A Herd of Child Reindeer | Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet

published on July 2, 2020

MICHELLE OAKLEY: This is a
great time of year in Alaska

because spring has sprung

We're getting all the little
willows popping out, lots of–

the greenery is poking through

And babies are here

You're hungry?

Come on

There she is

There's a good girl

Come on

Come on

I'm Lauren at the
Williams Reindeer

Farm in Palmer, Alaska

Today Dr Oakley's
coming out to help check

on some baby reindeer for us

Hey

Hi

– How's it going?
– Good

How are you?
– Good

Good to see you

Yeah, good to see you too

LAUREN WAITE: This
is an exciting time

at the reindeer farm
because we have lots

of baby reindeer being born

We've had 25 born so far, and
we're expecting 40 babies

OK

NARRATOR: On the docket
today, the morning field

check to see if any
babies were born overnight

and make sure everyone
is looking healthy

Hi, kids

This is going to be awesome

I mean, I'm getting to
do basically Santa's job

I'm like, you know,
scoping out what's

the new talent
coming up this year,

the new crop of baby reindeer

So it's very fun to
look at the babies,

make sure they're
healthy, of course,

but just to see them running
around with their moms–

it's pretty entertaining

LAUREN WAITE: But there's
so many of them out here

That one is so blonde

She's like two-tone

Yeah

MICHELLE OAKLEY:
What do you call

the– when you,
like, do your hair

with the lighter at the end?

– Ombre
– Ombre

Yeah

That's what she is

I got a good look at everybody

OK, cool

NARRATOR: No babies
born last night

But a special treat
was discovered

during yesterday's check

Aw, you're so tiny

Hi, babe

MICHELLE OAKLEY: Lauren has
one that was just born a little

less than 24 hours ago

Hi

Hi, mama

So that one's definitely
needing ear tie

We're going to weigh it

Oh, look at that fuzzy ear

So cute

[reindeer honks]

Good boy

I am so sorry

We want to see
how much you weigh

What are our bets here?

NARRATOR: A weigh-in will
confirm if this little guy

is growing as he should

– I think 12
– Really?

I think 13
I'm going 135

OK

OK

Now we're going
to pick him up

There

15 pounds, 12 ounces

– Whoa
– Oh!

[sling snaps]

Oh, my

As we lift him, the
sling just breaks

So I mean, he is in great shape

There's nothing
wrong with this calf,

and he's one of the bigger ones

That's a big boy

That's a very big boy

That's the biggest boy I
think we've had this year

[reindeer honks quietly]

You did great

OK, did you want to
try and milk this mama?

Yeah

NARRATOR: Along
with a newborn calf

comes the mother's
nutrient-packed first milk

called colostrum

So the mom just had this
new baby about 20 hours ago

So she should still be making
some colostrum, possibly

It kind of depends on
how much he's nursed

So he probably got some of it

But we were going to take a
little bit of extra in case

there's another baby that's
born that the mom doesn't

look after

Then we can give it
the colostrum from her

I mean, that colostrum is
kind of like liquid gold

because it has all
the antibodies in it

It has all the kind of really
important things to help

that baby fight any infection

There we go
Look at that

You got it?

Yeah, now it's flowing

Do you think it's
colostrum, or is it more milk?

It's definitely
looking milkier

Do you know how
colostrum's really pale?

Uh-huh

So it turns out
what we milked out

of this mama is not colostrum

She must have been
just past the mark

Because it wasn't
the right color

It's a little bit whiter and
just more like regular milk

So that means it's up for grabs

That is good

Yeah?

It's, like, creamy

[laughter]

It is super creamy

Yeah, I mean, it
tastes really good,

almost like unsweetened,
like– or not very sweet–

whipped cream

There is an aftertaste

There's definitely, like,
a Christmas-y aftertaste

Oh, good

[laughter]

You're cute

Yes, you are

[reindeer honks]

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