FAQ's about Muntjacs

I get a TON of emails... several a week... about muntjacs and their care. Some of these questions may seem silly to you... but I have heard them ALL more than once... so here is a list of FAQ's about muntjacs and my answers. If you are interested in getting a muntjac, I can guarantee these Questions/Answers will help you decide.
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I have put together a list of all the Board of Animal Health agencies in every state and you can see it HERE.
This was current in December 2014.
If you are a buyer from out of state (we live in Minnesota) You MUST call your Board of Animal Health (or whatever agency regulates deer in your state) and find out the import rules and fencing regulations etc.. before you can purchase from us. ALL states are different and ALL states have their own specific rules regarding cervidae so you MUST find these out FIRST.
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Question: I have heard that muntjacs potty train in a day just like a kitty... is this true??

Answer: NO IT IS NOT.. they CAN be potty trained , but it may take a very long time... 2-4 months even... and it may never happen. Most people that I know who have successfully done it did so by letting the muntjac pick the place (even if it was their nice soft squishy bed) and just going with it!

Question: What kind of cat litter should I use for potty training?

Answer: IF you are planning to potty train, do NOT use cat litter at all. Use DIRT from outside. This is SAFE for him/her to eat and they actually NEED dirt to eat if they are being raised in a house. Dirt is full of natural minerals that they need. (I am talking about dirt from outside on the ground, not the store)

Question: I live in the "greener part of Brooklyn" ... would a muntjac be a great apartment pet for me?

Answer: NO, IT WILL NOT - muntjacs are DEER... they LOVE TO RUN... they would NOT be happy living in an apartment (or college dorm room) full time. I dont recommend that muntjacs ever be kept inside a house full time.

Question: I want a pet to huddle and cuddle with... I have heard a muntjac is perfect for this?

Answer: NO IT IS NOT. A muntjac is a deer.. not a puppy or a kitty. Deer HATE to have their feet off the ground and a muntjac fawn will tolerate being cuddled for approx. 60 seconds. An adult muntjac will tolerate it for 0 seconds.

Question: Can I leash train my muntjac and take it for walks?

 
Answer: MAYBE.. but chances are he/she will HATE it. Muntjacs are prey animals.. being prey animals they do not like to be restrained in any way. When they are restrained their fight/flight instinct kicks in and they basically freak out. IF the leash is flexible and has some slack in it at all times, they MAY be able to tolerate it. I personally would NEVER take a muntjac outside of a fence on a leash , just in case they get scared and freak out. It is just too risky. And I would NEVER take a muntjac on a leash to a public park where dogs are etc... that is just asking for something terrible to happen. ALSO, it would most likely be illegal to do so in most states as deer are subject to fencing laws. In MN deer need to be inside an 8 ft fence at all times.

Question: I live in FL, CA, IN, IL (insert your state here), are muntjacs legal in my state and can I bring one here?
Answer: I DO NOT KNOW. It is your job to call your state and ask them. All states have different rules and the rules change sometimes... you MUST call and check with your state to find out the rules for importing deer. PLEASE do this BEFORE you contact me. See info below.
OKAY... so IF you are STILL reading this ... you MIGHT actually be ready to get a muntjac and these are the Questions/Answers that will probably be more helpful ....

Question: What do muntjacs eat?

Answer: We feed our muntjacs a mixed grain called 16% calf ration. They pick thru it and only eat what they want to out of it. We have tried many different kinds of grain and they dont LOVE any of them.. but always pick thru them. We have fed this for over 10 years so I believe it is fine for them. We also give them apples and carrots as treats but really no other human foods. They LOVE watermelon also when we have it here in MN they get that also.

Question: My muntjac fawn is on a bottle but I don't want to buy the milk her breeder put her on, is it okay if I switch her?

Answer: My short answer is NO. It is ALWAYS a bad idea to switch formula on a bottle baby that is doing well.

Question: My muntjac fawn is on a bottle, how long should she be bottlefed?
Answer: About 10-12 weeks, no less than 8 weeks. I encourage them to eat grain, drink water, eat hay etc... at just a few weeks old, so I don't usually increase their milk amounts above 4-6 oz at a feeding.

Question: How many times a day should my fawn eat?

Answer: We start out at 5 times, and work our way down as the weeks go by... we start out feeding at 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, and 10pm. When we cut out a feeding, we just increase the amount in the bottle slightly and increase the time between bottles ... so instead of 4 hours we stretch it to 5 or 6... but he/she gets the same amount of milk in the 24 hr period. Eventually you are down to 3 bottles a day, then 2, then 1...

Question: How big of an outdoor enclosure do they need?

Answer: As big of one as you are able to make , within reason. They LOVE to run... so they will appreciate having as much space as possible. MOST states have fencing requirements on pen size and height so you can use those as a guideline. I would NOT use a fence less than 6 feet high personally.

Question: Do they need vaccinations or deworming?

Answer: Not usually.... deer are pretty self sufficient.. have been taking care of themselves for years. We do deworm them occasionally if they seem to need it, but we dont do it on a schedule at all. We also give them a CDT shot (for tetanus) if they suffer an injury. We have also had to use antibiotics a few times for illness... generally these are all things you should consult your vet about. And YES you should have a vet willing to see your muntjac BEFORE you have one.

Question: Do muntjacs do okay alone or do they need a buddy?

Answer: I always feel like most animals like to have one of their own around... but deer do better than most living solitary. Unfortunately muntjacs are so hard to find that it is hard for most people to own more than one. I can say that sometimes our female muntjacs fight and need to be separated for their own safety, and obviously since they breed year round a male and female cant live together full time either... so sometimes muntjacs end up living alone even at my house where I have 5 of them.

Question: Which make better pets, males or females?

Answer: It really depends more on personality of the individual deer than the gender. I do believe that males are sometimes calmer / but they also have antlers and do play aggressively sometimes, which the females do not do. (not with their humans anyway) Some muntjac babies are much more high strung than others, you really don't know how they will be until they are here.

Question: Can I neuter my muntjac buck?

Answer: This is a question for a vet, but my short answer is NO. The reason I say NO is because deer are NOT like goats and cattle. Deer NEED their hormones in order to know when to grow their antlers, when to rub the velvet off, and when to drop these antlers and grow new ones. IF you ask a vet , it is POSSIBLE a very young male that has never grown antlers could be neutered, but it is much more likely that a vet would reccommend a vasectomy over a neutering as this would allow the male to keep his hormones, and this would allow him to grow antlers/lose them/ and grow new ones safely.

If you have more questions about muntjacs feel free to call me at
218- 839-4503 or email me at kids.no.1.choice@msn.com