The first step in bringing Two Crows Farm to legitimacy was getting the herd actually on property. Like many new Alpaca farmers, we agisted or boarded our purchased animals with mentor-farms untill we could prepare our land with appropriate fencing, shelter and adequate pasture forage. While our foundation females were busy giving birth and weaning their cria, we found a wonderful Junior Herdsire / Public Relations Alpaca in Peruvian Ghost Rider. We were able to secure the ownership of him and The Rebel’s Catawba as a pasture mate for him. Alpacas, being herd animals, do not fair well alone. It is always a good idea to have companions of the same sex who can bond and provide stable herd environment.
Our plan for taking possesion of the animals on our own farm was a simple one. We would take the males first to obtain a level of comfort with their reaction to us and the new surroundings while gaining some confidence within our selves on our ability to care for them. The females and their young ones would arrive 2 weeks later. This would allow us to evaluate our preparation and make any necessary adjustments before the more specialized needs of the females and cria had to enter in to our daily routines.
Here are some of the highlights of our preparation for the arrival of the herd:
- fenced and crossfenced an area of approximately 1.5 acres into 4 pasture divisions
- secured the outside fence perimeter with solar powered electric wire up top and a single strand of barbed wire on the ground; close to but outside the bottom of the fence
- constructed a simple shelter capable of providing dry coverage for 7-10 alpacas and working space for us
- wired the shelter so we would have power when needed and the ability to provide some climate moderation when necessary (fans for very hot summer months or heating elements for newborns in winter)
- provided multiple gates entries into pastures and gate configuration options for shelter divisions in order to access pastures with farm equipment such as tractor and create multiple living spaces for animals under the shelter roofs
- provided frost proof water source for the shelter
- purchased and erected a portable tent structure to store hay out of direct sunlight and humid weather