If you see a baby deer alone in the wild, assume it is healthy and its mother is nearby.You have to take action after that.Contact a wildlife rehabilitator and follow their instructions, which may include bottle-feeding the deer an electrolyte drink for hydration, and later goat's milk or a milk substitute for nutrition.
Step 1: Unless you are sure that the deer needs help, leave it alone.
It isn't an orphan that needs your help if you see a deer by itself at the edge of the woods.You will do more harm than good if you try to help the mother of the deer.If you know the mother is dead or injured, then you can assume it is an orphan in need.You should keep an eye on the deer for at least 6 hours if you aren't sure.If you don't see the mother during this time, it's more likely that she is an orphan.
Step 2: If you want to take action, contact a wildlife rehabilitationilitator.
If the deer is not in immediate danger, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional wildlife rehabilitator.They can guide you through the best way to respond, and may ask you to wait for them to arrive.You can find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area by calling your government's department for the environment, natural resources, and/or wildlife.Before calling the wildlife rehabilitator, take action if the deer is standing on a busy road.
Step 3: Use a heavy blanket to move the deer.
Leave the deer in place if the wildlife rehabilitator tells you to.Pick up the blanket over the deer's shoulders and legs.Hold it securely because small deer can pack a powerful kick.You might take it to your garage if you are near home.It is not advisable to put a deer into a vehicle if you have no other way to get it to an animal rehabilitation center.
Step 4: You need to pick up feeding supplies.
Don't use baby bottles or cow's milk to feed a deer.Unless specifically directed to do so by the wildlife rehabilitator, don't try to bottle-feed the deer.Most of the supplies you will need will be found at a feed store or other retailer that serves the farming industry: goat/lamb bottle-feeding nipples, which usually will fit onto plastic water bottles.You add water to the goat or wildlife milk replacer.Don't use cow's milk.You can get this at any drugstore or grocery store.
Step 5: Add a bottle of a child's electrolyte drink.
If the deer's shoulder is even with your knee, it will drink this amount per feeding.If it is an older, larger deer, increase the amount to 4–6 ounces (120–180 liters).A wildlife rehabilitator will probably tell you to give the deer hydration before giving it milk.Trust their expertise and follow their directions if they give you different advice.Use an empty, clean water bottle, soda bottle or similar bottle that a goat/lamb feeding nipple can fit onto.Any flavor of electrolyte drink will work.
Step 6: The drink should be roughly body temperature when Warm the bottle.
Place the filled bottle into a mug or bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes, until the liquid in the bottle is approximately 100 F.If the bottle feels warm to the touch but not uncomfortable to hold, it should be fine for feeding.If you place the bottle in boiling or near-boiling water, it will cause damage to the liquid inside, which can be goat's milk or milk replacer.
Step 7: Dribble liquid on the deer's lips to encourage it to drink.
The bottle should be brought down at an angle from above.You can squeeze the liquid between the lips by touching the bottle nipple.The deer will usually start sucking from the nipple.Let the wildlife rehabilitator know if the deer is too weak to be fed.
Step 8: The deer needs to look up to drink.
The bottle needs to be raised so the deer can reach it.This is the natural feeding position for a deer.Allow it to feed until the bottle is empty.
Step 9: You can check for hydration by pinching the skin between the shoulder blades.
1 hour after giving it the first bottle of electrolyte drink, pinch the skin between its shoulder blades with 2 fingers.The fawn is adequately hydrated if the skin drops immediately when you let go.The deer is still dehydrated if the skin remains pinched up after you let go.This is a test that can be used to check for dehydration in animals.If advised to do so, conduct this test only.They might want to conduct the test if they arrive soon to evaluate the deer.
Step 10: If directed by the wildlife rehabilitator, give additional bottles of electrolyte.
Depending on the results of the "skin turgor" test, the wildlife rehabilitator may request that you give the deer one or more bottles of electrolyte solution.If that's the case, you'll be advised to give a bottle every 1-2 hours, and to conduct the skin turgor test in between each bottle.The wildlife rehabilitationilitator may ask you to feed the goat's milk or a milk replacer if the deer is not adequately hydrated.
Step 11: A bottle of goat's milk or milk replacer can be warm.
You can pour goat's milk into a bottle.If you want to use milk replacer, you need to measure and add the powder to the amount of water in the bottle, screw on the goat/lamb nipple and shake it to combine.Place the bottle in the hot tap water to warm it up.A precise measurement isn't necessary if you hold the bottle in your hand.For a knee-high deer, use 2–4 ounces (59–118 liters) and for a waist- high deer use 4 ounces (120–180 liters).Unless specifically requested to do so by a wildlife rehabilitator, don't start giving fawn milk.They will either advise against giving anything by a bottle or to start with a electrolyte drink.
Step 12: Feed the deer a bottle every 3-4 hours.
When the wildlife rehabilitator arrives, plan on spacing out feedings every 3-4 hours.If you approach the deer from the front and above, dribble some of the milk between its lips and hold the bottle high as it drinks.If you keep the bottle elevated, the deer has to stretch its neck and head to reach it.Fawns will drink until they make themselves ill if they are allowed to do so.
Step 13: Feed the deer if it is necessary.
There are animals that need help stimulating urination and defecation.If it's not urinating or defecating during or after feedings, put on rubber gloves and gently rub a baby wipe over its anus and genitals.Soon after, a bowel movement will follow.The maneuver replicates the stimulation the mother gets through licking.If the deer is still not defecating or urinating, contact the wildlife rehabilitator again.
Step 14: Feeding fawns in groups is not possible.
Feeding a deer will make it less able to return to the wild.Feeding 2 at a time with a bottle in each hand will slow down the bonding process if you have more than one deer that needs care.Before you decide to become a pet for the deer, think carefully.It's illegal to keep a wild deer as a pet in some places, and raising a deer to adulthood requires a lot of money.