Stewarts Reindeer

DasherWhen they are not in the Garden Centres, or helping Santa at the North Pole, our own herd of reindeer live on our land at our garden centre at Broomhill, alongside our herd of Dexter Cows.

Where are reindeer from?

Although originally from Sweden and Finland, they are quite happy living in the UK. The Stewarts herd were purchased from Steve Swinnerton, at Reindeer Lodge in the Midlands. Steve is extremely experienced and has been working with reindeer for over 30 years and works closely with us to ensure they’re well cared for.

What do they eat?

Our reindeer are fed a special diet to keep them fit and healthy which varies depending on the time of year. They eat a mix of short meadow grass, special reindeer nuts, sugar beet pulp, wheat straw and they love eating the hedgerows surrounding their fields. We also give them a special mix of all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep them looking and feeling well. Our vets at the Damory practice in Blandford are always on hand for any queries, concerns and regular check-ups.

How do you look after them?

We went to stay with Steve at Reindeer Lodge to learn all about keeping and handling reindeer before we made the huge decision to purchase our own. We go back to him on a regular basis to keep up to date with all aspects of reindeer husbandry. Steve has been working with Sami reindeer herding families in Sweden and Finland for many years and though him, we have been lucky enough to meet them too.

The Stewarts reindeer have all been with us since they were young. We handle them frequently, feeding and checking them twice a day, everyday. They are certainly very relaxed in the company of humans. Most important to us is their welfare – they have wonderful facilities, field shelters and plenty of ground to roam.

What happens in the wild?

In Finland and Sweden these beautiful animals are in constant threat from diminishing habitat and a huge variety of predators. Wolves, lynx, bear, wolverines and golden eagles, man and many other predators are a threat. The predators are all protected animals, the reindeer are not. Due to their diminishing numbers, Steve is now being sent true blood lines of reindeer in order to protect these animals. He is also helping the Sami with husbandry advice from problems they are now getting from their warming climate. Statistically we believe that their lifespan here is significantly higher than those in the wild.

 

Stewarts are proud to be members of the British Reindeer Herders Association. We hope this assures you that our Reindeer are looked after well and are in a safe, caring place where they are well loved.

Although frequently asked, we don’t ever use our reindeer for any other events or parades.

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