The history of Foveran

Foveran Deer Park - history

Foveran Deer Park - history

Foveran Deer Park

Owned by Bob & Jen Robertson, Foveran is a leading New Zealand deer stud and sheep station comprising over 2,500 hectares of freehold downlands located in the gently undulating Hakataramea Valley in the South Island of New Zealand.

Foveran was founded as a sheep station in the 1920s by Bob’s grandfather. Bob purchased the farm in 1982 and the deer farm had its humble beginnings with the purchase of 150 Red hinds. Gradually over the years, with prudent management and consistent policies, the herd has built up to around 900 hinds and 1,400 stags (including yearlings).

In keeping with its leading character in the deer industry, Foveran was the first deer farm to become accredited TB-free and has remained accredited ever since with careful management policies.

In 1985, consistent with Foveran’s ambition to improve the Red deer herd, Foveran imported numerous purebred Schulte Wrede German sires and a few hinds from Germany. To enhance the overall breeding programme, a large artificial insemination programme was carried out in 1986 with 450 hinds being inseminated over 5 days using semen from Foveran’s top two sires.

From 1987, Foveran realised the importance of the hind’s performance in the overall equation and began culling the female base on live weight, temperament, fawn weight and antler-producing genetic ability in the male progeny.

With stringent statistical records and visual appraisals over the years, we have become increasingly convinced that the Schulte Wrede German deer and especially the Glaadt Park stock possess the most consistent genetic ability to produce the country’s heaviest antler and live weight of all breeds.

In 1988, Foveran purchased the top 100 hinds from Glaadt Park. Half of these came to New Zealand while the other half were entered into an ET programme in England. This enterprising venture resulted in 200 embryos being collected and implanted in top Red hinds in New Zealand.

To facilitate this programme, a well-equipped embryo transplant surgery was constructed and a comprehensive and successful ET programme has been carried out at Foveran ever since.

Never straying from its aim to be one of the leading studs, Foveran now has one of the largest purebred deer herds in New Zealand with a strong loyal following who has also assessed this breed for its high producing, genetically improved bloodlines.

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