Raising alpacas or any other farm animal sure takes a lot of stuff. Keeping your herd healthy and happy takes work. Having the proper tools and equipment makes the work easier and makes for a happy alpaca owner.
Here I’m going to review what materials and supplies the we at AMC have settled on after years of trial and error.
Let’s start with water buckets for alpacas
Having a steady and reliable supply of water is critical. Here is what we do; for any pasture with five or more alpacas, get a 100 gallon stock waterer with a drain plug. At only 25 inches high, all but baby alpacas can reach to the bottom.On one hot summer day, a herd of 40 or so can drain one of these dry. Water buckets get pretty nasty if they are not cleaned out regularly, the drain plug makes that job easier.
These water tanks come in 50gal, 70gal, 100gal, and 150gal sizes. For a field with 2 or 3 alpacas, a 50 gallon tank is fine. There are a lot of larger sizes but moving, emptying, or cleaning them is too difficult. Some large waterers do make for good hay feeders though.
For winter, the plug hole will accept a heating element.
Here is the best garden hose we have ever used
Many alpaca ranches have a hose bibb in every pasture. That is ideal! However, we have to use hoses to water our 11 different pens. Over the years we have purchased many different brands of garden hose. One brand stands out, Gilmour.Most of our Gilmour hoses were purchased 15 years ago or so and are starting to show their age. But 15+ years of daily use; amazing!
The large 3/4 inch hose has great flow even when two 100 footers are hooked together.
We also have an emergency water supply
Are we paranoid or what? I call it ‘peace of mind’. The power here isn’t the most reliable. No power: no well water. What I set up looks just like a swimming pool.
Sands calls it a swimming pool, so I play along. To make my emergency water supply useful I use a submersible pump that has a fitting for a garden hose. This came in handy one time when the well pump failed and it took a few days to get a new one. See, paranoia pays off…
Ah, but what happens when the power goes out? For that we have a generator. Actually a generator is also good when an outlet is not nearby or easily accessible. This is the what we have, except ours has bigger wheels:This generator is big enough to run almost anything household related, including the well pump with some wiring modifications. The generator is always standing by on shearing days. That would be a very bad time to lose power!
How about alpaca farm security?
Ranch layout is an important consideration. For instance here we have no gates from any pen or pasture that opens to an unfenced area. Every gate opens to another fenced area and exterior gates from theses areas are locked. We can see all of the exterior gates and most of the interior spaces with this…This camera does it all; up, down, left, right. zoom in or out and with night vision. Very nice! You can control all of this from your mobile device from anywhere or just use your home computer. Very nice! If you have blind spots, you can add more of these cameras and choose the camera view with the phone app.
Now the important stuff; poop scooping!
I know a LOT about this…
To keep the alpacas healthy and happy daily manure removal is a must. If you are running them on very large acreage this could be impractical. To break parasite life cycles and to keep flies down, regular poop scooping is necessary. Here are my tools of the trade. The wheelbarrow; the two wheels are a huge help on hilly or uneven ground. A big bucket minimizes trips back and forth.To get the “goods” into the wheelbarrow I use This shovel hold a lot more than a regular shovel but not so much you can’t lift it. To help load up the shovel I use this little shrub rake: To get all of your crap together from over a wider area, this is the ticket: You now have the basic equipment needed for your alpaca poop removal business. As I say “business is picking up”…
Home of Alpaca Mining Company
photo by J. Smith
Our Story: The Gold Rush Begins…
And so it began….the story continues…in Yerington!
What is an Alpaca?
What do alpacas eat?