Fabric Cover Alpaca BarnHere at East Coast Alpacas we chose a fabric covered shelter for our alpacas.
Let's begin with the fact that I am a contractor by trade, and have been in the commercial / residential construction industry for over 20 years as the owner of BH Construction, serving southern Maine. I could have chosen to build a traditional barn for our alpacas, however for me the pros of a fabric structure out weighed the positive aspects of any sort of traditional of barn.
If you were not fortunate enough to have a traditional style barn already on the property to work with, then one of the major concerns with building a modern style wood or steel constructed barn is cost. Even with ability to build my own structure I still could not keep the cost down to where it made sense for us.
Other considerations with a traditional style barn, aside from initial cost, are annual maintenance, lighting, and cooling.
We feel that a high quality fabric structure offers the best possible environment for our alpacas. For the alpacas it offers a large open area with plenty of ventilation that is flooded with natural light. With screened ends, roll up side curtains that run the full length of the structure and a white reflective cover, the inside temperature during the warm months averages 10 to 15 degrees cooler than outside.
This is significant when it comes time to keeping your animals cool and comfortable. Lighting requirements are minimal as the amount of natural light is amazing. Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is very easy as well. We use a washed stone dust for our flooring which comes with advantages of its own, but more importantly we are able to hose down the entire inside of the structure. This is something you just can't do with a more traditional barn.
We never tire of hearing the comments from customers and visitors of "wow it's so clean in here," "it's so bright, the natural light is amazing," "truly, what a wonderful environment for the alpacas" and my favorite "I wasn't sure at first, but seeing it first hand, it's amazing!"
We truly enjoy our fabric cover and would recommend it to anyone. If you are considering a new structure for your animals I strongly suggest researching a fabric covered barn. At the very least, come see for yourself the advantages they have to offer.
East Coast Alpacas offers complete installation of fabric covers for alpacas throughout Maine and the New England area. Contact us for details.