What are Sika Deer? Raising Rosie: Part 1

| 8/24/2017 8:59:00 AM

Life and Adventures at Diamond W Ranch 

We purchased two sika deer last weekend. My fiancée, Tim, and I have always wanted exotic hoof stock, so when the opportunity arose to get them, we jumped at the chance. Rosie is a 6-week-old doe and Bruce is her older brother who is about 2. Since sika deer aren’t very common, I thought I’d share a bit about them and their attributes as additions to our farm.


Sika deer are the smallest members of the elk family and are native to parts of East Asia and Japan. They were first introduced in the United States in 1916. They are one of the few species of deer that maintain the distinctive white spots usually associated with fawns. They can range in color from sandy brown/red to dark mahogany. Most have a distinctive darker dorsal stripe. They also have a tail and a white rump, which they flare when alarmed, much like elk.

Sika deer are medium sized deer that can be from 20 to 43 inches in height at the shoulder. There are different sub-species that can grow to weigh as much as 240 pounds for males (stags), but the Japanese sub-species is smaller and usually grows to 90 to 150 pounds for stags and 65 to 90 pounds for females (hinds). 

Rosie licks milk off her nose