2014 – Topaz & Sapphire
We had a great summer with Jade, Mica, Granite and Copper. We added another day pen mid-summer that had plenty of great grazing. Every morning, the four boys were anxious to halter up and head over to the new area. We had a lot of nice walks with the reindeer and Agate Inn’s guests.
Jade and Mica led the way, often on their own with their ropes dragging behind. Now that Crystal and Silver (mom and dad) are no longer with us, Jade was at the top of the pecking order with Copper, Granite and Mica staying close by. If the other three lost sight of Jade, they panicked a bit until they tracked him down.
Everything changed when Topaz and Sapphire joined the herd on October 12! 11 year old Topaz is Jade’s daughter and 4 year old Sapphire is Jade’s granddaughter.
Jade and the boys did not know what to make of the girls. After a couple of days in side by side pens, we opened the adjoining gates. After a few minutes of walking around each other and a couple of short antler clashing skirmishes, Topaz emerged as the alpha reindeer with Sapphire in the number two position. Of course, it wasn’t quite a fair fight, the girls had already stripped the velvet from their antlers and the boys’ antlers were still in full velvet and pretty tender.
Over the following weeks, the herd settled into a routine. The girls learned to eat a little faster and the boys learned to stay out of Topaz’s way. Copper latched on to Sapphire and doesn’t let her get more than a few feet away. Sapphire is especially friendly and follows us everywhere. At nap time, typically Jade, Topaz, Sapphire and Copper are lying side by side with Mica and Granite fairly close by. At feeding time, Topaz and Sapphire and Jade are first in line at the gate.
At Thanksgiving this year we still do not have snow. So, we decided to halter up the reindeer and take them out for a walk. Sapphire was a snap to halter and a breeze to walk with. We nearly got a halter on Topaz, but she just didn’t want any part of it. It will take awhile, but we are confident she will want to graze outside the pens with the rest of the herd next spring!