Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rent-A-Sheep

WANTED

One small sheep for part-time work at lovely, quiet, semi-urban homestead. Hours are one day per week, April - September. Must be able to eat urban lawn (not treated with herbicides, pesticides, or pre-emergent). Lawn includes multiple varieties of plant including, but not limited to: clover, dandelion, purslane, wild strawberries, bermuda grass, crabgrass, and henbit.

Successful candidates will demonstrate enthusiasm and skill for lawn management. Must be able to avoid eating hanging laundry, tomato plants, roses, low-hanging apple tree limbs, and toddlers, no matter how tempting. Must demonstrate ability to stay out of (light) traffic. Potty training a plus, but not essential.

Pay: negotiable. Will provide lawn in return for lawn care and poop. Will consider barter arrangement and travel / relocation reimbursement upon request.

No resume required. Apply in person.

Note: Sorry, goats. I have been informed that sheep are superior forage animals.

16 comments:

nika said...

Goats are actually NOT pasture animals, they are forage animals.

We have 12 of them and if we put them on grass, they bolt for the bushes and trees. They adore leaves, branches, bark, etc and not grass so much.

In fact, if you are not careful, goats can pick up pathogenic organisms from grass.

Rent a sheep instead

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Nika - thanks for the advice!! Comes from living in an urban environment without direct contact with animals!

Sharlene T. said...

You don't want sheep, either. Sorry. Sheep eat grass down to the very ground and your lawn will look terrible. Plus, though small, they leave tiny little round buckshot everywhere -- a very slippery surface that's hard to see until you've fallen and your facing it.

You don't want a horse, either, because they're finicky eaters and will only eat certain grasses -- rarely, hybrid lawn grasses. They love clover but will leave lots of other green growth and your lawn will look terrible. They drop some serious fertilizer, though.

What you want is a cow. They will lovingly graze and take only the best part of the greens (any greens), bottle caps, anything, and leave a nice depth for the illusion of a lawn. (Bossy Gillis, mayor of Newburyport, Mass. [three terms -- once, from the jailhouse])brought in a herd of cows to take care of the lawn at the high school and save the taxpayers money!) You'll simply have to drop a smooth magnet down their throats every month or so into the first stomach to retrieve your coins, watches, nails, bottle caps...well, you get the picture. However (and that's a big however) their 'buckshot' is far more noticeable and twice as slick. BUT, if you dry it, in a few years, you can always make a sod house for your guests!

Hope that helps. 8-)

P.S. BTW, my word verification for this message was 'wince' -- too cool.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

OK. This seems to be a matter of debate. Perhaps I should advertise for a "forage animal willing to mow my lawn?"

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

DANG, I meant, pasture animal!

nika said...

You can rent the sheep only once a week, like your original plan, let it eat down to desired height then bus it away (share with neighbors? that would be call crop rotation)

Sheep need copper so watch out for that.

You could go for a well trained herd of hamsters perhaps. You could train a sheepdog on the hamsters to keep them safe while out grazing.

Belinda said...

Depending on your and your neighbours tolerance for noise geese are always an option too.

They don't come with a height control but the result sure looks neat.

Kind Regards
Belinda

Mrs. Money said...

OOH let's get one to share!

Mark from Colorado said...

Like was stated. sheep will eat down Too much, if not padocked or rotated. Geese are good, the down side is; they bite Hard therefore great watch dogs, and did I say noisy too? And the poop is really goo, but really good fertilizer. Stick with the rent-a-sheep idea. The plus side of the goose issue, one egg can make one big omlet.

Chris said...

Ahihihi...very businesslike

Lawn management

You might get a discrimination suit from goats though. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Do you have adequate fencing and housing in place? Will it keep neighbors and dogs out?

How about transportation to and from your yard?

A lone sheep will miss it's flock and likewise need to be reintroduced after being away.

What about baa-ing? Can you and neighbors put up with it? Flies?

I have sheep but live in a very rural area. I say this is a misguided suggestion.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

Anon - There IS a reason why the tag reads "humor."

As far as I know, there is no system in place to rent sheep out once a week to mow urbanite lawns.

Chris said...

www.sheep-eat-your-lawn.com? ;-)

nomad496 said...

Although this is a humor post,the potty training gives that away, you have touched on something of interest. Your neighborhood will want some kind of grass control service and a pair of sheep (sheep are herd animals)or a small family of geese might be useful.

I have both, and I prefer geese, but they are very noisy. Sheep require more active management, since they get frights and take off running. Geese can do the same, but not nearly as often. Geese will also stand up to a domestic dog, something sheep will not do.

Goose eggs can also be used in cooking at a 1 goose egg to 3 large hens eggs.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

nomad - this post came out of my wish to avoid buying a new lawnmower - we have an ancient plug in version and my husband refuses to use it again this year after destroying two cords last year. We have a rotary mower, but it is not tough enough to mow the bermuda grass. I want to eventually convert more area to edibles / xeriscape, but it's not going to happen this year either.

It is my fond wish to use something more sustainable than a lawnmower. However, I don't think current municipal codes would allow sheep, goat or even geese right now. Crossing my fingers for the near future. I think that urban geese-herder might be a fun future occupation.

Lisa Sharp said...

Oh how badly I want sleep! :)