As I mentioned in my first blog, I have always dreamed of owning a mini petting zoo or backyard farm. Another piece of that dream was added this week!! Please welcome our first two Nigerian Dwarf Goats! We haven’t named them yet and they won’t be coming to live with us until June as they are only one month old here.
So, to house them properly we purchased the shelter below and plan to customize the inside to accommodate the goats.
They will be sitting next to the chicken coop, but they have about a 30 x 40 area that they will share with the chickens all enclosed with a 6 foot chain link fence. Due to concerns of critters we’ll have an electric fence surrounding the outside of the chain link for added protection and poultry netting on top to keep the hawks from attacking the chickens.
We have a cousin that owned goats and is willing to give us some of the goat toys they still have which includes a couple of spools and a couple of huge tractor tires! Let the playtime begin!!
Have you always dreamed of owning chickens? I have for almost 20 years and my journey is finally beginning! I thought I would share my journey for those that are currently dreaming of getting chickens. I will share my process and experiences as they happen!
We are located in Lyme, CT and I am also an artist. Lyme is known for art colonies and we have the Goodspeed Opera House and the Ivoryton Playhouse close by. My chickens that are I will be receiving early this summer are pictured below. The coop you see in the image below is currently being built, as is the chicken run! They are due to arrive mid-May and I will share that day here!
Okay, so a lot has happened since my last post! As I mentioned in my previous post we are also having Nigerian Goats and that is a first for us as well! We started with 2 and then at the recommendation of our veterinarian to have 3 or possibly more for a number of reasons. Meet our babies that we will bring home sometime in June!
We’ve also received our goat shed and I’ve started a play area for them!
We will be making modifications to the door. We prefer more of a stall barn door so that we can leave the bottom open during the day and the top closed in case of rain and close both to lock everyone in for the evening.
We receive our chicken coop this weekend and you can see the location marked with the sticks. The run will be delivered next week sometime. After that we will have the 6 foot chain link fence installed, dig the trench for the underground wire and we had planned on doing a heavy duty poultry netting. That was until we saw this guy walz into our backyard. YIKES!!! Beautiful creature and didn’t bother anything because he probably wasn’t hungry when he came through. We have four small long haired chihuahuas and I’m sure he could smell them, but didn’t seem to pay attention.
So, change of plans! Called our fence guy and he’s going to design something for the roof involving welded trusses in the center with light weight galvanized wire for the roof. I will be sure to post pictures once it’s installed.
After that is all complete, we bring home our chickens, rooster, and Nigerian goats! Anyone that thinks you are going to just go get some chickens and a coop and you’ll be done in two weeks…..our plan started in February and I’ve been dreaming about this for about 20 years! We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these animals! They will have a 30 x 40 foot protected area to roam around, but they will not ever be “free ranged” because the number of predators are far too great here! More to come…..
Well, I posted the other day about getting two Nigerian Goats. Then while emailing with our Veterinarian she mentioned it’s better to have at least 3 or more! They are herd animals and are much happier when they are together and if you only have 2 and one gets sick it becomes a real problem.
So, I had already reached out to the breeder to see if she had more boys available. She did…twin boys! OMG! Twins!! So, meet our 4 boys!
All of this is new for us, both the chickens and the goats. So, we are embarking on a journey and that journey is a winding road with lots of decision points! We are going to see how they do together, but will keep the goats out of the chicken feed! Lots more research and preparation required for the area they will share with the chickens, but very exciting!
4/17/19 – Well, the trench was inspected by the town and so now begins the fun part! Now we have to fill the trench back in by hand! Luckily our ground base is a sand composite so it is fairly light. However, there is a layer of rock above the sand which is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is I will use many of the rocks collected in the coop area and I’ve already used them to line the walkway leading into the coop area.
Now, this image shows how far I got after 3 hours of posting the video.
Not very far, LOL! I’ll be back at it tomorrow evening and then we have some rain this weekend. So, unfortunately we won’t get back to it until next week. The delivery of the coop and run is scheduled for mid-May so we still have plenty of time to get everything cleaned up! Can’t wait to have my chicken family!
4/14/19 – The chicken area also includes a park-like setting! We worked on that today as we await a picnic table for the picnic area which will be right next to the chickens! Lots of cleaning up to do on the property as we have a lot of poison ivy vines and bramble. We’re getting there though! Collected more rocks to use for borders in the future.
When the electrician dug the trench to provide the electricity to the chicken coop area we discovered tons of rocks. I had been gathering them from all over our property to use them to line pathways. This revealed hundreds and hundreds and so I hand dug hundreds and hundreds. They now line the walkway leading to the coop!
Of course, once you do one thing then you see something else you need…stepping stones!
Then of course, you need some sitting spots so we added a couple of benches as well today.
Tomorrow I’ll finish the stone pathway and next week the trench should be filled in once it is inspected by the town. Very exciting! It’s getting close now! 🙂
Step One: My journey begins with a trip to the Town Hall (February, 2019) to ensure that we can have chickens. We have a little over 7 acres and while I was fairly certain we could have them but, I wanted to be sure. The answer was yes, we could have them and to my surprise we can even have roosters and goats! Insert – Happy Dance!!
Step Two: My husband and I had been to an open house at Clark Farm here in CT a couple of years back and saw first hand beautifully crafted chicken coops that were predator proof! We definitely have predators here as we live on a cove and sit in the middle of a forest. So, I ordered a Gambrel style chicken coop (end of February) that measures 5′ wide with nest box 6′ x 6′ Long and 6′ Tall. The coop/run will be delivered mid-May and I will do another blog post on that day.
I also ordered the 6′ walk-in run to match.
Now, this was not the first coop/run I ordered. I was going to get a much smaller one that wasn’t a walk-in and housed fewer chickens. After much thought and reading up on maintenance I chose the walk-in for easier access, cleaning, and well….space for more chickens! 🙂
I also ordered all of my chickens and one rooster from them! The types are pictured below and yes, I’ve already named them! They will be raised as pets and for their eggs.
I learned while at the Town Hall that I would need to complete a building permit and site plan. Check! This was approved to move forward!
Step 3: We had a professional electrician come out last week (April 6, 2019) to dig a trench that runs from the house out to the coop/run area. That too, needs to be inspected before covering the trench and then we can clean up the ground area.
So, I’ve thought about doing this for almost 20 years and it is really exciting to see all of this coming together! I am also an artist and plan to paint my chickens when they arrive!