Animal Stories - Muntjac Deer Info

Animal-World Information about: Muntjac Deer Info

   Muntjac Deer, frequently called Barking Deer, are the oldest known deer dating back before pre-historic times.
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Daniel - 2012-11-29
I am currently living in Nova Scotia and am looking to buy a miniature deer for a pet. I am looking to buy from a breeder nearby, but I am having a hard time finding one anywhere. If you can help me please reply. I really want one and it's going to a good home.

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  • Dara Dumont - 2013-03-15
    Hello Daniel, I am in Alberta and I am also looking into Munjac. I have not been able to find anything regarding them in Canada at all. If you have any info on if Canada allows them as pets and if you have found a breeder can you please help me out? THX
kat - 2013-01-30
There are some misconceptions that i don't see written here. I have a female indoor muntjac that also goes out to play within a 7 ft privacy fence. Indeed they are small and sweet, mine has never shown a mean bone in her little body. But this is not a pet for just anyone, especially a child. First you can not hold them. their little hooves are like rocks and their instinct to flee will send the feet kicking and really hurt someone bad. they will sit beside you, play, follow you, lick you etc. but you can't pick them up, i had mine at just a few weeks of age. Bottle feeding and feeding them fruit and vegetables multiple times a day is a must. can really get your budget if not prepared. Bottle feeding for a year is advised. potty training to a litter box is quick as long as you are persistant and since you can't just pick em up and put them there you have to be creative as i was. took about 3 weeks. You can't use sand or you end up having mud. when they pee its as much as a horse and it stinks horibly. they pee multiple times a day, although they don't drink much water, comes from fruit and veggy's. Litter needs to be clay mixed with possibly cedar and should be changed daily or every 2 days. they chew everything, they don't outgrow it like puppy's. cords, books (no low bookshelves or near any furniture)I love our muntjac but its work. Not like having a cat. We are installing a doggie door so maybe that will help with the pee smell. also without the mixture of cedar, they track litter throughout house. If you have a doggie bed or something simular they usually pee on it because they like soft things to pee on. I'm glad i don't have carpet, it would be impossible to get the urine out. They do adjust to hardwood and tile but at first you'll need runners if you have them. They never learn to run on slick floors just walk. They need outside time to run. If given the chance to jump on the bed you'll be in trouble. lol

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-31
    This is wonderful information, helps fill out the 'pet experience' and concerns to be aware of. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
  • kat - 2013-01-30
    ps. the herd you buy them from should be checked for brusalosis (sure i spelled that wrong). Ours didn't come with the paper from the breeder and had to be ck'd for it in order to be registered with the state. (most states require registration) ours was then, by law microchipped.(vets office,does everything) I recommend cking with your state requirements before buying one. safety of your new pet and family. You know everyone is going to want to visit your muntjac so its recommended to follow you state laws for that reason too. i have never seen signs of worms or fleas. i was told they were resistant to that stuff and so far it has proven to be true.
Ebdal Myan Guaffar - 2012-12-18
he is so cute i am interested in buying him but how much does it cost?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-12-18
    It will vary on the area you live.  Maybe include that info and a brreder will contact you!
Ebdal Myan Guaffar - 2012-12-18
he is so cute i am interested in buying him but how much does it cost?

tina sweitzer - 2012-12-10
looking for a small female leaf muntjac deer to buy, that is a newborn, that does not get any bigger then between 10 to 15 pounds i love deer, a Christain woman, would take very good care of the deer, i know God will have me take care of all his deer when i get to heaven i am 52 years old, have a very small calm sheltie dog 2 years old, looks like lassie i am a nurse, and i am very loving and compassionate, would take very good care of the deer and would name it BAMBI!! LOV DEER, do not hunt deer and husband does not hunt deer either, we just love deer!!Gods beautiful creations!!!!!!!!!!1 how much you want for a female leaf muntjac deerthanks Tina Sweitzer, from Manchester, PA

Caitlin - 2012-12-09
I want to get one of your baby deer, I want to know how much they are and will you do shipping for one. I want a female. Please get back to me asap. I am located in Warfordsburg,PA.

Carolina Wright - 2012-09-26
Hi there, I've always wanted to have a little deer fawn living with us and bring one up from a baby. I have worked previously at rehabilitation centres and helped look after them so I understand how much they love their bottles and how much care goes into looking after them. We have a pretty large garden with lots of trees so he or she would feel very at home with us. I was wondering how much they are to purchase also I live in England in a city called Sheffield would it be legal for me to own one and would it be a terrible journey over for the poor dear, if you do know any UK based livestock suppliers that would be great to know about them. I am serious about this and may consider getting a couple so they wouldn't feel lonely, I am a caring person and I could offer them a great life and I would enjoy having them as pets and bringing them up. It would be great to hear back soon. Kindest Regards, Caroline

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-26
    I don't know what the name of  organization would be in the UK - here it is Fish and Game.  There has to be some organization that is repsonsible for control of permits, what a person is allowed to have as a pet.  They are responsible to make sure that animals are treated well by zoos and humans that own or have them.  They inspect various breeders facilities - as to what that organization is by you - I just don't know but that would be the place to start.  Muntjac deer are great and it is good you have the experience.  However, because you have a garden - you would also need to find out if anything in the garden would be toxic to the deer.  There were several plants and trees that were toxic to the little guys in Florida and I am sure in various areas in the US. These guys can jump - a 4 foot fence is nothing so you would need a 6 foot fence. If there are hawks or eagles - not sure about UK - you also need protection over the top of the fence for these guys.  They are wonderful but you have to sorta get creative with housing.    If there is a breeder in the UK -and that you can probably find out by just looking up on the web.  Having them travel a distance - I just wouldn't try it.  I doubt a baby would live through it - they are timid things and when young need to be fed every couple of hours and that is primarily at night.  They want their bottle around 4pm and every two hours till the sun comes up.  Traveling as a baby on a plane would be really difficult. 
Anonymous - 2009-12-11
Hi. I have been interested in leaf deer for only 3 months, but I've decided to buy one. I've found out that they're legal in my area, and I know where I can buy one for a fantastic price. I wanted 2 do some more research on them, though. I have pretty much everything I need.

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  • cherie - 2010-07-05
    I was just reading your comments, I too am interested in these little deer, I've raised the average dogs, cats and horses..I raised a pet "Bobcat for 12 years until someone decided that they had to have him, (He'd go with anyone..very friendly cat)so since then I have'nt had any new pets..I was too heart broken..But these little deer have my interest..are you still happy with your decision on purchasing your deer? What's their life-span?Thank you for letting me rattle on Cherie
  • kate - 2012-09-23
    Where did you get the leaf deer?
Anonymous - 2008-05-12
I think its very wrong to have a wild animal as a pet. Deer shouldn't be a pet, they should be running wild with their herd, not running in your house. They may seem cute but when they get older would you still want that deer or will you just get rid of it, and do you have the right supplies, space, and time. I know a lot of cases where people buy baby wild animals and onces they are older just get rid of them because they are not cute. If you're going to buy a wild animal stick with it, don't just get rid of them.

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  • Stan - 2011-09-08
    ALL animals, in some fasion, were wild at one time ?????
  • Anonymous - 2011-11-03
    I want a baby deer.
  • Dawn - 2011-11-08
    I agree with you. People that want to purchase them as a novelty should not be allowed. However, people like myself that are professionals in the industry, offering educational presentations, should not be prohibited from purchases.
  • anonymous - 2012-01-06
    I agree they may be cute but it's wrong
  • Anonymous - 2012-04-27
    I agree with you, but I would like to add that some people are committed to their pets; I think that getting an exotic pet is fine. But again, people who don't fulfill the requirements of keeping an exotic pet shouldn't be able to get a pet because they're just not good enough for them, no matter how much they love their pet.
  • Anonymous - 2012-04-27
    I think that having a pet deer is fine, actually!
    But you always have to keep in mind that they're wild animals, and they require exercise just like a dog, cat or person might need.
  • Anon - 2012-04-30
    You need the right supplies, space, and time for ALL animals that are pets, not just 'wild' ones... If you take care of your pet it shouldn't matter whether it's exotic or not...unconventional pets seem like they could be really cool. These deer are adorable :)
  • Anon - 2012-06-27
    WE are the true animals... I think humanity could learn a lesson from all animals... especially those we choose to become part of our families... And No not all people should own a pet...
  • Felis silvestris - 2012-07-02
    I don't think it's wrong to own any kind of pet (with certain exeptions concerning poaching), 'wild' or not, as long as the owner is devoted, properly cares for the pet, and the pet is happy.
muntjac info - 2012-03-18
I have some advice (from personal experience) for those of you interested in owning a muntjac.

First of all, the reason that information about muntjacs varies so much is because there are many distinct subspecies (Reeves, Leaf, Reco, Asian, Indian, etc). These all vary greatly, which is why they are not classified as the same species of muntjac.

After researching this interesting animal, I have found some descriptions that proved to be different from my experience with a young female muntjac. For example, I have heard that their tails are always raised. The only time my muntjac's tail was raised was when she was running at top speed or going to the bathroom. She never smelled like a newborn. Ever. She didn't require sand to defecate firmly. She timidly ventured out of her cage in less than an hour (not 24 hours) after I brought her home. Contrary to popular belief, she was NOT easy to litter box train; actually, she never became 'potty' trained. She would go (both #1 and #2) when she was scared, excited, nervous, or simply had to go to the bathroom. Each morning, when she was released from her kennel, she would run straight for the couch and jump up onto it. She would then URINATE on the furniture. She went to the bathroom in her kennel, on my bed, in the garage, on the grass outside, and in every room of the house- every place except her litter box. I cut down the entrance to her (uncovered) box so she didn't have to step over the little walls. I also lined it with old shirts of mine so it was more familiar to her. She liked to eat the kitty litter, therefore she needed 24/7 surveillance. Unlike a dog or cat, she did not like being held for long periods of time (more than one minute); although she loved to be scratched by the ears and neck.

Below you will find more information about my female leaf muntjac:
She weighed in at a whopping three pounds when she was born. When I first brought her to my home, she was one month old. I bottle fed her powdered goat milk mixed with warm water. She immediately peed on me while drinking. I cannot stress enough how much she loved her bottle (tip: when not feeding, keep it hidden). She would go nuts and make little anxious noises as soon as she saw me prepping one for her. She would also continue to suck air out of it long after it was empty. As long as she was drinking from a bottle, she was completely relaxed, like putty. I was able to put a collar around her neck without so much as a blink, which she would otherwise violently refuse with very sharp hooves (which left scratches up and down my arms) and incredibly loud, swine-like screams. She also had fangs (large canine teeth) in her upper row of teeth, but never tried to bite a person or other animal.

I weaned her off the bottle by giving her the required 4 bottles/day until she was two months old. After that, I only gave her three bottles/day for one week, then two bottles/day for one week, and finally one bottle/day for one week. I fed her carrots, bread, watermelon, green peppers, sweet feed (marketed for horses), lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, and a salt lick. When she was outside she would attack tall grass, but watermelon was her favorite (next to the bottle).

Did I mention the smell of her urine was almost unbearable? I have always been able to tolerate the smell of urinating horses, but this was almost painfully smelly, as if it was piercing my nostrils, and pulling tears from my eyes, many times per day. Luckily, this was only for the first two months. After she stopped drinking goat milk, her urine was odorless. When she was preparing to go to the bathroom, large scent glands near her eyes would open up (this extremely disturbed most people), she would take on a very stiff stance, and her tail would lift up. That was the signal to get her to the litter box- fast! If you have a job or a life, you will NOT be able to litter train your muntjac. Face it; they are not cats.

They aren't dogs, either. I did train her to walk on a leash successfully (after many, many practice sessions), but she never grasped the fact that the leash had a limit. She would get a spurt of energy and want to try out her speedy legs. She would have choked herself many times if I hadn't kept her in a soft, padded body harness rather than a collar. The most frustrating part of getting to know her was the fact that she was incapable of grasping certain ideas, such as litter training, the difference between an open and closed glass door, and the length of her leash. Although she tested my patience, I cannot blame her. Muntjacs have not been bred for intelligence the way dogs and horses have been.

She was extremely timid, yet very curious of her surroundings. This made for a very interesting combination of traits. Watching her interact with new objects was fully entertaining. She always started out terrified of new things, but was so incredibly curious, that she would almost always overcome her fears and go sniff out the item. She would chew on garbage bags, table and chair legs, electrical cords, magazines, blankets, shoe laces (I once pulled six inches of string out of her mouth/throat), my hair (on or off my head), dust bunnies, and any food that that happened to be on the floor. Even though I would watch her closely, she was very quick to act and once devoured a pepperoni, which made me question her 'herbivore-ness'. I never let her food or water dishes go empty. I think she just bored easily and enjoyed chewing on everything in sight.

When in the car, she was frightened out of her wits, so be sure to cover the cage with a blanket when transporting to and from the vehicle, as well as during the entire trip. I put her outside in a fenced-in area (six-foot tall fencing) and kept a covered kennel in the corner. She loved it at first, running laps around and around, as if she just realized she had legs (note: muntjacs are incredibly fast, if one were to get loose, you would never be able to catch it). I think she was showing off because she would stop right in front of me each lap to make sure I was still there. When she would tire out, she liked to sleep near rhythmic noises like the pools filter and fans, whether it was during the day or night. Eventually, she didn't like being outside. She hated the rain, flies, and being alone. I didn't want her to be lonely, so I put up a baby gate in the house to keep her away from the couch she so longed to go potty on. Soon after she was back in the house, I found her on the other side of the fence, chewing on a cord behind the television. Apparently, leaf muntjacs, even young ones, are incredibly athletic. I have seen her jump effortlessly over a four-foot-tall wall (blockade) from a standstill.

Although I admired her vertical and speed, she was not very graceful. She ran into the glass door numerous times, fell off the couch more than once, struggled with steps, usually tripping and rolling when going down, and she didn't mesh well with wooden floors (picture the first time Bambi walked on ice in the Disney film). I laid rugs throughout the kitchen and dining room, which she would jump to, as if they were little islands of safety. She was very resilient and never showed any signs of inflammation or pain.

She enjoyed hiding under or around furniture for hours at a time to take long naps in 'safe' places. A popular hiding place was under my desk near the humming desktop computer. The game of 'hide and seek' was one of her favorites. She would run up to me and antagonize me to run, too. I would run away from her and hide in another room. She would cautiously wait a minute, then run in and find my hiding place, stare up at me for a second, and then run away to a different spot and stand patiently until I found her. Then I would sneak away and freeze in another corner of the house until she found me (usually very quickly). We would go back and forth for many rounds. It was an incredibly fun pastime and bonding experience.

Her coat was spotted and very soft at first, but then it grew to be coarse and her cute little Bambi-like spots faded away into a darker brown coat. When I sold her at five months old, she was the same size as the full-grown Yorkie dog she played with (each of them smaller than a cat). I also introduced her to a friend golden retriever and a medium-sized black dog. Initially, she freaked-out (stuck-pig squealing). After that, she realized they were harmless and just wanted a sniff. After a while, she would stand by the door and wait anxiously to hang out with them again. I was still very cautious and never left her alone with them, just in case they played too rough. I would sit outside and read while she was on her long leash. She would literally frolic when outdoors. She would get a running start, jump in the air, and flip up her hind legs. I have never seen such transparent happiness in an animal before. I never got to hear her bark like their alternative name, barking deer, suggests. This was probably due to her young age.

I found my female leaf muntjac to be very high-maintenance. A calculator will be necessary to add the initial cost of the animal and all additional costs of food, shelter, accessories, babysitters, veterinary fees, etc. They also require hours of attention each day. She would follow me around into every room, not leaving my side unless she found something to chew or pee on. Much time was spent preparing food, feeding, cleaning up after accidents (she would go to the bathroom up to 8 times per day), training, and best of all: playing. I also spent a large chunk of time desensitizing her to various things such as cars, dogs, cats, other people, children, being kenneled at night, using a litter box (unproductively), the vacuum, a collar and leash, etc. This was not easy, especially leash training.

Before looking into purchasing a muntjac, please call your local DNR (Department of Natural Resources) office and ask them how to go about getting approved for a wild animal license. Different parts of the country have different regulations; some require six-foot-tall enclosures, regular vaccinations, etc. If a deer is discovered as an unregistered pet, it can potentially be euthanized according to various laws. Make sure the seller you buy from has the proper official, signed documents. Also, it is a good idea to pay with a check, not cash.

When I discovered the state that we were living in required a license for domestic deer, I sold her to a responsible farm with proper licensing. Different states require permits for safety reasons, not because the local government is heartless (as one blogger declared). Muntjac deer can be vectors for many different diseases, meaning they can carry (often times without any symptoms) and spread diseases. If a certain disease is common in an area, then it makes sense to require pets, which are in contact with humans frequently, to be tested for these diseases and receive vaccinations, certification documents, etc. If a disease is very common in an area, it makes even more sense to ban deer as pets completely. Tuberculosis is one of the diseases commonly spread by deer. It is also the number one cause of death in the world. Laws regarding wild animals as pets are not to be ignored; they are for your safety.

I do not wish to give these adorable creatures a bad reputation, but this information is everything that I wish I had known before diving into motherhood with a young leaf muntjac. Thank you for taking the time to read about my unforgettable adventure. Feel free to email me with any questions at Please include your age and state of residence. I do not take emails filled with grammatical errors seriously. Do not expect a reply if the word deers is included (this happens more than it should). I sold my female leaf muntjac before she reached five months old, so please note that I have zero experience with males, any other species of deer besides the leaf muntjac, and full-grown muntjacs.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-03-20
    I wanted to thank you for writing your experience regarding your muntjac into Animal World. Honest. The muntjac (Bambi) that you see in the photo is mine and I raised 5 of them and then they had babies. I had two problems. One, if they climbed up the stairs they would bark to be carried down. Two, one of them had a breach birth and I lost the baby (mom was fine).
    I was reading your information and trying to figure out what was different, strange, what had happened as I never had any of the problems you are talking about. Mine were 100% litter trained and I never even had one accident in the home. They never jumped on the furniture. They always smelled so good to me and played actively with my daughters around 5 years old.
    Obviously, I am a bit clouded in one direction and I believe people should know what they are getting them selves into before they purchase a companion or a pet. From your experience, I would never have purchased a muntjac as an indoor pet but from my experience, I would do it again. The only thing I can think of is that I purchased mine when they were 2 - 3 days old. They couldn't go to the bathroom on their own yet. You had to wipe them with a wet cotton ball so they could go and I put them in the litter when I did this. The rest of it, the jumping, chewing, climbing etc - I have no idea.
    When Bambi was about 3 (and still getting one bottle a day) and there were now 5 muntjak - 4 females and Bambi the male. I had a doggy door and ramp added to the home. I fenced in two of the acres for the deer and purchased a 10 x 12 shed thinking they would rather be outside. They ventured out and then would come running back in to go potty. By the time they were 5 years old and two of the females were pregnant, they stayed pretty much outside unless you called them.
    I am glad you wrote your experience as I would not want anyone to go through what you went through. It's just not fair.
    I am an animal lover - from way back. I raised so many and loved them all. I am sorry to hear about your little gal but I am glad you wrote it.

    Thank you


  • Charlie Roche - 2012-04-10
    I had 5 leaf muntjac and I hand fed them from the latests day 3. Two of them had babies and I had fed them from day 3 as well. I had no problms at all. Never had one accident in the home, no chewing and no jumping around from place to place. Only one (Bambi) I walked on a leash. I don't know why - I just didn't leash train the others. They were raised in the home and had the home to roam in. When they were about 3, I set up a doggy door. No matter what kind of companion you get, there can be problems. I think most of it is knowing what they might be and then working around or through them. All of mine were 1000% litter trained. I just used sand and a large trough that painters used for paint. I thought they were remarkable. Absolutely no odor and yes, they ate much of what we ate as a family plus sweet feed/hay.
  • Melissa - 2012-04-10
    Do any of you know what species of muntjac you had?
  • Anonymous - 2012-05-05
    I owned a female leaf muntjac, as stated above (last sentence). Also, I think someone emailed me about this post, but it got sent to my spam box. I saw it the second I clicked the delete forever button in the spam folder. Please resend it and; I will check my spam more closely from now on!
    nikki56763 at