Time to Break Out the Winter Coat

The forecast called for the temperature to drop to 28° before daybreak this morning. The deer are ready with their winter coats. Note – check below the photo for some fun facts about their winter fur.

November 22, 2015 - Winter coat on deer in Bent Tree

November 22, 2015 – Winter coat on deer in Bent Tree (click photo for larger image)

  • The deer’s winter coat has amazing insulation properties
  • There are only about half as many “guard” hairs in the coat during the winter, compared to the number in the summer coat. But, each winter hair is at least twice as long and twice as thick as the summer hair.
  • Winter hair is kinked vs sleek hair in the summer.
  • The winter hair shafts are hollow so that air gets trapped inside, helping with insulation.
  • The winter coat is much darker than the summer one, and absorbs more solar energy.
  • There is also woolly underfur in the winter which traps warm air near the skin’s surface.
  • Adding even more to the insulation is the process of puffing the fur. There are actually tiny bundles of muscles attached to each hair shaft that cause the hair to stand on each, producing an even denser layer of insulation.