Small portable pens are used regularly for poultry and rabbits on many farms, but for the larger animals, most people use electric fencing or netting to keep them in. This spring we decided to purchase a couple of lambs to grow out and butcher for our own consumption, because we were only getting that many we didn’t want to take up the use of netting, a battery and charger that could be put to better use with more animals elsewhere. So, we built a lamb-orghini. The name was coined by Joel Salatin, but we came up with our own design.
The dimensions are 8’x8’x3′ with wood slat rails on the sides that are about 5″ apart. We thought about using some kind of wire netting for the sides, so that it wouldn’t be quite as heavy to move, but we were also trying to spend as little money as possible so we went with the wood, and it’s actually not too bad weight-wise.
Two pieces of tin roofing on the top provide shade, no matter which direction we move it in. A 5-gallon bucket attached to the corner gives them plenty of water (it is surprising how little sheep drink), wheels on one end and a wire handle on the other make it relatively easy to pull.
As is common with many who make something, we would probably change a few details, (maybe larger wheels, or placed farther forward on the structure, even make the whole thing a bit bigger around) but for the most part we are happy with what we came up with and enjoy the fact that we can have the lambs mow our lawn, or other areas without breaking out and getting into the flower bed or garden.
Photo Credit: Erin Phelan
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct the sizing of the pen. It was listed as 4’x4’x3′.
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