The following is the text read over the radio transmitter at the Ranch. People who come can hear it 24/7 if they tune their car radio to FM 99.5.
Welcome to Idle-Hour Ranch!
“Come Spend Your Idle-Hour With Us”
Perhaps you’re wondering what is going on here with all these animals?
Why are they here and what are they used for?
And what kind of people do this kind of thing?
Do they have too much spare time on their hands?
Do they not like to take vacations?
Are they nuts?
Well sometimes we wonder the same thing. Most people who stop by ask these same questions, so we thought we’d make it easy for all of us and explain the story over the radio, kind of neat idea, don’t you think? I’ll have to speed up a little- I only have four minutes……
We are Idle-Hour Ranch, now a mini farm market and exotic animal farm, family operated by Michelle, Brian and Brittany Iddings. Idle-Hour Ranch was started in 1999 as a service to supply animals to local churches for their outreach ministries such as live nativity scenes and Easter passion plays. My wife, Michelle is the animal coordinator of Christian Life Center ’s annual live nativity scene. They needed animals to complete their live nativities each Christmas. At the time, Michelle needed to borrow animals for each year’s event. One year, at Easter, the man who loaned us the donkey decided at the last minute that he wasn’t going to let us use him. Needless to say, Michelle was upset- and decided that if she owned that donkey, no one could tell her she can’t use him- and she proceeded to buy a donkey for that year and keep it here on farm with our three horses and two goats. The next year we needed some sheep, so I bought her a pair for Mother’s day. She believed that if Christian Life Center needed animals, perhaps other churches may need them as well, so the year after that we bought a baby camel, and thus started the animal ministry. But using the animals only twice a year was not supporting their food and veterinary expenses- so we decided to become USDA licensed and insured and offer churches and other organizations, petting zoos and other similar activities throughout the year. So now we also do numerous parades, community festivals, and fairs. Being the avid animal lover’s we are, we decided to expand the choices of animals for petting zoos, by gathering a few exotics to offer for display. This worked quite well with such things as miniature horses and baby kangaroos, but some of our exotics cannot be transported, such as our Mountain Lion “Peshewa.” or “Sam” our giraffe. So one thing lead to another and last summer we decided to open our ranch to public visitation on weekends. I mean we had to do something- lots and lots of cars are stopping along side the road and folks stretching their necks to see what they can see from the road. We want to share our animals with other animal lovers, but wish to do so in a safe manner, so come on in- we are open on weekends noon to six. We have received many comments from drive-by folks who say- they have to come by, “the kids have to see the animals”. Or “Dad gets yelled at, if he doesn’t slow down” Or “every time we drive to Troy we have to come by- or the kids have a fit”……
So what kind of animals do we have and how many are there?
Well- we debate that among ourselves quite often- but our inventories say there are nearly 200 animals and over 40 species. These include what you can obviously see from the road- the mountain lion, the giraffe, the kangaroos and wallabys. Other not so obvious animals are llamas, alpacas, many varieties of sheep and goats, the New Guinea singing dogs, the Patagonian cavies, the Hybrid wolves, the emu, the foxes, the coyotes, the guinea birds, the peacocks, the chicks and ducks, the rabbits, doves and pigeons, the kinkajou, the molucan cockatoo, the macaw, the kookaburro, the prairie dog, the zebu, the Scottish hylander cows, the donkeys, the yaks, the anteater, the elk, the camels, the horses, as well as Tinkerbelle, the 25 inch miniature horse, the fallow deer, the tortoise, the pot-bellied pigs, and of course you can see “Sam” our giraffe from his perspective- at his eye level on our new observation deck!! All our animals will come up to see you at their fences, we pride ourselves on having “user-friendly” animals that want to see you as much as you want to see them. You won’t get this at a zoo- heck at a zoo, you are lucky to be able to see a tail of an animal way off in the back of his pen. Of course most of the animals were bottle fed which helps them be especially friendly. You can be up-close and personal with each animal and feed the animals wheat bread which is available.
Our mini farm market offers a variety of handmade items as well as items produced on the ranch, anything from jellys and jams to camel hair, llama, and sheep wool and yarn. Also, my daughter Brittany has her display of hand painted eggs, and ornaments and we can’t forget to mention her dream catchers made from ranch grown materials.
So don’t forget to stop by on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6, June thru October, visiting the animals is 10 dollars for adults, 7 dollars for children 3-12 and infants 2 and under are free. We do accept group tours by appointment throughout the week. For more details, be sure to check out our website at idle (dash) hour ranch .com
Thanks for taking the time to listen – With the price of gas- why drive to a big city zoo when you can stop by here?- so be sure to bring your kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews- I’ve never seen a kid who didn’t like animals--
“Come Spend Your Idle-Hour with Us”