The deer you see here at Santa’s Village are an European Fallow breed. These beautiful animals are quite different from the reindeer seen in pictures and movies when Santa takes his Christmas Eve ride. The reindeer in the movies are a larger northern breed and are more comfortable in a cooler climate. For this reason Santa does not bring them to Muskoka in the summer.
The fallow deer are very comfortable in the local climate and as you will find when feeding them, they are quite gentle in nature. It is also interesting to note that the yellowish coat of the fallow deer are spotted with white in the summer, even as mature animals. Generally, the young deer are born in the spring or early summer. The mother of the new fawn will often hide it among the rocks or bushes when she comes down to visit with Santa’s guests. Look carefully at the ledges and crevices in the rock face straight ahead of you. This is a favourite hiding place for the deer.
The Goat: Our domesticated goats are cud-chewing (re-chew their food) mammals with hollow horns and are related to the sheep family. They love to climb and to eat. It is said that a goat will eat almost anything, but they will be healthier if you feed them corn instead of your ice cream cone or your sleeve.
The Sheep: The sheep is also a cud-chewing mammal with hollow horns. It is a timid animal with heavy wool. In the spring or early summer, after the lambs are born, shearing is often done on the sheep. This means that the wool coat is removed with electric scissors called shears. The shearing does not hurt the animal, it actually keeps the sheep from being too hot during the summer. The wool is then processed and used in the making of sweaters, scarves and other warm wear. In other words, we take the wool off of the sheep to keep them cool and put it on ourselves to keep us warm.