat vegetation, albeit slowly. It takes about two months before the fawn can eat enough vegetation to survive on its own. During this period, the fawn is susceptible to diseases and predation. As such, it is crucial to provide ample protection against predators.

Fawns are highly vulnerable, especially if separated from their mothers. If you come across a lost fawn, it is best to contact animal welfare officers rather than attempt to take care of it on your own.


Deer pregnancy is a fascinating process that deserves consideration and respect from wildlife enthusiasts. The gestation period of a deer is around 200 days, with various factors such as age, health status, and ecosystem conditions influencing it. For deer owners, understanding the signs of deer birth is critical to providing proper care and protection for the newborn fawns. It is important to remember that interfering with the fawning process could potentially harm both the mother and the young ones. It is essential to contact animal welfare officers if you come across separated fawns that need help.

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