Fun Facts about Reindeer

by Jessica Weber | Dec 03, 2017

Reindeer are notable in our holiday music and images. The most famous are known to pull Santa's sleigh, flash their red noses, and fly. But how much do you really know about the Reindeer breed?

Here are some fun facts about Reindeer. Feel free to use this knowledge to impress family and friends at your next social event.

Fun Facts about Reindeer: pexels-photo-320092


  1. In North America reindeer are also called caribou

  2. Both male and female Reindeer grow antlers 

  3. Reindeers noses are specially designed to warm the air before it gets to their lungs. 

  4. Reindeer hooves expand in summer when the ground is soft and shrink in winter when the ground is hard. 

  5. Some Reindeer subspecies have knees that make a clicking noise while walking so they can stay together in a blizzard. 

  6. Some North American caribou migrate over 3,000 miles in a year – more than any other mammal. 

  7. Reindeer have been herded for centuries by several Arctic and Subarctic cultures, 

  8. The name “Reindeer” is of Norse origin (From old Norse word “hreinn” for deer) and has nothing to do the reigns of a sled. The name “caribou” comes to us through the French, from the Mi’kmag “qalipu,” meaning “snow shoveler.” 

  9. Golden eagles are the leading predator on caribou calves in the late spring and fall. 

  10. A Reindeer’s milk has more fat than cow’s milk. 

Raising & Breedig Reindeer


A Reindeer breeder in Minnesota who makes his money selling reindeer calves and renting the animals for holiday displays says that "even though reindeer are fast, they're not escape artists."

Average Reindeer breeders graze about 50 reindeer on five-acres of land and say that's plenty of space for this breed. Reindeer are cold weather animals and will stay outside through the winter. In the summer, Reindeer need shaded shelters and large bodies of water to wade in and keep cool. 

Reindeer do well on grass and alfalfa hay, but they're also fed commercial feed to round out their nutrition. Most raised Reindeer get quite a variety including beet pulp from sugar beets or extruded soybeans that are high in protein. Some breeders also feed steam-rolled oats for more of a treat than anything else. But, if you want to give Reindeer a really special treat, raisins are by far their favorite.   

Hired Hand is proud to provide all types of
breeders with websites to promote their registered  and pedigreed animals, including Reindeer! Check out how our custom Software makes it easy for site visitors to click through interactive pedigrees or contact us for a demo to see just how easy our sites are to update completely on your own!

Henke, Jodi. “Raising Reindeer.” Living the Country Life,
“Reindeer: Twelve Fascinating Facts About These Amazing Creatures.” The National Wildlife Federation Blog, NWF, 21 Dec. 2010,

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