Hi! We are the Alvarez family. We are Northern Colorado natives who after moving away for college decided Northern Colorado is a pretty amazing place and chose to raise a family here. We have three kids- Elena, Natalia and Leo. We also have animals, I don't know how many... We are so very blessed with the incredible community we get to live in, a beautiful place to raise our kids, and the fact that we get to share this all with people every day. We give all glory to God.
How we got started...
We bought our farm in the spring of 2020. With it being the height of COVID we went to work fixing it up. We eventually added a few animals for our kids to enjoy with the idea that we could share them with other families, perhaps even using them for educational purposes with school groups as I am a former elementary school teacher. With COVID still being restrictive in the fall of 2020, we were unable to do as much as we wanted as far as field trips or farm days.
The animals still got frequent visitors from friends, family, and daily handling by young (sometimes crying) kids. This made our animals very social and desensitized. My husband joked with me that all of our animals are earning their keep with a job except the mini donkeys, Pierre and Penelope. So besides their job of just being cute, I googled “jobs for mini donkeys” and came across multiple photos of beverage burros.
Shortly after, I saw a post about someone in the Fort Collins area wanting two friendly mini donkeys for her wedding. We had been working with our mini donkeys to carry pack saddles, so I started training them more specifically to be beverage burros. After the wedding in the summer of 2021 and a few other events, we started getting more requests to do other weddings and events, so we decided to make this a business.
Being a stay-at-home mom, I knew I couldn’t be gone every weekend so we hired equine professionals. The summer quickly filled with bookings and our donkeys thrived in the social atmosphere at every event. Mini donkeys are social animals who love getting doted on at events.
Being mindful that our animals are still animals and need a break, we added two more mini donkeys at the end of the summer in 2022. We could not be more thankful for the wonderful additions of Pearl and Paisley. 2022 was an amazing year so we decided to add Rhoda and Sue and Pedro and Pablo in February of 2023. We are so grateful to be able to share our animals with people and love being able to celebrate with them!
We have also always loved and adored babydoll sheep, cute small(er), polled (no horns), and great for small farms. We got a trio to start and quickly added more as being able to raise lambs with our kids was such a fun and educational venture.
We have been long-time admirers of the Valais Blacknose Sheep, how could you not be?! So we decided to jump in on this new (to the USA) breed in the summer of 2022. We are so excited about the breed-up program with these sheep and the creation of Blacknose Dolls ™.
What you should know about The Farm at Sparrow Hill...
The Farm at Sparrow Hill currently has two primary ventures:
Donkeys- We are home to the Sparrow Hill Beverage Burros– Northern Colorado’s premier beverage serving donkeys. Beverage Burros make an event one to remember! Our teams of mini donkeys are available for hire. They can carry beverages, party favors, or whatever you can think of at your next event. They are ready for any occasion in any theme you can imagine. We are insured and our handlers are TIPS Certified in the state of Colorado to serve alcohol. Our beverage burros are a great addition to any event, the perfect ice-breaker, and are always a fun photo opportunity!
Sheep- We are currently breeding Valais Blacknose Sheep. Besides being considered “the cutest sheep in the world” Valais Blacknose sheep are a rare breed of sheep that have recently been introduced to the USA. We are currently breeding to reach purebred status and crossing our Valais Blacknose sheep with the beloved Babydoll sheep to create what we call Blacknose Dolls™. We will have lambs available for sale in the Spring of 2023!
In addition to having well-mannered mini donkeys, and breeding the “cutest sheep in the world,” we also have horses, goats, and a pony that have been used for photo shoots, engagements, weddings, and events. Being insured, and having professional equine handlers, we are often approached with various requests and opportunities making this business versatile.
We have also hosted various events and used our animals in varying capacities. For example, photographers book us for mini-sessions on our farm or with our animals. We are grateful to be a host for people in our Northern Colorado community, and love using our farm and animals to create memorable experiences.