« Alpacas at Walnut Creek
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Alpacas don't challenge a fence the way other livestock do. When fencing for alpacas keep one thing in mind. predators! This does not necessarily mean bears, mountain lions, etc. but more the neighbor's dogs or any pack of dogs that might roam the area. At Walnut Creek, we also have guardian dogs that guard the perimeter of the alpaca pens. This discourages a great deal of predators before they get close to the pens. Of course, your geographic area will determine what types of predators you have to worry about. Contrary to popular belief, coyotes don't seem to be a problem. I have only heard of one instance where coyotes attacked and killed alpacas. This was in the drought stricken area of Colorado. Animals of prey become pretty bold as times get harsh. I would especially think the cria (babies) would be inviting to a hungry pack of coyotes. Remember, don't fence your alpacas in! Fence their predators out!
All that said, let's start with the fence. We use 2 X 4 welded wire mesh, 4 ft. tall, with a strand of barbless wire about 5 in. above. We use the barbless wire in case a sire is in the adjacent pen. They sometimes get excited at the site of females and will rear up with their legs on the fence. Space your posts about 10 ft. apart with 3 fence clips on the welded wire and one on the barbless wire. For the corner posts we prefer cedar posts as they tend to last longer, but a good treated post will work fine. When stretching the welded wire, we take 2 - 2 x 4 boards, about 4 ft. long and drill 3 holes in them, one at each end and one in the middle. These boards are put on each side of the welded wire and bolted together. This makes a sufficient draw device for pulling the fence tight, from one corner to another. After we have our welded wire and top wire in place, we stretch barbed wire, very tight, at ground level and use small pig rings to secure it to the bottom of the welded wire mesh. Put about 3 rings between each post. This will help deter any diggers from going under the fence. I think someone sells a predator type of barbed wire that has barbs closer together. This would be better for the bottom wire, of course. There are several types of wire mesh on the market that would make excellent material for alpaca pens. Just make sure that your alpacas can't get their head stuck and that it's difficult for the predators to get their heads in.
Alpacas don't take a lot of acreage to raise. Our pens range about 1 acre each. This will hold 10 - 15 alpacas in each pen, depending on the amount of grass and forage. Be sure to have adequate pens for rotating your alpacas to different areas or separating the more difficult ones from the others. See the diagram at the bottom of the alpaca barn page for a layout of our facilities. Maybe this will give you an idea of how you want yours to turn out. This is only a guideline for what we use on our ranch. There's no specific formula for the perfect barn and pens. Use your imagination and have fun!
For more information on alpacas take a look at some of the references we use at alpaca books. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Need more information? Take a look at some of the references we use. There are excellent books on raising and breeding these wonderful animals
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Dave & Karen Galbraith
P.O. Box 820
Talihina, Oklahoma 74571
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