Whether you're dreaming of raising goats or you want to add a chicken coop to your backyard, you don't have to start from scratch. Many farmers and those dedicated to rural living document their experiences through blogs, and we've rounded up 11 of the most entertaining and informative ones on the Web. They're worth checking out — even if you just want to see pictures of baby animals and have no real farming ambitions.

Our Little Coop

"Raising children, chickens and everything in between," Emily McGrath blogs from Illinois where she lives with her writer/gardener husband, their kids and a backyard chicken coop. McGrath discusses everything from how to build a coop and care for newborn chicks to great recipes for all those farm-fresh eggs.

Stories from the Farm

This blog is worth visiting just for the adorableness factor; the photos of baby Jacob sheep are the site's hands-down highlight. Blogger Shannon Phifer is a skilled photographer and she shares striking images of the sheep, as well as the ducks, dogs, cats and chickens that call this Oregon farm home.

Northview Diary

Around for nearly a decade, this farming blog waxes poetic about life on a dairy farm in New York. This diary of a dairy has lovely narration about everything from cows to dogs to weather, including this turn of phrase: "Sometimes the cold is a knife, cutting through whatever you wear, and biting at your flesh, like a frenzied fox."

two sheep named Wembley and Margaret from Juniper Moon Farm

Wembley and Margaret pose for the camera at Juniper Moon Farm in Virginia. (Photo: Juniper Moon Farm)

Juniper Moon Farm

Former network news producer Susan Gibbs left New York City in search of "a more authentic life." After reading a how-to book on raising sheep, she found that new life on Juniper Moon Farm in Virginia where she raises bees, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, chickens and more. She also makes beautiful yarn that is available in shops throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Unexpected Farmer

This entertaining blog details life on a farm in Gran Canaria, Spain, with two kids, three dogs, six cats, and a slew of bunnies, ducks, horses and chickens. The ex-pat newbie farmer behind the blog details her never-ending adventures like the time someone handed her a duck in a box at the post office and just walked away.

blue jars have crystals in the making at Farmgirl Follies blog

The kids make crystals as part of a homeschooling project and it's documented in the lovely Farmgirl Follies blog. (Photo: Farmgirl Follies)

Farmgirl Follies

Farmgirl Jennifer Kiko, who makes a home with her Farmguy in rural Ohio, blogs about family, food, homeschooling, faith, rustic farmhouse finds and a simpler, peaceful life. Her home base is Tuckaway Farm, which has been in her family for seven generations and is next door to a vineyard owned by her brother.

The Milk Maid Marian

Marian Macdonald blogs about the day-to-day life of an Australian dairy farmer in Gippsland, Victoria. The farm, which has been in the family for generations, is rain-fed rather than irrigated. Macdonald shares cow stories and photos, including a special focus on one of her favorite cows, aptly named "Cheeky Girl."

two mini horses stick their heads through the fence at Bee Haven acres

Two mini residents at Bee Haven Acres realize the grass truly is greener on the other side of the fence. (Photo: Bee Haven Acres)

Bee Haven Acres

Blogger Bev's Bee Haven Acres in Central Pennsylvania is home to a herd of fainting goats and Nigerian dwarf goats, as well as horses, pigs and chickens. Bev talks about her family's organic farming (they grow their own blueberries and apples and collect their own honey and eggs) and makes vintage-inspired aprons.

Tiny Farm Blog

This online photographic journal offers a day-to-day look at growing food on a small scale from a two-acre plot in southern Ontario. There are plenty of beautiful photos of farm-fresh crops, as well as lots of DIY organic practical advice — including pest controls, tools, seed starting — if you want to try it yourself.

black and white photo of tree and farm from Year in Redwood blog

It's a meditative kind of day in this photo from the North Tipperary farm on the Year in Redwood blog. (Photo: A Year in Redwood)

A Year in Redwood

Margaret O’Farrell left the life of a Dublin city girl behind when she and her husband, "Farmer Alfie," moved to North Tipperary to a farm and bed and breakfast. The blog is about food, gardening, life in the country and photography as Margaret chats about raising their own pigs and goats — and selling free-range, GMO-free pork and bacon — and most of their own vegetables.

The Beginning Farmer

Ethan and Becca Book got into farming — specifically grass-fed cattle — to lower his soaring cholesterol levels. With no experience, they built a home on 40 acres in Iowa, and Ethan now covers the daily trials and fun of life on Crooked Gap Farm. The popular blog has spun off a podcast, and Becca also does The Beginning Farmer's Wife blog.

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