Our barn started with researching other barns. We looked at every kind of building from exquisite alpaca farms, to very simple sheds. We saw transformed garages, and converted cow barns, to pre-made sheds. Everywhere we visited, we took with us a piece of that building home with us. Finally, the time came to get it all down on paper.
The location of the barn is where we can see the alpacas from several areas of the house. Eating dinner, we can look out the window and see them pronking in the pasture. What a treat!
We started construction in October, 2008. The site was cleared and leveled off, the framing was started, by December 2008, we had a 28'x44' barn with 12' sheds on three sides, a vet room, and an upstairs for storage and hay or meeting area.
The construction of the barn is a stick built barn to blend in with our house and setting. Alpacas really don't need much, they are happy with a roof and wind break.
After having a dirt floor, we decided to put down rubber mats, the new cria thought these were great, they would run and bounce, it was like their own trampoline. The mats work great, except now we had to train the alpacas to go outside to go to the bathroom. It didn't take them long to catch on and it's been a year with very little poop in the barn.
In building the barn, we also planned for automatic waterers in the future. We were lucky enough in the construction process that we stubbed in all the water spigots. We currently do not have the automatic waterers but it is in the near future. There are other items on the priority list.
Advise on building your barn, plan for everything. Where are your going to keep your hay, grain, supplies? Where are your going to put your weaning dams? Where are you going to put your yearling males and your breeding males, together? Where is your quarentine area? Do you have the ability to alter your gates for your current needs? Where are your going to get your water from? Do you need outlets for heated water buckets or fans in the summer?