Shelters for Alpacas

Napsterbarn

Napster loves his barn

Alpacas can thrive in a number of different kind of shelters. At least a three sided shed is the usual recommendation. Alpacas need to be able to come in out of the wind, rain, and snow. The three sides provide a windbreak as well as shade.

In the Southern states, where snow and cold winds are not as much of a concern, some breeders house their alpacas in carports that are open on all sides. These structures provide shade and some shelter from rain, and are less expensive than similar structures with sides. Personally, I prefer 3 sides for a shelter, but many alpaca breeders in warmer climates are happy with these open shelters. In climates where summers are hot and humid, having electric fans in your shelter is essential for keeping alpacas cool.

Alpaca Barn at Ameripaca

Alpaca Barn at Ameripaca

In more Northern parts of the country, a full barn may be the preferred way of housing alpacas. It is nice to be able to lock the animals inside during a blizzard, protecting them from chilly winds and snow.

On our farm we have three different types of shelters. The first is my beloved barn. A 40×60 Morton building with skylights, hayloft, feed room, office, and restroom. I love this barn. I designed it, and it makes my heart sing. But alpacas do not have to have such a fancy set-up. They do just as well in our other shelters.

Our main alpaca barn

Our main alpaca barn

Our second shelter is a garage that we’ve converted into a “boys barn”. Our farm came with an existing out-building that had a finished area and an open area with 2 bay doors. We use the finished area for seminars or fiber arts. The part with the bay doors is divided with one bay for the adult alpaca males, and one for the lawn mower and other tools. To create this shelter we simply put steel panels in the barn to divide it up, and extended fencing up to the door. This has worked really well for our farm.

Garage converted to shelter

Garage converted into shelter

Inside the "shop" turned boys' alpaca barn

Inside the "shop" turned boys' alpaca barn

A couple of years ago we wanted to add another shelter to the front of our property, but we didn’t want to spend much money or add another permanent structure. We found this wonderful shelter at FarmTek.

Livestock Shelter

Livestock Shelter

They show it with baby cows in it. We ordered the larger 16X12 version (pictured below). With shipping included this shelter cost us less than $2,000. Ours has a leak (hence the tarp), which is most likely due to being installed without reading the directions. Other than that one glitch, this shelter is a super solution for a semi-portal and relatively inexpensive alpaca shelter.

Alpaca Shelter in Background

Alpaca Shelter in Background

I love the “loafing sheds” made by Sand Creek Post & Beam. A friend of ours just got government funds to help her build 3-sided sheds in all of her pastures! At our new farm in TN, I will be applying to get the same so that I can have one of these in every pasture.

Run-In Shed from Sand Creek Post and Beam

Run-In Shed from Sand Creek Post and Beam

To sum it up, alpacas aren’t picky. Give them a way to get out of the weather and they’ll be fine.

If you have pictures of your alpaca (or other livestock) shelters you’d like to share, email them to me at katy (at) alpacafarmgirl (dot)com.

Comments

  1. I love your Alpacas!! Thanks for letting me use Tapioka’s photo.
    .-= janet´s last blog ..Blossom Victorian Cowl with Shipping included =-.

  2. Those are beautiful, Katy. I know how you feel about your barn, though mine is much more humble. But it feels so nice to know your animals are safe and comfortable in any weather.

    Say, tell us more about those government funds to build shelters! I have a couple of places where a good shelter would be a life-saver! I love Sand Creek, and how they teamed up with Susie Gibbs for that cool goat-giveaway. They look like gorgeous barns!
    .-= Cindy T.´s last blog ..Wet Sheep and Suicidal Chicks =-.

  3. What grant did she apply for? I have 4 pastures that need run-in sheds!

  4. If you had access to some standing tree’s or saw some being removed for developments, it might pay to get a mobile miller in to slice the logs up into rather cheap lumber to make shelters??
    We’ve got different looking shelters here in Aus, but very cheap with timber coming off our own Lucas Mill

  5. Is there any goverment grants to help get in the alpacas bussiness i have tried for days but all i get is a run around .my husband and i would love to start an alpacafarm but can,t find a way to do it.

  6. Grants for alpaca shelters? Tell us more.
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..House and Barn, Just Add Alpacas =-.

  7. Be very careful with that shelter from FarmTek. I had one for my horses and it lasted one year. It blew OUT of the pasture and crumpled. I now have a $1,600 pile of twisted metal and tarp.

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