Deer antler velvet must be collected in its actively growing stage to obtain the true benefits from its consumption. Because calcified, hardened antler does not have any blood supply, antler that is shed does not provide the nutrients desired for medicinal purposes. Therefore, the collection of deer antler velvet is usually done at the half grown stage just prior to the last budding of the main branch.
Deer antler velvet is at its optimal composition between 55 to 65 days of growth. The exact timing of deer velvet collection balances the maximum length of the branch and the minimum calcification of the lower section of the antler.
No deer are killed or harmed for deer antler velvet.
Deer antler velvet removal is performed while the deer are restrained and under local anesthesia. It is a relatively quick and painless procedure designed to minimize stress for the animal. Once a deer is sedated, a tourniquet is placed just below the base of the antler. The velvet antler is removed with a clean, sharp cutting instrument.
Deer velvet removal is considered a surgical procedure in New Zealand, and each procedure requires the monitoring and supervision of veterinarian who is a licensed and trained by the National Velvetting Standards Body (NVSB). Antler removal is performed at our government licensed facility in compliance with a strict code of practice to ensure the animals are unharmed and that essential hygiene standards are followed.
As a whole, the New Zealand deer industry is committed to the welfare of deer during antler removal and has undertaken extensive scientific research into this subject. These research findings underpin the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Stags during the Removal of Velvet, published by the government’s Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. The Code was developed in association with the New Zealand Veterinary Association and animal welfare groups. The processing of deer antler velvet is regulated by the New Zealand governments Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) as well as the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).
Before, during and after the procedure, our deer are visually evaluated to certify the animals are in good health. Our deer are returned to the free range for the remainder of the year, only with other de-antlered deer. Once a deer has had its antlers removed, it must be herded separately from antlered animals to prevent injury by antlered males.
At Antler Farms, we practice great care during processing to ensure that our deer antler velvet is of the highest possible quality. Our techniques are more labor intensive, more time consuming and more expensive than conventional methods, but the result is a premium deer antler velvet that is vastly superior to any other product on the market.
Upon collection, deer velvet is tagged to allow for accurate identification and origin. The antlers are frozen within 30 minutes of removal to safeguard freshness and food safety. Then, deer antler velvet is moved to a drying facility, where it is initially pasteurized and sterilized to eliminate any bacteria.
Manufacturers of low grade deer antler velvet burn off the hairy epidermis because it’s less labor-intensive, and then use heat assisted techniques to dry the deer velvet because it is quicker. Some widely-used grinding methods also produce heat. Though these procedures are less expensive methods of processing of deer antler velvet, the heat can reduce or completely destroy the desired beneficial properties of velvet antler.
Antler Farms ensures our deer antler velvet is not heated excessively during processing. Our deer velvet is dried at a low temperature for several weeks. Our drying process takes more time than heat assisted techniques, but maintains the potency of the ingredients.
After the deer antler velvet is dried, the deer antler velvet is divided into four segments: tips, uppers, middles and bottoms. The tips, upper and middle sections are rich in lipids and protein and are highly valued. The bottom of deer antler velvet is a less effective, deficient segment.
We use only the high yielding segments - the tips, upper and middle sections - in our deer antler velvet product. The higher concentration of active ingredients in our deer antler velvet means quicker results, more improvements and greater benefits.
Once the bottoms are removed, our deer antler velvet is ground into a fine powder using low speed grinding mill. Chemical analysis is performed on the powder to ensure that our high quality standards are met or exceeded. Finally, the powder is carefully packed into gelatin capsules, with no added chemicals or binders. The 100% pure deer antler velvet is packaged for sale and stored in our temperature and humidity controlled warehouse until shipment.
Note: The bottom segments of antlers are the most widely used in deer velvet supplements. The bottoms contain significantly less cartilaginous tissue, which results in a less active and less effective product. The bottom segments are the most commonly available, comprising up to 50% of each antler stick, and are far less expensive. They are sold on the open market at a fraction of the price of the tips, upper and middle sections.
Many low grade deer antler velvet manufacturers use only the bottoms in their products. If a producer does not mention what part of the antler their product comes from, it is a safe bet to assume it was made mostly or completely from deer antler velvet bottoms.
In other words, our competitors make their products entirely from the parts we discard.
Our capsules are dark brown in color. Other manufacturers' capsules are beige, almost white - why? The light coloration of their capsules is an indication of a high mineral and mineral ash content, typical of low grade products made from bottom segments.
|<< What is the composition of deer antler velvet?||What are the benefits of deer antler velvet? >>|
*This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Copyright © 2012-2013 - All Rights Reserved - Antler Farms