An alert reader sent this recent article about deer farming:
Seeking new ways to make a buck, Pennsylvania farmers have turned to raising deer, a thriving $40 million industry that still has room to grow.Turning away from traditional livestock, raising deer for their for their meat, antlers and urine has become a bigger moneymaker in Pennsylvania than farming Christmas trees, goats and sheep.Tim Miller opened his Somerset-area Triple T Whitetails deer farm two years ago. Since then, his deer population has grown from four to 24. A few months ago, he sold a fawn for $400.“It’s a great business to get into,” Miller said. “They are the easiest animals in the world to care for. All you got to do basically is feed them.”Dave Griffith, president of the Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association, said the industry’s growth has been fueled by farmers’ ability to breed in captivity deer with prize antlers. In addition, captive deer live four times longer than in the wild and are in better health.About 1,300 Pennsylvania farmers have full-time jobs in the deer industry, and many more are raising the delicate creatures as a second job, Griffith said.“This is probably just the infancy of the industry. There’s still a lot of room for growth,” he said.