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How to use a Poly Dome Calf Nurseries for Alpacas
Author: Sea Hill Farm
One year we were in a dilemma as to how to wean our crias for the spring shows when we only had one barn for the females and their crias. The perfect solution was using a Poly Dome Calf Nursery. They are 60 high by 86 in diameter, rugged, warm and dry in storms, well ventilated, and can stack on top of each other, so we ordered two. They arrived on a flatbed, and we easily rolled them up the driveway, through a four-foot gate, and into the pastures. We put hay in the feeder that comes with the dome and placed it near the back. Within minutes moms and crias were stepping over the door's threshold to eat the hay. The next step was fencing the dome into a rectangle using the existing fence and green panels. We used a roll of plastic one inch square green fencing from Home Depot and attached it with cable ties to the green panels so crias wouldn't crawl or nurse through the panels. The crias were protected from March cold, snow and rain in their cozy dome filled with straw and plentiful hay while having their moms nearby for security. After the weaning period, we found three or four alpacas at a time hanging out inside napping and eating. We now have three domes and use them year round for hay stations and mobile living quarters. Place them in the sun for winter and under a shady tree in summer with the door facing south. For the money, you could not build a shelter with the same flexibility.
Sea Hill Farm
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