In farming terms the phrase "hard yakka" is relative to the type of operation being run.

Hard yakka in sheep and beef farming terms for instance is far more strenuous than deer farming for velvet when comparing the traditional labour tasks required in each sector during their respective seasons.

Sheep need to be dipped, dagged, drenched, shorn, often several times a season, and pampered at lambing, while deer velvet is harvested twice a year and the stock is sometimes drenched depending on conditions.

A 55-hectare deer velvet farm for sale literally a five minute drive south of Whanganui in Fordell is a prime example of the difference between the two farming sectors.


Strahaven at 728 No 2 Line, Fordell, once part of the Higgie estate dating back to the 1850s, is a unique deer velvet operation currently carrying mostly mixed aged Red stags with some Wapiti stags in the herd.

Production from these high-class stags has given the vendor an annual harvest of between 2300kg and 3265kg of velvet for past three years with a large proportion classed in the preferred Super A grade.

Stags are bought in at spiker age and carried through until about 15 years of age, unlike sheep farming where much-needed replacement ewes are either bred on-farm or bought in each year at considerable expense.

Stag antlers are cut twice a year for velvet. On this farm harvest is in September/October then again 60 days later after the regrowth has occurred.

And with an average harvest of more than 3000kg with Super A grade fetching up to $130/kg it is not difficult to imagine the returns each year from minimal labour input. In fact, total farm inputs on this deer velvet farm are substantially less than other traditional farming operations.

Strahaven has a well-developed infrastructure, the accounts show excellent financial returns and the contour of the land gives a range of farming options.

The farm is fully deer fenced into 18 paddocks, plus holding paddocks and a central lane for ease of stock movement.

Add to this the fully modernised three bedroom homestead built in the early 1900s featuring a 21sqm spa porch and 23sm verandah, double carport and single garage, and there is ample incentive for astute investors to look at this ready-made deer velvet moneymaker.


Marketed by For Farms agent David Cotton, 728 No 2 Line is for sale by tender closing at 4pm on March 4. The property will not be sold prior to tender close.