Santa's Reindeer: Are They Really All Female?

December 13, 2011; 3:31 PM ET
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Christmas reindeer and sleigh photo courtesy of

There is speculation that all of Santa's reindeer are female. While this is a possibility, there is a chance that some are male.

Male reindeer (bulls) shed their antlers in late October, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This fact started the belief that the reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Dec. 24 must be female (cows). The non-pregnant cows keep their antlers until April. In addition to the cows who keep their antlers longer, the small bulls also keep their antlers until April.

The natural habitat for the reindeer is in northern areas of arctic Europe, Asia and North America, according to In the United States, the reindeer are also know as Caribou.

Reindeer have a special coat that helps protect them from the cold. They have an outer coat that is made up of straight, hollow, tubular hair that help to insulate them. There is also an undercoat that is woolly and thick. Together, the outer and undercoat are such good insulators that when a reindeer lies on snow, it does not melt.

In addition to their special coats, they also have very large hooves that help them walk on soft ground and snow. They can also use their hoofs to dig under the snow in search of food.

Of course, Santa's reindeer have been with him for a very long time. He and the elves feed and care for these special reindeer.

Are Santa's reindeer all female or not? They are magic reindeer, and there is a chance that they don't shed their antlers ever. If this is the case, of course they could be male. No one knows for sure.


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