Shanna Flower holds one the Polish chickens she is considering timing to Whidbey Island Fair’s petting zoo this Thursday. Flower will also lend lambs, ducks and rabbits to the zoo. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor woman taking barnyard to Whidbey fair

Old MacDonald has nothing on the Whidbey Island Fair.

Sheep and goats will “baaaah” and bleat, ducks and geese will quack and honk, chickens and rabbits will flap and hop, while a pony and miniature horse will prance and trot all within the limits of the fair’s petting zoo.

Oh, and don’t forget the possible pig and cow participants.

Oak Harbor’s Shanna Flower, leader of Whidbey Shepherds 4-H livestock group, has contributed to Whidbey Island Fair for about seven years.

“Every time 4-H has a petting zoo, I bring as many animals as I can, because city kids really don’t get a chance to get (a farm) experience,” Flower said.

“My boys get this experience all the time, and I grew up with this experience, so the more chances I can get for other kids to come out and see the animals the better.”

As vice president of the local 4-H leaders council, Flower said she and other leaders go to regional fairs to make sure kids, in and out of 4-H, have a good program.

Flower said her family began raising sheep about five years ago, after her eldest son realized he would rather work with livestock than dogs.

“My son showed interest in picking a livestock animal because the kids sell them at the (fair) auction,” Flower said. “We went to talk to the sheep barn, and, by the end of the fair, my friend had found us a ram for our breeding program.”

“I was like, ‘OK, I guess we’re jumping into this,’” Flower said, chuckling as she swept her hand over her field of sheep.

Eight of Flower’s sheep will be entered in the fair’s auction, while two lambs will be ready and willing at the petting zoo.

Well, maybe not so willing.

One lamb, named “Bob Two,” is rather rambunctious, but Flower said that the kids in the petting zoo tend to do a great job taming the energy of her youngest fluff balls.

In all, Flower will lend lambs, ducks, rabbits and perhaps a chicken to the zoo.

The fair has an all-paid gate, where entrants are required to present a wristband or ticket before entering. Daily admission ranges from $1-9, and season tickets range from $15-19.

Whidbey Island Fair runs from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at 819 Camano Ave., Langley. All barns close at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Shanna Flower works with Bob Two, a lamb she is bringing to Whidbey Island Fair’s petting zoo this Thursday. She said she hopes the children with mellow the fur ball out. Photo by Daniel Warn/Whidbey News-Times

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