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Pastoral Profits

3 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  04:51:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Pastoral Profits's Homepage
Hi All,
We want to build a paca obstacle course and wondered if any of you have already done so and have any plans/designs that could give a quick start to our efforts?
Sandi Nesbit


355 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  09:34:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdennig's Homepage
Sandi, built mine last year & it has worked out well. Let me say up front that whether I'm in the paddock or out in the real world, safety is uppermost in my mind for the alpacas & me!

I started simple, mainly with material I had on hand. I purchased 10 pieces of 2"X10' PVC & a piece of sturdy plywood. I got some wood pallets & wire spools from an electrical wholesaler--they were happy to let me have them so they didn't have to haul them off! Everything is light weight & portable to I can move it to the side to mow. My bridge starts out as the plywood on the ground & I increase the height by putting pallets under it. I use 4 pieces of PVC to make a "L" shape for backing & side-passing. I stack 5 pieces of PVC helter-skelter like a pile of timber for the pacas to pick their way through. I use whatever I have for different footing (empty feed sacks/bags, a piece of plastic, an old sheet). I find alpacas really don't like different/unknown footing so use as many footings as I can find. I set 6 wire spools on their flat sides spaced evenly apart to make a weaving pattern. I stand an umbrella up in a spool & lay a towel/blanket across one. I set 2 spools on their sides & keep them from rolling by blocking them with scrap pieces of 2X4's & I run a piece of PVC through the center openings in the spool to make a jump. The bigger the spool, the taller the jump. I set up a couple panels against the fence forming a 3 sided narrow pen. I drape sheets, plastic, plastic flagging, bubble wrap to pop, crepe paper, or whatever I have that will blow in the wind & make some noise. I also use it to simulate a trailer. I've got some old tires to walk through (don't really like these because of water retention & mosquitoes). I bought a hula hoop & full length mirror at Wal-Mart.

I put this all up in a paddock. I just use my imagination, start real simple & add to it as the alpaca gains confidence in itself & trust in me. Once they've reached this level I take them out of the paddock & in to the real world for walks. We live on a lake so I walk them out on the pier. My husband is a farmer with all sorts of trailers (flatbed & livestock) so they get loaded in & out of every type of trailer I come across. I walk up & down hills, out in the fields, between parked vehicles or pieces of equipment, on the concrete, in the gravel. Anything to get them used to different sights, sounds, smells & footing. The pacas really enjoy venturing out for walks.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Oh, I forgot something -- HAVE FUN!


Kally Dennig
Cushy Alpacas
Ferriday, LA
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135 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  7:29:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pamela's Homepage
I have just finished a new course. I used tree limbs for walking over obsticales, a plastic sheet on the ground, t-posts for weaving through, two fence panels for a narrow shoot, wood posts and cement blocks for jumps, and ground paint for lines. I also like to put down straw of twiggs to make them think about footing. Hope this helps. I like to make all my alpacas go through a course now and then.
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Pastoral Profits

3 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  10:15:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pastoral Profits's Homepage
Hi Pamela and Kalley,
Thank you both so much. I can't wait!!! This is going to be sooooo much fun and a lot less dangerous than training my arabian horse as a three year old crazy creature! I especially love the creative side of it Kally. As a matter of fact, I think this is one of THE most creative things I've ever done. Wish you lived closer!

Again...thank you both!!!!!
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Pastoral Profits

3 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2005 :  10:17:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pastoral Profits's Homepage
Sandi here again...the alpaca business as one of THE most creative things I've ever done. Easy to mis-represent one's self here isn't it?
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2967 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2005 :  12:14:30 AM  Show Profile
My kids teach the young ones how to walk up the deck steps and back down whenever they are walking them. It helps build trust too.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
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51 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2005 :  07:24:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit dlamarche's Homepage

If you go, click on articles and then click on Caravan of Confidence, it gives you plans for a great obstacle. I have not yet made one myself, but I used it at one of Marty McGee's clinics and it was great. When I get my animals home I plan on making this for my animals as well as some of the things Kally mentioned.

Hope this helps.

Royal Oaks Alpacas
Bryan, TX 77808
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