Mike and Nancy Kasprzak, trading as “Deer Farm” for Stud quality live sales have farmed European Fallow Deer and Fallow / Persian Hybrid Deer for some 30 years in the Adelaide Hills. Our Deer are valued and nurtured as a quality asset and not just another commodity. The best males are retained as breeders based on a strict management plan (assessed at 2 years of age) focused on temperament, body weight, antler – beam diameter and classic Fallow heads.
To maintain stud quality breeding stock, venison is a necessary by-product of our operation and trading as “Birdwood Venison” we can supply high quality venison to Chefs throughout the year.
We have entered the meat side of the industry as we farmers have been taken advantage of by venison vendors making a return many times what they pay the farmer. The low price to farmers has never been passed on to Chefs, who pay a premium for venison resulting in some 90% of serious deer farmers leaving the industry. More money in lamb and beef then venison.
We rarely offer meat from yearlings / vealers. Our males are grown out to 2 year olds, an age at which sires (meeting our management program) are selected for breeding and the remainder (some 85%) are sold as prime, farmed venison. In this way we optimise body weight / portion size, flavor and tenderness.
Chefs familiar with venison regard fine grained Fallow venison as being the “premium product” of the deer industry…”full flavored and not gamey”.
We do not use vaccines, drenches, growth hormones or genetically modified foods. Antibiotics are only used as a last resort to control injury infections.
Our Fallow Bucks weigh around 80kg live weight as 2 year olds. Recently one of our 2 year old hybrid male carcasses weighed-in at 71kg much depending on the degree of hybridization and birth month being from November to March. We occasionally process female Fallow averaging around carcass weight of 25kg, (live weight 45kg) being a preferred weight by many Chefs. However our Fallow/Persian Does in recent weight-in average around 85kg live weight.
Carcass weight is generally 55% of live weight.
Three years ago we weaned at 9 months of age “Lofty” a Persian /Hybrid, at 75kg live weight. Compared to our Fallow Bucks at 2 years of age being around 80kg live weight. Today we cannot give a weight as he is too big to fit into the crush.
We do not chase our deer to move out of the paddock for processing. We open gates and they walk out (stress free) into the run > yards > trailer and then the 15 minute transport to a commercial processing plant at Lobethal …..stress is minimal. Specific weights if requested cannot be guaranteed but we do try.
Deliveries are by Friday of each week if ordered the preceding Friday.
Halal is available upon request.
Personalized Service with no meat middle men to increase costs to Chefs.
“Farmer / Paddock > Abattoir > Butcher > Farmer > Chef / Plate”
Persian/Mesopotamian Fallow Deer
Our Persian / Fallow hybrids are very similar to Fallow Deer but average up to 50%+ larger. In days gone by we have had hybrids up to 2.5 times the size of Fallow. Persian Fallow are featured in Jewish/Israeli, Persian/Iranian/Iraqi religions and history. The Shah of Iran held a private herd of these rare, exotic deer captured from the wild in Iran.
When the Shah fell (during the revolution in mid-seventies) this herd was so valued that an Israeli General flew a specialist team into Tehran (amid the chaos of revolution) and managed to collect 3 male and 2 female specimens. These 5 deer were flown to Opel Zoo in Germany as there were issues between Israel and Iran that prevented a direct flight to Israel. Sometime later some were flown back to Israel where this core herd today numbers some 200 head. Specimens retained at Opel Zoo found their way to New Zealand and via artificial insemination to Australia. We believe we manage the biggest herd of hybrids in Australia. Their venison features all the qualities of Fallow venison in a bigger cut.