Winter lessons for summertime fence building


We tried oh-so-hard to build perfect paddocks for the ‘pacas. But the thing is, you build fences under the blistering summer sun. The earth is like pre-fired clay under the auger, and it’s hard to even imagine the crisped-grass landscape with three feet of snow over it.

"It's wet and icky out here," says Bravado. Tuscany: "It's mussing my hair." Mo: "We demand that you fix this situation, immediately!"

For better or for worse, the seasons change, and before you know it, you have these guys giving you dirty looks because their paddock is full of snow. Like we have any control over it! Quit judging me Morocco!

Well, I guess Dad didn’t get enough fence building last year, or else he figured (maybe even correctly) that we do have some control over where we put our fences to make snow removal easier. Oh, and the wind actually moved the temporary green paddock fencing we put up to separate the girls and the boys. So it’s time to start planning our next round of post hole digging.

See how the boys have so much less room than the girls? And you can only get a tractor into the girls' paddock?

The goal is the expand the boys’ paddock and shrink the girls’, so they both have the same amount of room. . To do this, we have to move the gate at the end farther to the left, and install a second to allow access to the boys’ paddock. Then, we’ll add a diagonal fence to divide the large ‘paca area into two distinct paddocks. The girl’s will be larger at the top, next to the barn, tapering to the gate at the end. The boys’ will be larger at the bottom, tapering to their stall door. Hopefully, this will make it possible for Dad to get the tractor into each for snow blowing. The snow that slides of the roof, in particular, builds up to levels that are painful to move by hand

The take away message: Never, ever, ever, build a paddock you can’t get your tractor into. It’s not an exaggeration to say that we use the tractor for EVERYTHING around the barn. I borrowed Dad’s drill and was afraid he’d need it, but my Brother said, “Eh, don’t worry about it. He’s got the tractor.”

About cliffhousealpacas

Once upon a time, my dad drove by some funny looking animals standing on little dirt hills in a field. Thus, the dream of an alpaca ranch was born. Now, we are embarking on a grand adventure of raising alpacas and becoming fiber artists.
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