"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Sunday 12 January 2014

Eager suitor - part 2

The flooding of the alpaca paddocks really bothered us, so the first dry window in the rainy weather was seized to proceed with rectifying the situation.

Initially, we had positioned the two stables well apart - not knowing how well the alpaca's got along at that stage, it seemed the most sensible idea.
Miranda's stable is the closer one on the left
and Kris' stable is the one just peeping out
on the right
Miranda's stable area remained dry during the downpour - obviously it is on ground that is high enough, and the gullies which we had specifically dug around it in order to divert the water away were working well.  I therefore suggested to RMan that we move Kris' stable so that it backs onto Miranda's.
The new section - almost a passageway -
from Kris' gate towards Miranda's stable

That involved adding a new section of fence - from his gate, up the existing fence to where his stable was going to be positioned.  Easier said than done when the ground is so wet, but we persevered.

Believe it or not, when he was first placed in his own
paddock, Kris managed to clear the top of this gate
with no problem.  So, we had to increase the height
of it, and the entire fence between the two paddocks.
So much for the recommended height of 1.2 mtrs -
Kris needs a minimum of 1.4 mtrs to keep him
in his paddock
We ensured that this new fence was higher than the previous one - we had to re-inforce the old one as Kris managed to get over it.  And under it.
Here you can see Kris inspecting his new "home"

Then came the task of stripping down the stable - a lengthy task.  The only part of the structure that was moved as a complete unit was the roof.  (I ended up catching my hand between the galavanised steel and the fence and managed to take a healthy chunk out of it.  Ah well, it'll heal.)

The beauty of this blog means that 2 full days work can appear in the blink of an eye, or the scroll of a mouse LOL
Miranda is taking time to check out Kris' new
quarters whilst she's chewing her food.
Kris' head always stays firmly rooted to the
"gutter" until every scrap is gone.
No sooner were we finished than both of the continuously curious alpaca's had to inspect our handiwork.  We have removed some of the wooden slats between the two stables so that they are able to see each other - they can even share a meal - Miranda and Kris' feeding "gutters" are back to back on this wall.
Please keep any complaints about the food
to yourselves
We have also placed the hay / lucerne trough midway on the fence so that they can both have their fair share whilst humming to each other.  That, too, helps when it comes time to fill it - one trip instead of two and which were 45mtrs apart!
This photo shows the trough midway on the fence.
Any opening, no matter how small it looked,
had to be "clossed" - Kris is amazingly agile
when he wants to be, and being separated from
Miranda has shown us exactly how agile he can be.
All that effort has been an unmitigated success!
Feeding time at the trough - you can clearly see the
two stable structures in this photo
Both Miranda and Kris are now using their stables - for cushing, eating and chilling in :)  They are finally happy to be in them and that is because they can easily see each other.  No solid walls divide them.  And they will be out of the rain in future :)

And, as RMan remarked today, Miranda is also finally getting used to her stable before her cria is due to be born towards the end of February.
Here you can see Kris' lower roof beyond
We have left the gate that divided the two paddocks in situ and the "passageway" will be used as the "boudiour" when it's time for the two to have contact again.  It will also be an ideal spot in which to corner Kris whenever he needs brushing or spraying or inspecting.

RMan's only complaint is that now he doesn't see as much of them from the front patio in the late afternoon when it's time for sundowners - they are now spending all their time down the side of the house by their mutual stables and fence.

Mind you, RMan is now spending more time lounging on the fence watching them - I reckon he's besotted with them LOL


  1. All in all, a good job well done.
    Love from Mum

  2. Isn't it SO very satisfying when you get everyone safe and happy? makes all the work worthwhile :)

    1. Quinn - More than words can express. They were very patient with our bumbling attempts though ;)

  3. It looks like you ended up with a much more manageable and time efficient set up and two happy alpacas to boot. A lot of work but a great result :)

    1. dreamer - Definitely - managable, efficient and more contented alpacas :)


  4. Are there dangerous animals there that might try to get your alpacas? When I had horses here at my place I had to be on the watch for bears, and for the cougars that the state said did not exist here anymore, but which everyone who lives here knew were still around.

    1. Harry - Apparently there are rooikat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caracal) in the area, though personally, we have never heard nor seen them.


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