Very Skinny Does!

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
We've noticed this year that many of our deer are very skinny compared to last year and years before! There is no record of CWD in GA or its surrounding states and there's no symptoms of it either. A friend of ours says it's because there are too many deer in our property and there's too much competition for food. Could this be true? What do you think it could be? thumbnail_IMG_9025.jpg thumbnail_IMG_9026.jpg thumbnail_IMG_9027.jpg thumbnail_IMG_9028.jpg thumbnail_IMG_9029.jpg

Jim Boyd

Senior Member
Don’t know how big your property is and what the surrounding areas are like - so your question is very broad.

You can generally look at your browse line on trees and shrubbery - and also survey the low lying vegetation- to get a feel for how much the browse (the main spring and summer food) is being affected by the herd.

If you are not sure, build exclusion cages.

Supplement in the form of summer food plots (particularly if your area is not Ag heavy) would be ideal.

Additionally, winter plots can really make a difference in how the herd pulls through the harsh months of January through March, when little green browse is available.

If plots are not an option, a good, solid protein feeding program would be good.

I laugh like crazy when I get taken to task for having “kill plots”, which is what food plots are often described as by many people on this forum.

We did not have a particularly harsh winter so I don’t think that is to blame.

You have not had a lot of surrounding Ag converted to pine, have you?

If you have a systemic condition, the bucks will most assuredly have suffered, as well.

Good luck.


Senior Member
The two fawns look healthy, not sure how old that mama doe is so it's hard to say why she's so skinny. Looking at the brush and such in the background, it doesn't look like over-browsing is a problem. May just be due to the crazy hot weather we've been having too.


Senior Member
What county? My cousin by marriage shot a small buck this year with EHD in Hall county
May be just limited to a few does. Per comments above it could be a specific health issue with a couple of does in your herd (such as a parasite). I have one or two does on my property that don't look near as healthy as the rest.
Georgia has been blessed with a mild and fairly wet summer; so forage is good across most of the state. Most deer are in great condition.


Senior Member
As others posted, could be several factors, certainly carry capacity of your property i.e. too many animals for available food.
Also, without opening the preverbal can of worms, it could be a condition caused by too much feeding of corn in feeders. There are biological issues that can occur when deer move to a new and heavy diet of corn...


Senior Member
Looks like she has been stressed from birthing twins, feeding three mouths all summer is tough business I'm sure. She will come around, just wait and see.
As j-seph mentioned hemorrhagic disease is a possibility, we're in the midst of a fairly significant outbreak right now. For the deer it doesn't kill, the virus can cause papillae in the stomach lining to slough off where they can't absorb nutrients. I suggest walking along the creeks on the property, if you find dead deer around them that's a pretty good indication of hemorrhagic disease.

Mark K

Senior Member
Healthy fawns and skinny momma is just nature. From your pics there’s no distinct browse line. They’ll fatten up shortly with acorns dropping. Got fat and skinny deer all around my feeder ignoring the feed and eating acorns right now. I imagine after the weather we just had feeders will be about useless with all the acorns on the deck.


Senior Member
She’ll fatten up when the babies are off milk.