May 2013 Archived

June 2013 Archived
July/August 2013 Archived
September 2013 Archived
October 2013 Archived

November 2013 Archived

January 2014 Archived

Feb/March 2014 Archived
April 2014 Archived
May/June 2014 Archived
July 2014 Archived

Pastures and Paddocks

Sept/Oct 2014 Archived

Peru & Winter 2014

Jan/Feb 2015 Archived

March 2015 Archived
April 2015 Archived
July/August 2015 Archived
Lessons Learned 2015
Sept/Oct 2015 Archived

Nov/Dec 2015 Archived

January 2016 Archived

March/April 2016 Archived

Sept/Oct 2016 Archived
Dec 2016/Jan 2017 Archived

Feb/Mar 2017 Archived


303-902-1741 (C)    303-651-0785 (Fax)

Mailing Address:
1531 Preserve Drive
Frederick, CO 80504

Farm Address:
7641 Xanadu Farm Drive
Frederick, CO 80504



Pastures and Paddocks



Xanadu Farm Approach to Pastures and Paddocks

Part One

When we moved to our new farm on the Colorado front range in 2011 we were lucky to start with undeveloped land
and 17 years experience raising alpacas.  We knew we wanted pastures, fences, barns and shelters designed especially
 for alpacas and we wanted to make our job caring for them as easy as possible.


Pasture Management

We reseeded 16 acres of pastures with a special native grass mix with warm and cool season grasses consisting
of blue grama, sideoats grama, western wheatgrass, switchgrass, buffalo grass and little bluestem, to give us good forage
 from late March through early November.  Because we only get 12” of rainfall a year, we installed overhead sprinklers
 and irrigate pastures once a week.  This grass mix is very popular with the alpacas.  It’s also better match for their nutritional needs
 than richer grasses such as orchard and brome. 


Getting to weed free pastures (mostly Canadian thistle) has turned out to be a lot tougher than we thought because
 we want to minimize use of herbicides.  It’s become a process that’s going to take years and a lot of effort, but we’re gaining on them. 
 Each year for the next 3 years we’re taking 1/3 of the pastures out of production and treating with a broadleaf herbicide.
Because there’s no good research on the effect of these chemicals on alpacas,
to be safe we’ll keep those pastures vacant for at least 9 months. 


One bonus of the pastures is that the alpacas can’t keep up with the grass, and we’re able to hay every 6 weeks through the summer. 
 That supplies us with 2/3 of the hay we need.


Barns and Paddocks

This is the layout of our barn, paddocks and pastures.


Click on Image for a Larger View


Our main barn is 30 x 60 and is heated in winter and cooled in summer, but except

for really hot or cold days, the alpacas hang out in the attached “outside barn”.  Its 4

large, covered paddocks are sheltered from prevailing winds, rain and snow. 

Each paddock opens into a set of 4 pastures ranging from ¾ of an acre to an acre

that alpacas rotate through each week. The paddocks are open for water, shade and

fans or to get out of the weather during the day, and alpaca are closed in the paddocks

at night.  Pastures are connected by aisles running the length of the property, with

pastures to the outside.  That way, we can just open the paddock gates

in the morning, and the alpacas run out to pasture.


The herd sire paddocks, shelters and pastures run between the 2 aisles. 

Breeding males share a 6 X 12 shelter, waterer and fans, but each has his own

paddock and ¼ acre pasture, and in summer we put up shade screens to give the boys

more shade. The aisles between the males and females have “sorting” gates so we

can set up breeding pens.


 Females relaxing in the "Outside Barn"





Back to Top

303-902-1741 (C)    303-651-0785 (Fax)

Mailing Address:
1531 Preserve Drive
Frederick, CO 80504

Farm Address:
7641 Xanadu Farm Drive
Frederick, CO 80504