by GLAA members Lorrie and Randy Krause of Alpaca Acres (retired)
Alpacas are hardy creatures that adapt well to all climates and have minimal requirements in the way of shelter. Access to an open barn, a simple overhang or a 3-sided shed is adequate shelter from the weather during adverse conditions and provides shade during warmer seasons. Your facilities configuration should promote easy care and handling of your alpacas.
The perimeter fencing's main purpose is to keep predators out, rather than keep the alpacas in. Some ranches use five-wire high-tensile fencing; this may not be secure enough to keep herdsires away from breeding females or from having crias stand up on the wrong side of the fence after cushing next to it. The most widely used fencing is welded or unwelded field fencing that has smaller holes on the bottom to keep out dogs and other critters. Usually five foot high is enough to keep unwanted animals from jumping over. However, in areas of high deer population, eight-foot high fences or electric top wires may be needed to keep deer out.
Shelters are mostly needed to provide shade in summer and haven from winter's cold wind and snow. Typically, a simple three-sided shelter is all that is needed provided it does not face into the wind or sun. There are several excellent plans available in alpaca and livestock magazines that have storage areas configured into the shelter. See your local lumber supplier for price estimates and other suggestions.
This is a small area to catch your alpaca in to perform necessary procedures. It should be in a location that is readily accessible for you to herd your alpaca(s) into with a simple gated entry. A size that affords your alpaca room to pace but a comfortable reach to the alpaca for you is ideal; typically 8 by 10 foot.
The alpacas' pasture should be kept free of harmful debris and regularly inspected for dangerous mole holes and such. Keeping dung piles mowed will help battle parasites by allowing sunlight to reach the larvae and deter alpacas from graze near them.