One of the main reasons we built Patina Farm was so that we could include a variety of animals to our family. When we first moved here, our family already included eight chickens, two dogs, and our house bunny (Señor Hector Fuzzbottom).
Hector thinks he's a dog...
Over the past three years we've welcomed our four miniature Sicilian donkeys (Buttercup, Daisy, Blossom and Huckleberry)...
our three miniature African pygmy goats (Thelma, Louise and Dot)...
and "The Sisters" (Sophie and Sera).
I know what most of you are saying in your head... "Oh my, isn't that enough?" Well, I guess it could be, but it's not...
We've decided to add two more little ones to our family. In the Spring, we will be welcoming two Baby Doll Southdown lambs to Patina Farm.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with baby doll sheep, get ready to fall in love... They are an ancient miniature breed that look like they are always smiling!
image via Sugar Sweet Farm
We've decided to wait until Spring so we can have two bottle babies. We bottle fed our goats and loved the bonding experience. Our goats love people, and we want to do everything we can to nurture that bond with our sheep.
image via Sugar Sweet Farm
So, where are we going to put our new sheep? We've decided to turn our chicken coop into a lamb "baa-rn". It's next to the goat garden, so the goats and sheep can get used to each other, but also allows us to keep them separated in the beginning.
Since the sheep will be taking over the coop, our chickens are going to need some new digs...
We've decided to build a new coop and chicken run behind the greenhouse in the potager.
The coop will be attached to the greenhouse, allowing me to use the greenhouse for extra storage for chicken supplies.
The coop will also have plenty of nesting boxes and will be totally enclosed, keeping the chickens warm or cool as well as protected at night.
When we aren't around, the chickens will be able to dig in their chicken wire enclosed run that spans the entire length of the potager. I plan to have them roam the potager in between planting seasons in hopes that they can take care of my terrible earwig infestation (apparently earwigs are delicious...).
Last week Jake Stone and his wonderful crew began building the chicken run...
We decided to use split rail material for the posts and beams so they will blend in with the existing fence.
The roof beams are thinner than the fence posts to keep the structure from feeling too heavy...
The coop construction will start in a couple of weeks, and everything should be ready for the chickens before the arrival of our new lambs.
As always, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section of this post.
Follow me on Instagram to see the progress of the coop as well as to see what other mischief we are getting in.