Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cowboy Up

Last weekend we took a day trip with the family and some friends to the Lazy 5 Ranch about an hour from our house. We've been meaning to head out there sometime this spring, so I was glad we were finally able to make it there. It wasn't a very spring-like day with highs in the 50's, but I'll take that over the alternative of 85 degrees mixed with the smell of animal excrement. At least colder weather equals a happier nose.

Basically, the Lazy 5 Ranch is the country version of a zoo. It was started by some random guy about 20 years ago with a love for raising and showing people exotic animals. He privately started his own ranch where people would have the opportunity to come to his property and view his animals. It grew pretty rapidly and now is its own full-blown operation. There were several birthday parties on the day we were there, which is the sign from the heavens that you have made it in the ranch world.

We started the day off by walking around the animal exhibits and feeding the animals. I think the kids loved the ranch even more than the zoo because they got to feed and touch most of the animals. We are a hands-on type of crowd. They fed the sheep and the goats and the pigs and the llamas and ...

Why yes, that IS a camel.

Because who doesn't have camels at their petting zoos/ranches?

As you can see, these camels knew what to do when you approached with a bucket of food. They opened wide just begging you to pour the whole bucket in. Here's Sam's reaction to the camel (it's blurry, but too good to pass up) ...

He really wasn't that scared of them, I just don't think he liked being face to face with the millions of strings of saliva stretching across the yawning gap that was the camel's wide open mouth.

Everyone else enjoyed feeding the bigger animals as well.

Peyton's reaction to feeding the camel ...

I know she looks scared, but this photo proves that her shrieks were ones of joy ... promise!

The girls even took some time to make a new friend ...

while also testing out what an alpaca wool sweater may feel like next winter.

After visiting the animals, it was time for what I call the "Jurassic Park" portion of the trip where they loaded us all into horse drawn wagons to see other animals. I just kept waiting for something to go bad and the wagon to tip over while everyone ran off screaming and the T-Rex herd of water buffaloes stampeded us all to death. Dramatic? Yes. But that's how I am when it comes to 8 foot tall walking birds and animals with antlers that could gore me in one swift motion.


Ready to loose some fingers, ma!

Here's the ravenous and food seeking missile otherwise known as crazy stalker ostrich.

Luckily Peyton thought all the pecking was hilarious and didn't seem to mind as I winced with every peck while imagining how hard life would be for her when she only had 3 remaining fingers on her right hand.

Besides the ostrich, I was ok with all the other animals. Some of them were really sweet and the water buffaloes were very docile (and hungry)!

We even got to see giraffes! Unfortunately, they weren't in the mood to eat, which bummed me out. This was actually an animal I would have enjoyed feeding.

Overall, the kids had a really great time. It's nice to have somewhere like this so close and I know they really enjoyed how much they actually got to touch and feed the animals. We will definitely be back, I just may make the kids wear steel-covered gloves (do they make those?) next time. Their fingers will thank me later.


  1. Last time we went I was able to feed a giraffe leaves from my mouth. It was so scary and awesomely cool at the same time.