Reindeer are classed as Cervidae. In captivity the reindeer winter diet can be supplemented with dried or ensilaged browse. Mathiesen, S.D., Vader, M.A., Raedergård, V.B., Sørmo, W., Haga, O.E., Tyler, N.J. & Hofmann, R.R. 1996, Influence of diet on the morphology of the ruminal papillae in reindeer calves (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.), Rangifer, 16 (3), s. 119-128. What do reindeers eat in captivity also depends on what leafy greens you have available to give them, as reindeer can safely eat their way through a whole host of vegetables like swiss chard, collard and beet greens, kale, lettuce, and cabbage. Heggberget, T.M., Gaare, E. & Ball, J.P. 2002, Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and climate change: Importance of winter forage, Rangifer, 22 (1), s. 13-31. & Barboza, P.s. Sw. renlav), grey reindeer lichen, or (misleadingly) reindeer moss, is a light-colored, fruticose species of lichen, belonging to the family Cladoniaceae.It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. They are known as reindeer in Europe, but in America, wild populations of reindeer are called caribou. (This is yet another "moss" that is really a lichen.) Reindeer do not suffer in the cold as their bodies and thick hide and fur, is able to withstand their harsh habitat. Barboza, P. & Parker, K. 2006, Body Protein Stores and Isotopic Indicators of N Balance in Female Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) during Winter, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 79 (3), s. 628-644. Reindeer have special microbes in their rumen that break down lichen and need it to exist. Danell, K., Utsi, P.M., Palo, R.T. & Eriksson, O. Providing lichen at least at a minimum level has benefits in that it stabilizes the rumen and gut functions. VAT Number FI28713117, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window). Scientific research suggests that the reindeer was one of the first animals to be domesticated by humans, around 2,000 years ago. Staple of the diet should be high-quality browse from deciduous, non … They eat lichen a type of moss, grass, and plant that grow on rock and or trees. 1994, Food Plant Selection by Reindeer during Winter in Relation to Plant Quality, Ecography, 17 (2), s. 153-158. Lichen in essence is soluble carbohydrates with minimal protein and mineral content. It also increases the amount of quickly fermentable carbohydrates. In the summer, reindeer thrive by eating grasses, plants, herbs, leaves, and forms of fungi. Nieminen, M. 1980, Nutritional and seasonal effects on the haematology and blood chemistry in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.), Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology — Part A: Physiology, 66 (3), s. 399-413. Podterob, A. 2008, Chemical composition of lichens and their medical applications, Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal, 42 (10), s. 582-588. These antlers fall off and grow again each year. These herds can range in size from anything to a few animals, to up to half a million reindeer! Molassed beet pulp has some of the sugary syrup added back to the mass where it has been industrially compressed out. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Staple of the diet should be high-quality browse from deciduous, non-toxic trees. The rumen microbiome is controlled almost entirely by the diet fed to the ruminant. (Eds.). Reindeer are herbivores meaning they are plant eaters. Reindeer are very sociable creatures that travel in groups known as herds. The lichen is used as a traditional remedy for removal of kidney stones by the Monpa in the alpine regions of the West Kameng district of Eastern Himalaya. To summarize everything we have learned in these three articles, here is your take home message: Thank you so much for reading this article series on reindeer nutrition, diets and feeding! Therefore, what do reindeers eat, depends on the season and time of year they feed. Dry hay can also be a supplemental element in the winter diet. This acid can cause severe stomach cramps if consumed in any quantity. Hay from second harvest and so-called autumn hay are good options as they have less insoluble fiber. 1989, Diets of freely grazing and captive reindeer during summer and winter, Rangifer, 9 (1), s. 17-34. Learn more about reindeer lichen … Staple of the winter diet in the nature is lichen. Depending on the lichen species, reindeer can digest 40–90 percent of the organic matter in lichens. This lichen can be used in the making of aquavit, and is sometimes used as decoration in glass windows. These can be obtained from the same supplements used in the summer. Some Arctic inhabitants mixed the partly digested lichen from caribou stomachs with raw fish eggs. Especially gravid and lactating females have a high energy and protein need, castrated males and non-reproducing females have lower needs. After Christmas the reindeer are unable to put on anymore weight; the hormonal changes have decreased their appetite so that the reindeer won’t eat enough, no matter how much high-quality feed is offered. What else? Required fields are marked *. Also grains and beet pulp are used in reindeer diets. In the wild, the late winter and spring are nutritionally most demanding. In winter they dig with their hooves into the snow, which is called cratering, to find the lichen they often eat, known as “reindeer … 1993, Bacteria in the small intestine of lichen-fed Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), Letters in Applied Microbiology, 16 (3), s. 170-172. Your email address will not be published. 1983, Foraging Patterns and Their Multiplier Effects on Productivity of Northern Ungulates, Oikos, 40 (3), s. 377-384. If the body condition is not sufficient by this time, the reindeer will lose too much body reserves and start breaking down muscle tissues. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. & Nieminen, M. 2004, The adaptation of the digestive system of a reindeer to a yearly additional feeding, Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Helsinki. Second most important feed item is a suitable concentrated feed. Good options are willow, aspen, rowan and birch. Reindeers are the only type of Cervidae in which both the male and female reindeer grow antlers. Reindeer Moss has a taste reminiscent of mushrooms. Adding wood ash or baking soda can … Always consult a veterinarian familiar with reindeer if you have any concerns. Ensuring your chinchilla has the correct diet is vital to their well-being. This means that the summer diet must be high in metabolizable energy and protein for the reindeer to gain enough weight and body reserves for upcoming winter. Although the peculiarity of reindeers’ diet is undoubtedly lichen, a composite organism of cyanobacteria or algae and fungi, the summer diet determines the success of the diet. The dosage can be a bit lower to mimic the natural conditions. As we remember the reindeer increase in body condition during summer and autumn and then mobilize body reserves on winter. Reindeer lichen, a fruticose lichen found in great abundance in Arctic lands. The reindeer still plays an integral part in the lives of many native Arctic people, who may use the creature for food, clothing, travel and other resources; by using their bones and antlers. It has been used in the manufacture of alcohol, but its slow growth is a limiting factor. Mineral supplement should be a pelleted mineral that is offered mixed with the concentrated feeds. Regular fecal scoring is advisable to know what is normal for your animals and what should raise the alarm. There are three types of hyenas; the spotted hyena, the brown... How Your Vegan Diet Can Positively Affect Animals, This Cat Took A HUGE Risk Whilst in Labor. Lichen protects the rumen and rest of the digestive tract and can prevent runny stools.