Within a herd of 150 reindeer there are favourites, bold ones, greedy ones and unusual ones that we all talk about and you will hear about, however, 150 is a lot of reindeer and I am sure there are a few out there that you haven’t heard of so much so here is a blog to introduce them. These reindeer are no less friendly but with others being such bold characters they tend to take a back step, out of the lime light.
Santana was born in 2016, the year we named them after artists and bands and she is a lovely little female. She comes from a very well-known family. Her mother was Haze and sisters Gazelle, Caddis and Camembert. Her brother Fyrish who was one of our main breeding bulls last year. She definitely isn’t as bold as her siblings though. For many years she kept herself to herself, however over the more recent years I have definitely grown a soft spot for Santana and she has clocked onto the extra feeding for the older reindeer in the herd. A specific story I remember was during the calving season a few years back and Santana calved that morning. I went down to bring her into our area where other cows had their calves and as I approached her I was expecting to push her towards the open gates as I hadn’t worked with her much in the past and I just expected her to be a bit more timid, especially having just calved. So as I got closer and closer to her, she seemed pretty settled, even a bit interested in what I was doing or maybe just the bag of food I had with me. Then before I knew it I had my arm around her neck popping a halter on. She didn’t bat an eye lid and followed in in with her new bundle of joy hot on her heels!
I started with a female reindeer so here is one of our male Christmas reindeer now, Bingo. Bingo is fairly aloof and I wouldn’t call him timid because he has taken part in some of our busiest events and been an absolute star, but he’s not one for a fuss and when it comes to catching him he can be quite canny. He tends to slink around in the background, not join in with hand feeding and definitely keeps us fit when he decides otherwise when bringing the herd into the shed. His mother Jade, I would say was one of the more timid females, however other members of his family have been some of the tamest and greediest reindeer in the herd over the years but keeping us on our toes obviously floats his boat!
Roule, a 6 year old breeding female over the years has given us the run around… all I can say is thank goodness she is a female and we don’t have to work with her too much. Considering her mother, Rusa was probably one of the greediest females in our herd, back in the day, Roule was the polar opposite and it wasn’t due to her not getting enough handling as a calf… that she got, but It’s just her nature I guess. Brother Atlantic used to be quite head strong but in his older years has mellowed and other brother Hamish is just a massive softy so it just proves that genetics have a huge amount to play when it comes to each individual reindeer and their character. Luckily her latest calf Frost hasn’t followed in his mothers footprints and he is actually a lovely wee chap. Bodes well for his future as one of our Christmas reindeer.
As a calf, Scolty was quite hard work and never really got any tamer. As a result of being a bit more timid we made sure he got lots of handling as a calf and yearling to make the process of becoming a Christmas reindeer better from the age of three onwards. And then he proved us all wrong! Last October we trained him to harness and he went out on Christmas tour visiting various towns across the country spreading the Christmas joy. He was an absolute star! He took everything in his stride and by the end of the tour he was as well trained, if not better, than some of the reindeer who had been doing it for years. I had him out myself and he was an absolute pleasure to work with, and on some occasions was so chilled out in the pen he fell fast asleep.
That’s a few more reindeer you may, or may not have known so well but hopefully I have done them justice in a wee write up. There are lots of reindeer in the herd who all deserve a mention but their time will come.