Reindeer Are Back in Connecticut!

Dzen's Tree Farm in South Windsor has two female reindeer in an enclosure for the holiday season.

They didn’t exactly come from the North Pole, but the two female reindeer that arrived at Dzen Tree Farm Friday morning did have to travel a long way before they made it to South Windsor.

The two reindeer - named Mistletoe and Belle - arrived at the popular Christmas tree business from Hamburg, NY at 6 a.m. last Friday, according to owner John Dzen Jr.

That they even made it to Connecticut was a bit of a Christmas miracle. The animals were banned from the state about 10 years ago, according to Dzen, due to a disease that afflicts some species within the deer family, but not reindeer.

The ban was partially lifted by the state legislature two years ago, allowing for reindeer rentals. This year, Dzen sat down to write a law that state Rep. Bill Aman (R-South Windsor) introduced into the state assembly that allowed for year-round ownership of the animals in the state.

The bill - which Dzen said legislators laughed at when he spoke about it at the state capitol - ultimately passed in the senate, the final hurdle, just minutes before the session dismissed.

Still, Dzen said that he rented Mistletoe and Belle - who were so named Friday afternoon - and purchased two unborn reindeer foals that he will acquire when they are one month old in March or April (Mistletoe and Belle will go back home to New York state when the holidays are over).

The reindeer, according to Dzen, are docile and can be trained “like any German Shepherd.”

Dzen said that the idea was to bring people to the farm not just to buy trees - he’ll sell about 5,000 of them this holiday season - but for the entire family to come out and enjoy the reindeer and full-size Nativity scene that is located near the animals’ enclosure.

“For us, it’s all about the experience,” Dzen said. “We want you to have fun.”

It was a hit for the myriad people who showed up to buy trees on Friday.

"I think it's pretty cool," said East Hartford resident Julia Garner. "It's exciting [reindeer] are allowed back. Dzen's is the place to go."

Dzen Tree Farm is located at 215 Barber Hill Road in South Windsor. For more information, call 860-648-2233 or e-mail dzentree@aol.com.


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