Reindeer are fabulous animals
and are one of the oldest animals on the North American
continent, dating back thousands of years. Males are
called (bulls), Females are (cows) and babies are
(calves). Both male and female reindeer have antlers and
on the males they become quite large and impressive.
Even the calves produce antlers in their first year.
Reindeer (as with most members of the deer family) shed
and grow new antlers every year. Babies are born in
early spring ( usually March or April here in Michigan)
and generally only a single calf is born.
When hand raised on a bottle, Reindeer become quite tame
and make great pets.
Easily kept in a 4 to 5 foot fence.
One note to
this is that bull calves should never be made too
friendly and should never be trusted during the Rut
(breeding season). In my opinion a male reindeer raised
for a pet, should be neutered and not kept for breeding.
This comes from 1st hand experience. Reindeer need a
high fiber diet. Here at GarLyn Zoological Park we feed
Mazuri Wild Herbavore Pellets along with sugar beet pulp and good leafy hay. A
couple of interesting behaviors that reindeer have is
that they seem to drink with their feet. By that I mean
that they always splash the water with their feet as if
to be breaking ice before drinking. Another is the
clicking sound that is made by the bones in their ankle
when they walk. I was told this is possibly done so that
if an animal is separated from the herd during a
blizzard or during the long nights of the arctic winter,
an individual animal could locate the rest of the herd
by this clicking sound.
It is also how you can
tell when Santa's on the roof top.
New born Reindeer
Click on the link
below to hear some animal sounds at the zoo