Our 'barn' was actually purpose built to breed chickens (previous owners) and we have converted it to provide a number of pens and a handling system. We have taken off some panelling to make it completely open on one side leaving an overhang to keep out the rain. It seems to be this openness that the alpacas really like as this is without doubt the most popular accommodation that we have.
We have learned along the way that the alpacas have definite preferences about shelters. One of our buildings, designed for horses, was initially not at all popular with any of the alpacas.We took down the internal stable walls but still they didn't seem happy. Eventually, we decided that the problem was lack of light due to the single opening. Cheapest solution; we hung acrylic mirrors on the darkest walls to reflect the light back and make any dark corners less scary.
Now you may be thinking that I am mad, but it has worked (something I learnt from my horse owning days). However, as that particular shelter has wall heaters as well as mirrors, I do have to put up with quite a few quips about "getting a flat screen T.V. for the wall!". But joking apart, plenty of light does seem to be important if shelters are to be used.
We had some visitors yesterday who are possibly interested in keeping alpacas at some point in the future. It was raining when they arrived but at least all the mums and babies had come inside to be seen. Nutmeg was especially sweet and let 18 month old Savannah stroke her nose. Thankfully the rain did ease off as Josh was especially keen to see the boys:
|Almost Illegal and Nimrod enjoying some attention...can you just see that little hand at Nimrod's nose...It's not easy feeding an alpaca with such tiny hands!|
|Tyke standing his ground with Roma|
Completely non-alpaca related but as Tyke got a mention it is Tyke related; We have just got a new bed. A 6ft super king size bed to be exact. What luxury to be able to toss and turn without someone complaining. Tyke however seems to think we have bought a bigger bed to accommodate a small dog!
Finally I sure you may have already seen the CGU Insurance advert - Bill the alpaca breeder, but if not I am sure that it will make you smile .Click on following link to You tube to view (you will need the volume on to appreciate) www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkJnRStDRNw - 93k