Reindeer are domesticated animals that we have raised over 30 years. We are one of the largest producing reindeer operations in the country and reindeer is our families' utmost priority. Our family specializes in raising and breeding reindeer. We raise reindeer for production agriculture, educational exhibition and antler production. We are dedicated to reindeer husbandry and agricultural education about the industry.
For inquires on purchasing reindeer, please contact us by calling 715-533-0637. Our farms are not open to the public.
Frequently Asked Reindeer Questions
Are reindeer domesticated or wild?
Reindeer have been domesticated animals for over 3,000 years. Reindeer are in the cervidae (deer) family, with the genus of rangifer (reindeer and caribou) and the species of tarandus (reindeer). Reindeer were introduced to the Seward Peninsula in 1892 from Siberia by Sheldon Jackson. Reindeer look like their wild North American cousins, the caribou, but are shorter by 8 to 10 inches, and there is a difference in color. Reindeer are believed by many to be the first domesticated animals with a written reference to herding in a 9th century letter from Norway’s King Ottar to Alfred the Great which mentioned his fine herd of over 600 reindeer. Reindeer are curious, friendly, likeable animals.
Reindeer in the lower 48 states of United States are not considered exotic or endangered. They are widely referred to as domestic livestock.
Why do we raise reindeer?
Reindeer are the only deer species to be widely domesticated. Indigenous people in the Arctic and subarctic, raise reindeer primarily for meat, which they eat and sell. “They are the livelihood of a lot of indigenous cultures." In America, we farm reindeer for educational exhibition and agricultural production purposes. Noel Productions has raised reindeer for over 30 years. Reindeer farming is our family passion & business. Deer farming is one of the fastest growing industries in rural America, and it generates $7.9 billion for the U.S. economy and supports tens of thousands of jobs. This alternative agricultural pursuit is a promising way to preserve the traditional rural way of life.
Why is reindeer herding globally important?
Reindeer herding is an ancient way of life & important part of cultures throughout the world. Today nomadic people still herd reindeer, throughout Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Finland), Russia, Greenland, China and Mongolia. Reindeer herding is conducted by individuals within some kind of cooperation, in forms such as families, districts, villages or farms. Cultures such as the Sami people, live and work in so-called “siiddat” (reindeer herding groups) and reindeer are used for transport, milk and meat production. In Arctic regions and places with snow on the ground for long periods of time, reindeer still today are used to pull sleighs for transportation. They are strong enough that one reindeer can lead sleighs with loads of 300 lbs. over frozen ground or snow for nine or ten miles an hour for several hours.
Why are reindeer apart of Christmas traditions?
Ever wonder why reindeer are a part of Christmas traditions? According to many researchers, "Pagan mythology started incorporating reindeer during the Middle Ages into their ancient customs and became a part of Christmas celebrations. The reindeer came to symbolize creativity, resourcefulness, and knowledge, whilst also representing safe journeying and endurance through travel. Historically many individuals throughout the world have domesticated and lived nomadically with reindeer for thousands of years and they relied on them for food, fiber, milk, and transportation.
Do reindeer have offspring?
Yes. Reindeer gestation is about 224 days. Calves are single births born in April. The calves nurse and walk very quickly, normally in less than an hour. Calves weigh between 8-20 pounds at birth, grow rapidly and some can easily weigh 100 pounds when they are 4 months old. At that time, they have already grown their first set of “Rudolph” antlers.
What is antler?
Antlers are naturally-shed annually from each reindeer. "Reindeer are in the cervidae (deer) family, with the genus of rangifer (reindeer and caribou) and the species of tarandus (reindeer). Both male and female reindeer grow antlers each year that are deciduous (fall off every year), solid antlers emanating from pedicles (permanent bases) on the frontal bones of the skull. As they are growing, the antlers are soft, rubbery, and the living mass of blood and marrow is covered with a furry skin. The antlers grow rapidly and during this period the reindeer are said to be “in velvet”. When the antlers are finished growing usually some time in August, they harden, and the “velvet” is vigorously rubbed off.... The older bulls generally lose or “drop” their antlers first, usually late December or early January, with the remaining bulls following this process until as late as March. The females generally keep their antlers until calving time, seven months from when they were bred. Antler when in velvet can be sold to a number of buyers for the Oriental market. Hard antler when it has naturally fallen off can also be sold to a variety of buyers for craft and other uses." Courtesy of Reindeer Owners & Breeders Association.