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Deschutes 02-25-2013 01:26 PM

Rent-A-Lamb?
 
For the month of July, which is the entirety of the Renaissance Festival that I participate in, we tossed out the idea of me being a Renny version of Little Bo Peep. This is just a preliminary character, so it might change depending on our cast and what characters need to be filled.

I heard it was possible to rent one, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Don't know anything about sheep in general, so I want to educate myself.

The festival is in nine mile, Wa, and there are the following predators: raccoons, coyotes, some birds of prey (owls for one. There is a huge one that hangs around), and we used to have a problem with neighbor dogs. But that might be fixed soon if they continue to come on the land and attack the peacocks.

We were thinking of putting it in the geese pen (the geese have a seperate housing space we can keep them in), or we can fix up another area for the sheep. I don't know how tall I should make it, or what not. I'm thinking of just setting up a movable pen on the grassy area for it to graze, and maybe sending it home each day as faire is on saturday, sunday, so that I don't worry about predators. The coyotes and dogs are my main concern.

Also, there is potential for it to be led around. Is there any particular leads I should use? Or, how does one lead a sheep?
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JeepnGirl 02-27-2013 01:13 PM

Hi Deschutes,
When my sister and I had lambs for 4-H we had taught them to walk on leads with halters. You can also teach them to walk on a lead with a regular collar. It just takes practice with teaching the lamb to walk with it. If you do find someone willing to rent out a lamb, make sure it's weaned. An un-weaned lamb will be too stressed out and you'll have to try bottle feeding which it'll fight you to do. Unless you get a bummer lamb that is already on the bottle, but your not going to want to have to to that every couple of hours.
Think about getting two. One will get stressed out and not have any fun during the weekend. Our lambs enjoyed going for walks around the block and stopping to get petted by the neighbors. If you have to keep them over night, a horse stall in the barn would be a good place to keep them, or a horse trailer even. I don't know how cold it will be near Spokane at the time of the festival, but a heat lamp in one corner with plenty of clean dry hay, straw or shavings for them to bed down in would keep them happy during the night. Obviously, make sure the heat lamp won't fall into the bedding.
Keep good leafy hay with them to give them something to do when not being led around (ask the person you got them from what type of hay they are used to eating). The person renting them out to you may or may not have them on some sort of lamb feed. See if you could get enough to tide them over for the weekend.
If I weren't on the wet side of WA. six hours away, I would want to go to the festival, and could have brought mine...

Danielle

Deschutes 02-27-2013 01:30 PM

thanks! We have an old horse trailer we don't use, due to it needing some renovations, but... I think if we fix the bottom of it, or make it safely lamb proof, that would work great! That, and the horse trailer lives next to the owners' (they live on the land, but on the otherside of another patch of land in between festival grounds and their house).

That is a great idea about getting two. I hadn't thought about the stress. Its usually pretty warm up here, depending on how wet it is, the evenings are pretty mild. But I will have a heat lamp set up just in case.

Thank you for the offer, though! It is very appreciated. I'm sure I can find someone I can borrow from. Would the lambs be okay in a large pen with geese? There is a small pool for the geese in it, but its shallow so I don't think I would worry about drowning. But, I could fence it off if I need to. Or fence half off for the geese and half for the lambs.

Hmm...
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JeepnGirl 02-27-2013 01:40 PM

Your welcome.
If the floor of the horse trailer is kinda rotty, then lay a piece of plywood down so little feet don't fall through. A quick fix in this situation, until it can really be replaced.
As for being in with the geese, it would depend on the geese. Some are kinda nasty, some are territorial, some are laid back. I would have some sort of field fencing or hog panels handy in case they really dislike the lambs being in their pen and you need to divide it half. The little pool should be fine. But to be on the safe side, make sure there are only a couple of inches. Sometimes, sheep are not very bright...

Danielle

Deschutes 02-27-2013 01:44 PM

Thank you again! This helps a lot and I will be sure to use this advice. : ) I'm so excited.
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JeepnGirl 02-27-2013 03:06 PM

You'll *have* to post pictures if you get this done!

Deschutes 02-27-2013 03:11 PM

I will definitely make sure there are pictures!
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