Piebald Deer – What are They?


A piebald is an animal, usually a mammal such as a white-tailed deer or horse, that has a spotting pattern of large white and black patches. The color of a piebald’s skin underneath its coat may vary between black (under the black patches of hair) and pink (under the white patches). The coloring is generally asymmetrical, resulting in deer with abnormally wild brown and white coloration. Many piebald-colored animals also exhibit coloration of the irises of the eye that match the surrounding skin. This condition also occurs in white-tailed deer, and makes for a very unusual animal.

Piebald Whitetail Deer

A genetic variation (defect) produces the piebald condition in white-tailed deer, not parasites or diseases. Piebald deer are colored white and brown similar to a pinto pony. Sometimes they appear almost entirely white. In addition to this coloration, many have some of the following observable conditions: bowing of the nose (Roman nose), short legs, arching spine (scoliosis), and short lower jaws. This genetic condition is rare with typically less than one percent of white-tailed deer being affected.


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Read article: Residents Fawning Over Rare Deer

163 thoughts on “Piebald Deer – What are They?

  1. I never heard of piebald whitetail deer until I saw one in my back yard today. Very regal buck with at least 6 points. If it were possible, I’d upload the pictures I took. I also took a video of a doe walking up to him and he chased her away.

  2. I saw a piebald deer this morning. It was an amazing sight. We live in Cordova, Alabama.

  3. Practically a Christmas miracle!

  4. A few years ago, I shot and killed a piebald elk but it was raised in captivity in Indiana.

  5. Tonight on my way home, on Naughright Road, in Long Valley, NJ, I discovered my first encounter with a piebald deer. In fact, there were a couple behind her that were also white with large brown patches. How amazing!

  6. Steve Bollander says:

    Just spotted one in a small herd at the corner of West Belt Parkway and Hanes Drive in Wayne near the Totowa border on Friday, January 8, 2016.

  7. One in my yard right now in Parsippany near Mountain Lakes!

  8. Eileen Bartel says:

    Piebald deer can have some abnormalities and physical differences and some people think that piebald deer should be culled, to keep the “natural” strain of the deer healthy. Is this a good idea or is it just a matter of opinion?

  9. Eileen, piebald deer can have some physical abnormalities. It’s not something that anyone must cull. A physical abnormality that is a liability will naturally be taken care of by predators.

  10. Janine Miller says:

    I saw one in with a regular herd in Danboro, Pennsylvania. April 2016.

  11. Saw my first piebald deer last night in my backyard in Nashville, Indiana. Had never heard of it so asked a buddy of mine and then went researching on the web. The one I saw was mostly brown with a large white patch on her back towards her hind quarters. Wish I had taken a picture. Thought it odd that she was alone. All other deer I’ve see traverse my property in the past 2 years have done so with at least one other deer if not several.

  12. Theresa Nevills says:

    I have one that started coming to my yard in the Highlands of Victoria British Columbia, just a couple of days ago. Now she comes several times a day. We have just under 2 acres and so much vegetation to eat.

  13. I saw one at camp the other day.

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