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When You Have Reindeer for Pets, It’s Principally Christmas Each Day

Tuesday, November 8th 2016. | Tips and Tricks

reindeer93PHOTO BY LOIS HOFFMAN, Farm and Ranch Dwelling Journal

You understand all of Santa’s reindeer. Now meet Holly and her two offspring, Snowflake and Blizzard, who stay on a farm simply outdoors Centreville, Michigan. They will not be world-well-known like Donner and Blitzen, however they’re fairly the native celebrities.

Holly belongs to Larry and Vicki Brueck, their son Josh and his spouse, Carrie. “We obtained Holly eight years in the past when she was one month previous,” says Josh, a park ranger with St. Joseph County. “A lady in Kalamazoo had some, and Holly nuzzled as much as us instantly. We knew she was the one.”

They purchased a male on the similar time, however he died. “So we obtained one other male, tried to do all the things proper and efficiently bred Holly,” Larry says. “We really feel actual fortunate to have Snowflake and Blizzard.”

The Brueck household reindeer earn their maintain entertaining youngsters of all ages within the six weeks main as much as Christmas. “Individuals love to return and see an actual stay reindeer,” Josh says. “And since there are solely seven or eight reindeer farms in Michigan, it’s not one thing you see too typically.”

reindeer87PHOTO BY LOIS HOFFMAN, Farm and Ranch Dwelling Journal Reindeer eat lots of lichen of their pure Arctic habitat, however fortunately accept grass and a mixture of calf pellets, corn, molasses and the occasional sweet cane.

“You’ve heard about reindeer video games? They definitely wish to play them,” Josh says. “Holly and her youngsters are sensible, and reindeer have a tremendous sense of odor. In order that they know if in case you have a cookie in your pocket, or a sweet cane from Santa. Holly is fairly slick at snatching sweet canes from unwary youngsters.”

The reindeer have 12 exhibits booked this yr. “It’s a whole lot of enjoyable, nevertheless it’s additionally a variety of work,” Larry says. “We now have to get them used to individuals and loud noises in order that they don’t get spooked. We arrange an enormous canine kennel and border fence at every present. Then it’s often freezing chilly standing on the market for 5 hours!”

The animals should cross common USDA inspections to guard their very own well being and that of spectators. And the state enforces its personal stringent laws about elevating specialty animals.
reindeer99PHOTO BY LOIS HOFFMAN, Farm and Ranch Dwelling Journal

“Coping with all of the licenses and costs is the worst half,” Josh says. The Bruecks have determined to take their time and grasp the fundamentals earlier than they improve the herd.

Within the meantime, Carrie says, the reindeer make nice pets: “Their pure disposition is to float, and they’re very quick learners. We’ve had them pull a pony cart on the farm, they usually acclimate simply to being saddled. Our youngsters, Juli and Corban, love enjoying with them.”

Judging by the smile on Corban’s face as he pets Holly, the reindeer make it appear to be Christmas day by day of the yr.

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