Deer farming can be taken into a totally new farming field, when farming with musk deer. Where most deer farming ventures are all about hunting and venison, with a number of byproducts, musk deer farming is all about the pharmaceutical use of the musk gland. All the males in all three sub-species have the musk gland.
The musk deer is a native of 13 countries of Asia, inhabiting the forests and scrub of these regions. They can survive on very poor plant material, their diet consisting of mainly leaves from woody plants and shrubs. They are particularly partial to oak leaves. Musk Deer Perfume
The male musk deer has a gland situated between the genitals and the umbilicus, which they use to mark their territories. Man has used this gland in the manufacturing of perfumes and fragrances, as well as in traditional medicines for many centuries.
Musk is most often produced synthetically nowadays; however the real musk has a longer lasting effect, and is much stronger than any synthetically made musk. The natural musk is used as a fixative to allow other perfumes to bind with the skin to have a much longer lasting effect. Upon slaughtering the deer, the musk pod is harvested. After being dried, the dried granules are tinctured with alcohol. This tincture is then diluted to give the pleasant aroma. Musk Deer Perfume
Because musk deer have almost been hunted to extinction, the hunting of the deer, as well as the selling of the musk is strongly regulated by CITES. A number of experimental musk deer farms have sprung up, mainly in Asia, and it is worthwhile to see if you can obtain a few of them to keep on your deer farm, together with your other deer species, or in a separate paddock.
In the wild, musk deer are expected to live for an average of up to 2 ½ years, although they can survive for up to 7 years in captivity. They are very small deer, standing 60 - 80 cm (23 - 31 inches) tall, and 20 cm (8 inches) tall at the shoulder. They weigh approximately 10 - 15 kgs (22 - 33 lbs.)
Musk deer males will leave their own territories only during rutting season, as generally all of the deer are solitary creatures. Because these deer do not have antlers they compete for females using their tusks. After a gestation period of 150 - 180 days the female gives birth to a single, very small fawn. This fawn remains motionless for most of the first month of its life, which helps to keep it hidden from predators. Musk Deer Perfume
Musk deer may be a small market in which to start out in, but it can certainly be a very profitable addition to any deer farming enterprise.
For more information on deer farming, check out revenue streams from all the deer products such as venison, deer skins, antlers and deer velvet.