Alpacas can be kept in a wide range of climatic conditions. In NZ alpacas are farmed from Northland to Southland, they are hardy and adaptable. Their thick fleece insulates them well from cold temperatures. However, higher temperatures can cause them to become stressed so shelter from the direct sun is very important. Shade trees or paddock shelter buildings are common options and animals can be frequently seen sitting under them during the hottest hours.
Whilst alpacas will usually sit in the paddock during showers and light rain, no animal enjoys the impact of heavy raindrops or hail and will seek shelter. Again, trees are a common solution, but many owners provide constructed paddock shelters or run-in buildings for their alpacas.
The Paddock Shelter pictured above is on a farm in Central Otago. The size of this paddock shelter is 3.6m wide by 1.9m deep and 2.5m high. There were no existing shelter trees in the paddocks so the farm owners chose a relocatable paddock shelter that they can move between their paddocks for their alpacas.
If you already have shelter trees in your paddock that is great however growing trees for shelter takes time so you may need to get a paddock shelter for your alpacas to use for a few years until your trees get big enough. By choosing a relocatable paddock shelter design you have the option to on-sell your building if your needs change in the future - if your trees grow big enough or if you move properties an Outpost Paddock Shelter can be loaded onto a trailer and moved easily.
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It is important to take care when choosing what trees to plant for paddock shelter. Some types of trees and shrubs are poisonous to Alpacas such as Oak, Maple, Laurel, some species of Podocarpus & Walnut. See a full list of poisonous plants for alpacas here.
There are many possible designs for alpaca paddock shelters and herd size, local climate, location and economic factors will mean that some are more suitable than others for owners.
Pictured above is an Upland 5.8m Paddock Shelter from Outpost Buildings.
A basic paddock shelter with roof and at least one wall will help your alpacas get out of the prevailing wind, rain, or sun. Outpost Buildings have a range of relocatable paddock shelters suitable for Alpacas available in a range of sizes. With a relocatable paddock shelter you can tow/drag your paddock shelter from one paddock to another with your herd – which could save you having to worry about shelter in each paddock.
Larger paddock shelter designs for Alpacas could incorporate holding stalls, a feeding area and storage shed. If you’re considering building a large paddock shelter then an electricity supply could be very useful, especially during the winter months. Apart from being able to light up the shelter, power outlets provide for shearing and water pumps, amongst other things. If you have a relocatable paddock shelter it might be possible to move your building close to another power supply when you need to.
Customer Testimonial for the Alpaca Paddock Shelters pictured above and below:
“Outpost Buildings make a real statement on our property. Over the years we have purchased 5 buildings, one being for calves and the other 4 for alpacas. We always use the permanent green roofing as it blends in with the surroundings. The latest shed has a tack room which is ideal for holding hay as it is at the back of the property, and I don’t have to carry feed across the paddocks.
Delivery is always prompt and without hassles and the assembly instructions are so easy to follow for construction. The alpacas go in for shelter and I can feed them in there out of the rain saving on feed which they won’t eat if it gets wet. The fact they can be moved if you don’t get it right first time is a bonus and I guarantee they won’t blow away in a storm.
The staff at Outpost are very cooperative and helpful and always available if you have any questions re delivery or assembly. If we ever need a shed or shelter for chooks, calves, alpacas or in fact any stock Outpost would be my first option their sheds are built to last and last.
Pictured below is a Relocatable Paddock Shelter that has a storage shed at one end. This is used for storing hay.