Fawn, so sweet and pure, are natural wonders of the forest. With their quiet and elusive nature, deer tend to be very protective of their young, but in order to survive, they may have to leave their fawn by themselves for a few hours to go in search of food. Fawn depend on their mothers to grow and thrive in their natural habitats.
Sometimes a doe has to leave her babies in order to bring food back for them. This means that a fawn may be left alone for short periods of time. On occasion, a curious human tries to touch or pet the fawn. This is strongly discouraged because deer tend to stay away from areas where they sense predators or humans and may wait for a longer period of time until they believe the coast is clear to finally return to their babies. If your child or dog happens to touch the fawn, this doesn't mean that the doe will abandon her baby because bonds between deer and their babies happen to be very strong even if the fawn happens to have picked up human odors. The SPCA recommends rubbing a towel in the grass and then rubbing it on the fawn in this situation. Leave the fawn in the area she was originally found. A doe will accept her fawn even if it has been missing for up to 48 hours.
Many doe give birth to single fawns, twins or triplets in May or June. A fawn is born weighing in at about five pounds and will boast a beautiful red coat. This shade helps it blend in with its natural habitat -- the forest. White spots accompany the red coat of fur. The white spots will slowly start to fade away as the fawn reaches five months of age and begins to go through his first "molt," which is when he develops his winter coat.
A lot can be said about a deer just by looking at his teeth. Fawn are born with four baby teeth and as they grow, they will also develop baby incisors and premolars in their first few months of life. Fawn and deer don't have upper teeth -- instead, they depend on their molars to help them pull and twist twigs and vegetation. Adult teeth will have replaced all baby teeth by the time the deer reaches eighteen months old. As the fawn grows, his age can be determined by the amount of wear on each of his premolars. Biologists state that for each year of a deer's life, the molars will be reduced by 1 millimeter of height per year.
Growth and Development
A doe may leave her fawns under a brush or other protective cover up until around three weeks of age. Until two weeks of age, it is necessary for Mama Deer to stimulate her babies to assist them in eliminating. Fawn may nurse from their mothers for as long as six months, but sometimes they can be weened as young as eight weeks if their rumen, which is part of their digestive tract, is able to function on its own.
Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.