Alpaca Paddling Pool
Alpaca respond well to both physical and mental stimulation.
Their mental health is as important as their physical health and we see them respond positively when their herd size increases and they have more friends to interact with.
One way to delight your alpaca on a hot summer's day is to create a paddling pool. This gives them the physical challenges thy desire along with the cool relief from the heat of the day.
We have tested this with all of our alpaca and the results are the same. Even the boys who can get a bit territorial when sharing are happy to settle down next to each other for dip in the water.
So what kind of pool works best?
Alpaca have their own unique personalities so there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution here. But I can share how we settled on the best pool for our herd.
We started with one pool per alpaca by digging a lot of pools. This was hard work and didn't work. They would all try to get into the same one. Thankfully we placed them close to each other, so joining pools together was a quick win.
Alpaca like to have their bellies in the water, but aren't keen to get too submerged. This was a surprise, as they love to be showered with a hose and have their backs soaked. So the best depth as around 18 inches or 90 centimeters.
For width and length, this depends on the number of alpaca that will share the pool. The herd hierarchy will dictate who gets to share with who. We found that a long rectangle was optimal rather than a square or circle as the alpaca felt more comfortable close to the edge and able get out quickly.
Introducing alpaca water pools
To give the whole herd a fair chance to try the pools, we slowly introduced our alpaca to the paddock, starting with the smaller and more timid ones. They were very uncertain at first, but reluctant to leave until their bigger friends arrived.
We have a large mound of good quality top soil we call Alpaca Mountain. Whenever we have soil available to store, it goes on the mountain. This was true for the pools too.
Alpaca Mountain is another great way to give an interactive play area to alpaca with minimal effort and serves as a supply of high quality soil when you need it on the garden.
I occasionally reshape it and they love trying to collapse it and create new dust bowls.
Our alpaca love their paddling pools in the hot weather. I hope yours will too.