I have no idea how I have been blogging about our backyard adventures for several years and didnt have a single overall picture to share! So here it is! The summer heat took its toll on our attempt at grass growing, but we will reseed in the fall and hopefully get a full lush lawn by next year!
We have our yard divided into 4 sections. The garden area which is also where the bee houses reside, the chicken and compost area, the goat area and then the yard and play area.
You will have to click on the pictures and make them larger so you can see the labels.
In the far back corner of the yard we have the chicken coop and hen area. It is connected to the compost area so they can constantly be turning and working the compost pile. When we put all the hay from the goat area back there, those girls will work for days getting every last bug, weed, and seed out. They also get any and all food and garden scraps as well as a generous (thanks to Addie) supply of veggies, bugs, worms, and feed. This area is also right next to the garden so we open up and connect the two areas during the winter so the chickens can get out any and all weeds and bugs. Occasionally we do let the chickens and goat all out of their areas (under supervision) for a "walk about" through the yard and garden. The goats sure can tear out some weeds in the garden real quick and the chickens have at the bugs! But if they arent watched closely every single tomato will be gone quite quickly! In between the chicken and goat houses is the garage. The goat house is small and low to the ground (since they are little mini goats). The goats have quite a bit of space and in the middle of their run is the milking barn. This is where all the feed, hay, and any animal supplies are stored.
Here you can see the playset which is almost always in use! The path leads to the garden which is also where the beehives are located. We want them close to the garden for easy pollination but also it provides a protective fence so no kids stumble upon them and get too curious.
I would like to add that our animals do have more attention and interaction than most others. There is almost always someone in our backyard playing or working and we are playing, feeding or grooming them constantly. The animals are not continually restricted to confined areas. They are regularly patrolling the entire area finding snacks or playing. We have found it is safer for the animals and for our children and their friends if everyone has their own separate area to retreat to and feel safe when things get a little crazy. And when we have people over we have found it to be nice and necessary for the kids to be able to play and the goat & chickens to go off to a safe and comfortable are to eat or sleep undisturbed.
There you have it! That is how we make it all fit!!