Design of enclosures for supplementary feeding

When fencing off areas for supplementary feeding, the size of the enclosure must be proportional to the number of reindeer. Furthermore, the enclosure should be located on grounds where the reindeer thrive as well as offer shelter against the weather. Old morass or cropland are useful, but protective forest must be accessible within the enclosure. Hilly grounds work well for flexibility and shelter. Folds often become extremely cold, so the reindeer need to be able to move to higher ground. The enclosure also needs to be designed to facilitate keeping most of it dry and clean.

  • To be able to survey the animals, try and avoid overcrowding the enclosure. Preferably limit the number to no more than 500 reindeer in each fenced area. During more sensitive seasons, such as the calving period, the numbers should be significantly lower.
  • The enclosure must be of adequate size. The size depends on how long the reindeer will be fenced as well as the weather conditions. A benchmark for when supplementary feeding is done over time (longer than one month) could be 10-15 reindeer per hectare (100x100m). When feeding reindeer on bare ground, approximately 10 reindeer per hectare could serve as a benchmark.
  • The enclosure must be expandable when necessary. Furthermore, a number of back-up enclosures/pens should be in place in case of poor hygiene or disease.
  • Keep feeding points clean! Please, read more in the supplementary feeding
  • If there is no access to clean snow, the hygiene in the enclosure will quickly deteriorate. A lack of snow also means lack of access to water for the reindeer. The daily water needs increase when the reindeer are being fed pellets.