Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Can Alpacas and Horses Be Put Together?


Can Alpacas and Horses Be Put Together?

Many people have asked if alpacas can be put with alpacas, either as companion animals or to help share a pasture.  Continuous, I highly discourage this. 

First, alpacas – and horses and everything else – need to be with its own kind.  Who wants to be the only one out there?  Alpacas are herd oriented and need to be with at least one other alpaca.  This is the same with horses or other livestock.  Even two alpacas together, while being better than a single alpaca, are not very happy. They become very fearful and panicky when alone or in low numbers. When we put alpacas and sheep together, they may intermingle, but the loyalty lies within their own kind.

Next, I do believe it is a safety issue.  We have two very gentle horses, but alpacas do not stand a chance if they would ever bully them out of the barn, away from the water or off of the food.  On occasion with a 10-acre, lush pasture, we have put horses and alpacas together for the daytime where there is plenty of food and each goes their separate ways.  We bring everyone home at night.  One kick, or even a push, can injure or kill an alpaca. It’s not worth it to me.

Llamas are a different factor.  They can stand up to a horse a little more effectively and have the size and confidence to do so.  Keep alpacas safe and out of the horse pastures.