|At Lone Spruce Alpacas, we have worked hard to create barns and sheds that are both
flexible and functional for the alpaca's needs. Here we discuss the different options we
have used over the years to shelter and care for our alpacas.
A good way to start an alpaca business is to see what you already have available on your property: a building for the
new alpacas and land that can become pasture. The building does not need to be fancy.
It needs to provide shelter for the animal and access to the pasture.
|Our first example is a shed that was renovated for our first alpacas.
It has several key features:
1: Easy pasture access and east-facing to receive the cooler morning sun (left)
2: Flexibility of the space using temporary panels (center, right)
3: Wind breaks and options to cover windows with plastic during winter which provides additional shelter (left)
4: Space for the alpacas to look out of the barn (left)
5: Grain feeders, hay feeders, and heated water buckets (center)
|When we needed additional space for our herd, we modified a corner of our machinery barn.
We fenced in a corner of the barn, added a hay feeder, hung the grain buckets on a beam, installed a
heated water bucket, and created a doorway into their pasture.
This is a classic example of how you can modify exisiting structures to meet the needs of your
animals. We still use this space for some of our herdsires and it continues to work very well.
|Main Alpaca Barn
|Original Alpaca Barn
|In 2007, construction began on a large alpaca barn and pasture. The left photo illustrates that the structure is a pole barn design. I used hemlock,
which was cut off our property, and larch as the framing materials. The center photo shows the reversal of the roof, which allows for the snow
to fall off the sides of the building. The alpaca's access to the porch and pasture are rain free. In the right photo, the fencing has been completed
showing that the pasture is divided into two spaces. Gates are visible on both sides of the barn and between the two pastures.
|In this set of photos, the flexibility of the space, the interior, and the alpaca's access to the pasture are highlighted. Inside the barn, there is a
4 foot windbreak that also serves to create two separate areas in the barn (left and center). This division allows for two main groups of alpacas
to use the barn and two different pastures. Gates were installed so different configurations could be used when separating animals for shearing, a
mom and cria, or regular check ups (center). The right photo illustrates our hayfeeders and grain buckets. Their frequent locations throughout
the barn allow us to separate animals without separating them from a food source.
|The barn also has a tack room for storage of alpaca feed and equipment. The main barn entrance opens into the tack room. There is a dutch
door between the tack room and the alpacas, which is open all summer to provide continuous human-alpaca interaction (left). The tack room is
insulated and used primarily for supplies, a water source, and hay storage (center). It can also be modified, using temporary panels, as a nursery
for a cria that is born too early in the spring (right). Like the barn, this space is very flexible.
|The sheds are only 8'x16' and are
summer run-in shelters from rain and
sun. The alpacas have access to water
and can be fed grain, if necessary. The
pasture is adequate only for a few
alpacas. The shed is small so we do not
overload the pasture.
|Lone Spruce Alpacas 6/7/2009