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 9. General Alpaca Discussion
 Alpacas with goats
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Alpacas of Gettysburg

164 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2009 :  3:03:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alpacas of Gettysburg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I know that this question has been asked and answered many times, but I have never really paid attention to the answers as this was never an issue here. However, I now need to know whether alpacas can be in the same pasture with goats and a miniature horse. There would be adequate fencing at the farm in question. Thanks for some quick replies!

Alpacas of Gettysburg


4103 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2009 :  3:11:13 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
The problems would be:

The potential for the mini horse to kick at the alpacas (and, if the goats are horned, the potential for one of them to head butt an alpaca), and

The parasite problem. The horse would not be an issue here, but goats are, according to most people, walking parasite factories.

I'm sure there are people successfully keeping these groups together but I think for safety and health considerations I would be hesitant to combine them in a single paddock or grazing environment.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Suris
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
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777 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2009 :  3:46:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pepperina's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have two mini ponies. We paddock them separately and even when I feed hay out to the ponies, I make sure I throw it well inside their paddock boundary - because I have thrown it close to the fence line and seen the alpacas put their heads through the fence and the ponies are feriously jealous of their feed and I have seen them kick each other to deter the other from eating 'their' pile of hay. So would hate to think what a kick to an alpaca head would do.

A friend has mini goats and I do faecal testing on her alpacas and her goats. The goats are a nightmare to get 'clean' especially as they are dairy goats and the products she can used with no or low withholding period are few.

On two occassions I have gone to help people with their sick alpacas, only to hold them while they die in my arms from worm burden. In both cases they had been paddocked with other animal species (cows, goats and sheep). In both cases, since separated and with proper worming treatment and testing the remaining alpacas are doing okay.

I would always recommend keeping them separate wherever possible. If this cant be done, then you have to commit to regular testing and treatment.

Regards Barbara (Pepperina Alpacas Australia)

Pepperina Alpacas Forest Hill QLD Australia
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2009 :  4:29:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Goats and horses are great for rotating through the alpaca pastures, but I also would advise against housing them all together.

If the goats and the mini horse are already housed together, I would just make a couple new paddocks (one for the alpacas and one to rest) and rotate them between the 3 paddocks.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
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74 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2009 :  2:04:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a mini mare in with our girls, and she loves it. I think she thinks she is an alpaca. We do however always separate her when we feed the alpacas because ponies can be territorial about their food. So I don't think you will have a problem with the mini horses as long as you remember to separate them at grain time depending on their personality. They tend to have napoleon complexes. LOL!

Riptide Farms
Sussex, NJ 07461
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3320 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2009 :  4:09:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote

My biggest fear with sheep and goats and alpacas sharing space is CL. Caseous Lymphadenitis is endemic in goats in the US highly contagious and there is no treatment. So if you have goats or are getting goats it would be a good idea to have them tested for CL.


D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
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3 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2010 :  11:03:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I haven't checked other messages on this topic, but i am surprised to see so many people suggesting goats are so bad.

we have a wether goat that has been in with our alpacas for years with no problems. he is mostly with our males, because he doesn't need the grain any more than they do (both are suceptible to kidney stones). but he has been with our females some. it works well because he will eat many of the brushier feed that the alpacas refuse. at first the alpacas shyed away from him, but they have learned he is part of their "herd" and he actually gets upset if they go into the field without him.

we also have a large horse around the male alpacas sometimes (not usually when feeding hay though)and they all seem to get along fine. if there were more horses i wouldn't trust them not to kick and buck around the alpacas though.

goats, sheep, horses, and alpacas (etc) are all livestock and should be wormed as necessary. if you have a good health management of all species, you may be able to keep them in together. of course, personalities will determine some of that compatiblity as well.

if you have the space and desire, i have heard that rotating different animal species in pastures is one of the best ways to reduce parasites and better utilize your pasture. many parasites are species specific and rotating them gives the pasture a break and many eggs and bugs will die in the field instead of infecting your animals. it is a good idea to let your pasture rest for short while before putting any animals in to prevent contamination with same bugs.

please remember i am not a vet, but i hope my personal experiences and reading are helpful to someone.

Kimi Durning
Oak Haven Farm
Summerville, Oregon
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3320 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2010 :  05:45:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I think part of the problem is that goats and alpacas both being ruminants actually do get the some of the same parasites including barber pole worm and nematodirus. I attended a lecture by Dr. David Pugh a leading parasite researcher and he suggested that a good way to increase parasites in alpacas was to keep them with goats. I think part of the problem is goats poop everywhere spreading a potential parasite problem throughout pasture much more so than alpacas. Certainly good management techniques can reduce parasite problems in any species.

Horses are not ruminants and don't get most of the parasites that alpacas get with the exception I think of one strongyle type (not Barber pole). I've contemplated pasture rotation with horses but just have not been able to find enough data on it. I'd love some references.

Again, I would mention the CL issue. A couple of alpaca farms have been wiped out by CL transmitted from goats. Anyone contemplating keeping alpacas and goats even on the same farm should have the goats tested before they arrive. Sheep can get CL as well.



D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
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