Effects of feed plots on fecal egg counts of white-tailed deer

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Effects of feed plots on concentrations of gastrointestinal nematode eggs (eggs per g; EPG) in feces of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were studied on six properties in East Feliciana Parish, LA, USA, from February 1989-January 1990. EPG levels were weakly related to deer densities (r=0.11, P < 0.01) and differed among seasons (P = 0.02), months (P < 0.01), and properties (P < 0.01). EPG levels from samples collected monthly on individual properties averaged 14.8 (SE =1.3). EPG levels during winter and summer were similar (P > 0.05) and higher than during fall or spring. EPG levels during spring were lower than during any other season (P < 0.05). The presence of feed plots did not affect EPG levels during any season (P >- 0.34) or month (P >- 0.18), or with relative deer density serving as a covariable (P=0.52). The presence of feed plots did not affect gastrointestinal parasite burdens of deer as reflected by fecal egg counts on properties in this study. The establishment of feed plots will not necessarily lead to increased gastrointestinal parasite burdens in deer concentrating to forage on those sites. © 1994.

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Small Ruminant Research

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