Sunday 6 January 2013

Gimme shelter.

Three modules of the frame.
 When we bought our new field one of the tasks on the programme was to consider shelter, as there is only hedging to the eastern boundary, and the alpacas would need protection from the rain-bearing south-westerlies, in addition to sunshading (yes, we look THAT far ahead!). Planted hedging would take far too long (and get eaten), so on a train journey, I sketched out some ideas for a wind-break and sunshade that would be mobile, and therefore lightweight, cheap and quick to make - it's made in three seperate modules. With the materials delivered just before Christmas, I was able to make the most of my holiday, and avoided relaxing between Boxing Day and the New Year, and make good progress, so that it should be complete next weekend.

In between, we've fitted-in some body-scoring, halter introductions and fringe-trimming, and the usual muck clearing - we've had slow drying-out of the fields, so yesterday I filled buckets with alpaca-friendly hardcore (no sharp tiles) by hand and slithered up the hill to the stodgy gateway linking the fields - by the end of the day, my knuckles were dragging on the ground, but it was worth it to prevent a quagmire, for the benefit of the animals.

first module made, and two more end frames on the ground.
Laid on its back, fitting the fabric.
Until the shelter is complete, the herd are brought back over the hill to the shelter and barn, when there is heavy rain forecast. Coming soon... the completed long will the alpacas take to try it out?...
Wishing a Happy Healthy New Year to all in the alpaca community.


  1. Now that is very interesting!
    Just need some technical info and then I can show it to Carl!
    Does it fix into the ground anyhow?
    How much of a hill are you on? - I have problems with the wind transporting my field shelters across the paddocks with monotonous regularity - wind seems to get under them and they act like sails despite being hefty enough to require a tractor to move them.
    Just considering if that type of thing would work for me.

  2. They look great, is it wood and shadecloth? Will you peg them into the ground to hold them down? Looking forward to reading how they go :) Lisa

  3. Being inquisitive, bet they will try it out straight away. Good work! Shirley & Robbie

  4. Rosemary, still working on the anchorage detail - I've got a few ideas, based around stakes or pins like large tent pegs (but without guy ropes), or helical steel skewers used to anchor caravans etc. Our hill is not high, but faces several miles of open levels - more details when it's complete!

  5. Lisa, yes it's a wooden frame, with polypropolene screen 65% permeable.