Thursday, June 23, 2011

Phantom Obstacle #1 -- The Pasture

Sorry about the late post today!  Amy and I have been talking a lot about the possibility of owning alpacas and it is still up in the air.  I thought I would share what some of our obstacles are that are potentially limiting this purchase.

The first obstacle is where will Phantom and _________ dwell?  One answer is easy: we have a fenced in pasture in the northeast corner of our lot.  There they can scamper and graze and play and all the while be safe.  However, there are several problems with this space:

On one side is freshlymowed yard, the other side is weed-y pasture land
Problem #1. As you can see the pictures, it is very weed-y.
Solution: That can be corrected with some elbow grease, weeders and mowers.  Cost: nothing, just time and effort.  The process has already begun!

The pasture land.  The barn in the background is our neighbors.

Problem #2.  In this pasture, there is no shelter from the wind and rain.  Alpacas do not like wind or rain and require access to shelter to escape these elements.  We city-folk (I still am one!) naturally say, "well, you have a barn, just put them in that".  Correct, we do have a barn and they will live in the that, but the pasture and the barn are not connected and alpacas do not know how to open doors even if they were.
Solution: Within the pasture we need to build either a two or three wall lean-too.  It does not have to be very big but it does have to be big enough for two alpacas.  Cost: Unknown, but there will be a lot of raw materials involved and then the knowledge of building a lean-too.  Timeline: Needs to be up by Halloween (at the latest) as that is when it starts to get cold.

Old, nasty concrete.
3. As you can see in the third picture there is a lot of concrete remnant in our pasture area, a lot of the 'slabs' can not simply be picked up.  Clearly there was another building here at some point but it has been gone for some time.  No one ever bothered to clean out the space and now we are stuck with the problem.  The alpaca won't eat the concrete, but it is wasted space that could have been graze-able.  
Solution:  Again, more elbow grease and time.  Where are we going to put all the leftover concrete?  Well, a lot of it will sit in a pile behind the barn, however, we are using quite a bit of it to reinforce the foundation of our barn in the northeast corner.  Win-win!
The first haul of many.
There are other issues of owning alpacas that we will discuss, but this is obviously a pretty important one.  We have this space, and although it is not ready for animals it could be in the near future.

What do you think Edgers?  Should we take the 'paca-plunge?!

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