Moose Antler Growth

by Vickie

I was told that the moose antler growth in the spring is about an inch a day. Is that true?

Thanks for the question Vickie.

Moose antler growth is formed as invisible waves. Sort of like a radio signal goes out from its source... as a curved band. Each portion of the antler growing at the same rate as the other.

Studies by Kay et al. (1981) and Goss (1983) thought that moose antler growth along these bands was indeed somewhere near the one-inch-a-day mark; their conclusions found the antler growth was about 0.8 inches per day.

However; Van Ballenberghe (1982) found after studying 50 bands over a 140 day period that each of these bands actually took closer to 48 hours... therefor the actual moose antler growth was nearer 1/2-inch-per-day or 0.4 inches.

Much more work is required to fully understand the growth and development of antlers in moose as these discrete are a lot more complex than originally thought.


"The Moose Man"

Comments for Moose Antler Growth

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January velvet.
by: Gary Woodworth

While driving home yesterday I spotted several moose. Most were cows and calves . The last cow I saw was with a bull and it had slabs about ten inches long that appeared to be in velvet. It's been cold here for a few weeks -30 cel. and it warmed up to -27 yesterday so I think that is way the moose started moving. I always thought that the moose would still have their last years head gear still on or just getting ready to drop them around now January 13th. What's your thoughts on this?

Moose with Winter Antlers
by: Mark - The Mooseman

You are correct in suggesting moose should or could be still wearing antlers in January. Large bull moose tend to lose antlers first (as early as mid-December) followed by moose with smaller sets. Gravity helps out in these cases as the extra weight causes the severance from the head as the declining testosterone takes place.

As for a bull still in velvet in January I don't have a concrete explanation for that unless the bull has what is referred to as PerukeHead or abnormal antler growth. In this case the antlers may not be shed at all an continue to grow from season to season.

Normally, the velvet would have had blood supply stopped and died late last summer followed by subsequent loss of the velvet.

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