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Can you believe it has been THREE YEARS since we began our hobby farm journey? We have loved every minute of growing our little farm. We started with Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown sheep and now have alpacas, ducks, chickens and a guard llama. While they all spend most of their time out in our pastures, as winter approaches, we knew it was time for a few updates to their farm shed.
Our property came with an existing shed and rather than building another stand alone structure, we opted to add a lean-to enclosure. The first winter, we also added metal sides and last year we were able to add a new metal roof to the entire building so that it was more cohesive. Here is how our farm shed looked earlier this month. I'll call it the "before," but really, this space has been a work in progress for years!
This space has worked out wonderfully for our animals and poultry. The chicken/duck coop is on the right and the sheep, alpacas and llama share the larger, left side. I love that it protects them from harsh elements, but is open enough to provide plenty of ventilation.
We were so excited to work with Tractor Supply Company to give our space a makeover before winter! Our main makeover goals were to 1) patch the side of the barn where the sheep and llama have rubbed up against it 2) paint for a fresh look 3) add stall mats for easier clean up and 4) fix the entrance to prevent further erosion.
Here were a few other "before" photos.
You can see how the sheep had rubbed the bottom portion of the building and how our llama had chewed a small section of wood off. To patch, I used scrap pieces of wood we already had on hand. This was probably the easiest part of the makeover as it just took a few minutes.
The paint REALLY made a difference! The dark color choice looks great from a distance and is a nice contrast to the white metal roof. From inside our home, we can actually see right inside the farm shed which is especially great at night. The animals have their own twinkle lights and I love that we can look out the window to easily check on them. With new paint, everything is much more cohesive now! As you'll see in some photos to follow, I also spray painted our large galvanized cans a copper color.
After I finished painting, we picked up heavy duty 4'x6' stall mats from our local Tractor Supply Store. They are anti-fatigue and anti-skid!
Our animals have had a dirt floor for the last three years and I can't tell you what a game changer the stall mats have already been! It is SO MUCH easier to clean and everything dries quicker which means less bugs/flies! We are really happy with how these are working out and I know this winter it will be much easier to keep the barn clean and warm.
Unlike our sheep, alpacas and llamas have a communal dung pile. As much as we tried, it has been near impossible to keep the llama/alpacas from creating their own dung pile inside the barn. Even with cleaning on a regular basis, the dirt floor would stay wet in certain spots. I'm happy to report that having the stall mats in place has already helped eliminate dung piles inside the barn and there is no mud or wet spots (YAY!)
The last goal of our makeover was to prevent further erosion at the entrance of the barn. I decided to utilize some mulch I already had on hand and added a few pavers to finish the look. The entrance is a high traffic area for all the animals and using mulch was a quick and easy way to help firm up the soil. The pavers will be especially nice this winter!
I also added our new faux cedar trees from Nearly Natural to finish the look. The animals were curious, but quickly realized they couldn't eat them! Haha!
Overall, we are so happy with how this farm shed makeover turned out. Not only is the space better for all of our animals, it is aesthetically pleasing too!