Fences and Sheds are important infrastructure in any farming enterprise. Stansbury Alpacas, first established at Stansbury is now at it's third farm location at Inglewood. Along the way we have experienced both good and bad fencing and sheds and really appreciate how useful both can be if set up correctly.
Fencing for alpacas is relatively simple compared to some livestock. Traditional sheep fencing, 6/90/45 ringlock fencing is all that is required. A plain top wire is optional where males are run near females however barb wire should be avoided. Fencing layout and paddock design plays an extremely important part in your ability to move and work with stock easily. The use of races that lead to a central set of yards or handling area is essential. All gates should be in the corners of paddocks to assist in easy stock movement. Unlike sheep, alpacas in small paddocks may be rounded up and directed into a specific area by two people and a length of rope. It is highly unusual for alpacas to attempt going over or under a rope moving in on them.
Alpacas do not require any special shelter or shedding and a shelter belt of trees is considered adequate. The particular climate and rainfall in your area will have an influence on the importance of shedding. In some areas a small shed to protect hay and supplementary feed with a small area set aside for shearing is adequate. Matings can usually be carried out in portable yards that have no covering. However, as your alpaca enterprise grows you may find the need for specific purpose built structures for protection from the elements. For a large alpaca stud (more than 100 alpacas) in an ideal situation the hay shed should be capable of covering forty large round bales of hay (a semi trailer load). Undercover yards to handle alpacas for mating and shearing or protection from frost after shearing would also be useful. The yards should also have at least four separate pens approximately 2.4 x 2.4 metres (8'x8') for matings and possibly a race for drafting. While the area for mating can have grass, dirt, sand or grit floor, the area set aside for shearing should have a concrete floor.