INTRODUCING THE ANIMALS OF SANTA’S PETS

REINDEER

In our yard you can meet our lovely reindeer every day of the year. We have about ten reindeer. This photo shows a calf born in early June. Our reindeer Hippu, Sisu, Sauli, Hilima, Valkko, Onni, Nekku,  Lumi, Sulo, Tuisku etc.

Our reindeer are social. We can also walk in the forest with some of them. Everyone dares to come and take the moss from the hand of our guests when they give it to the reindeer.

Reindeer are a semi-feral domestic animals. Reindeer live on fells and the forest of Lapland. There are about 200 000 reindeer in Finnish Lapland and all of them are owned by someone.

During the winter the reindeer are fenced, because the reindeer can’t find food when there is a lot of snow. They eat grass, branches, lichen, green plants, reindeer moss and mushrooms.

A reindeer doe (female) can live 18-20 years. The stag (male) reindeer can live over 10 years. The stag is about 110cm high and weighs about 90-180kg. The doe is about 90cm high and weighs about 60-100kg.

Reindeer has warm fur and it can survive in temperatures over +40°c in summer and -50°c  in winter. The color of reindeer varies from almost black to white. White reindeer are  quite rare. Reindeer lose their winter fur in the summer and the new winter fur begins to grow in August.

The antlers change every year. The male has a large antlers and it loses them in winter. The female has smaller antlers and loses them in the spring.

In the autumn the reindeer have a rut. The reindeer’s pregnancy is 7 months. Reindeer calves are born normally in May. A reindeer usually has only one baby at a time. The newborn reindeer weighs 4-6kg.

ALPACAS

Our alpacas are called Niila, Urmas, Eevertti, Pena, Taavetti, Hermes and Toffee. Alpacas are really sweet and cuddly, although a little shy. Little Pena will give you a kiss if you’re lucky.

The alpaca is a species of a South American camelid descended from the vicuna. There are two breeds of alpaca: Suri alpaca and the Huacaya alpaca. Suri’s are quite rare, under 10% of the worlds alpacas are Suri’s. Alpacas are bred for fleece/fiber production. The fiber comes in many different colours.  They typically get shawn once a year at spring time and each alpaca produces approximately 2,3kg to 4,5kg of fiber.

Alpacas are herd animals and can not be kept alone. They are quiet animals, but they do make humming noises. In some situations they can snort, grumble, cluck, scream and screech. Alpacas live for about 15-20 years but can live longer. They are generally between 81-99cm in height at the shoulders (withers). They weigh between 48 and 84kg.

Alpacas eat dry hay, grass and pellets. Twigs and other plants also taste good, including dried twigs in winter. The gestation period is, on an average, 11.5 months, and usually results in a single offspring, they are called cria.  Cria is usually born at 6 to 9 kg.

BUNNIES

Our bunnies are Pekko, Rosie and Pippin.

Rabbits are herd animals and are lively at night. They feel better when they have other rabbits around for support and safety. A rabbit lives to about 6 to 9 years old. Rabbits eat hay and need fresh water, but they also enjoy pellets and fresh vegetables.

PEACOCKS

Klaara and Klaus.

The Indian peafowl, also known as the common peafowl, and blue peafowl, is a peafowl species native to the Indian subcontinent. The male peacock is brightly coloured. The Indian peafowl lives mainly on the ground in open forest or on land under cultivation where they forage for berries, grains but also prey on snakes, lizards, and small rodents. On farms, they eat oats and turkeys pellets. The peacock lives for about 15-20 years

Can peafowls fly?Peacocks are capable of flying despite their large size. However, they cannot sustain their flight for long periods, and therefore flight is limited to short distances.

SHETLAND PONY

The adorable pony called Ilona is our newest animal. She is supposed to start riding, small children can ride and adults can walk.

The small ponies originate from the Shetland Isles in Northern Scotland and have a history that is older than 2000 years. The Shetland pony is the most common pony breed in Finland.

Many people don’t know that ponies are often more temperamental than average horses. Behavior is known to be characterized by intelligence, docileness, and courage. They are perfectly for riding and for carriage riding since they don’t spook easily and are hardy horses.The average height is about 102 cm. The average weight is 150 – 200 kg. Lifespan is about 20 years.A surprising fact is that the Shetland pony, despite its size, accounts to be the strongest equine for its weight.

Usually good quality hay, fresh water, minerals, vitamins and salts are enough to keep the pony in good condition.

GOATS

Here is our lovely goat, Asseri. Asseri really likes being brushed by visitors. He is a great and captivating person.

The mother goat is called a doe or nanny, the father a buck or billy, and the baby a kid. Goats eat hay, grain, dried tree branches, root vegetables, vegetables and fruit.

Goats normally live about 10 years but some may live as long as 20. Goats are ruminants and have hooves animals.

Goats are intelligent, clever, curious, easy-going and sociable. They become attached to their caretakers just like loyal dogs do. Goats are also extremely agile and are skilful climbers.

SHEEP

Bertta, Erin, Jenna and Usva.

These wonderfully gentle sheep enjoy being petted.

The Finnish sheep is lively, alert and friendly. The female is called a ewe, the male a ram, and the baby a lamb. They are flock animals and will follow their flock – always and everywhere. Sheep eat grass, leaves, bark and shrubs.

A sheep lives for about 10-12 years. The average ram weighs between 85 and 105 kg, and the average ewe between 65 and 75 kg.

Sheep have their wool shorn in spring and late summer. Shearing does not hurt them. Finnish sheep have a unique wool, and the yarn spun from it is highly valued in handicrafts. Sheep are also used as therapy animals.

HENS AND ROOSTER

A rooster is a male chicken and is bigger than a hen. It has a bigger comb and wattle. Roosters crow to tell everybody ”This is my territory”. The mother is called a hen; the father is a rooster; and the baby is a chick.

Hens usually lay one egg each day. Chickens eat grain, worms and insects. The country chicken is energetic and long-lived, usually living 5 to 7 years. A chicken’s feathers vary in colour from one extreme to the other: they can be black, grey, brownish, white – you name it!

SMALL GOATS

Toivo and Taito are our really lovely little goats that are like dogs:  They love attention and pampering.

The mother goat is called a doe or nanny, the father a buck or billy, and the baby a kid. Goats eat hay, grain, dried tree branches, root vegetables, vegetables and fruit.

Goats normally live about 10 years but some may live as long as 20. Goats are ruminants and have hooves animals. Goats are intelligent, clever, curious, easy-going and sociable. They become attached to their caretakers just like loyal dogs do. Goats are also extremely agile and are skilful climbers.

DONKEYS

Mother Sissi and son Sasu. They are highly intelligent creatures, sociable and calm, capable of independent thinking and decision making. They are strong and won’t do something they consider unsafe, which makes them a great, trusted companion.