Deer are a rich part of folklore in many cultures. Their unique products have long had an elite status as healthy foods and natural medicines. By learning how to farm deer on free-range pastures, New Zealand farmers have become the world's number one source of quality assured deer products, produced humanely and sustainably. Our farmers are innovative, skilled and resourceful -- and most importantly, passionate about the deer difference.
Farming the dream
Excitement and passion for deer and their wonderful products are still the main reasons people farm deer today. Although NZ deer have now been bred on farms for many generations and are easy to handle, they retain the majesty of their wild ancestors.
Free-range deer farming
Deer farms are found throughout the North and South Islands on most land classes and climate zones. This reflects the innovative husbandry of deer farmers and the adaptability of farmed deer.
Deer welfare is key
Minimising stress and ensuring high levels of animal welfare are foundation stones of good deer farm management. Deer respond well to farmers who are calm and patient, particularly individuals they recognise.
Deer and the environment
Deer farming in New Zealand has a very low environmental footprint, on a per-hectare basis, compared with other food producing industries around the world.
The deer farming year
Like their wild cousins, deer are highly seasonal in their growth and breeding cycles. This reflects the long cold winters and short moist summers of the northern hemisphere regions where deer evolved.
View common terms used in the deer industry and find out what they mean.
An overview of the history of the deer industry in New Zealand and a look at articles spanning over 40 years..
Deer farming is a great community to be part of. Deer farmers share a passion for deer as well as the spirit of innovation that has been part of the industry since its early days.
A selection of images from the New Zealand deer industry including deer, venison, velvet and more.
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Deer Industry New Zealand
Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) represents and works alongside deer farmers, processors and marketers in New Zealand and in our international markets. This section covers the activities of DINZ and its associates.
DINZ: our role
Deer Industry New Zealand undertakes a range of programmes on behalf of all stakeholders in the NZ deer farming industry: farmers, processors and marketers. Find out about the functions and roles of Deer Industry New Zealand here.