Can Alpacas Live With Donkeys? (5 Things To Note)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Not all animals can live together peaceably and without conflicts for a long time.

This is why you have to get the right information before housing two different specie of animals together.

Having the right knowledge helps you understand these animals, and how to go about housing them together, if at all they can.

Can alpacas live with donkeys? Alpacas can live with donkeys. Donkeys are a member of the horse family, they are often used as working animals and when trained well, they live peaceably with other animals.

I’ve seen lots of farms where alpacas and donkeys live together, without one hurting the other.

Are alpacas good with donkeys?

Can Alpacas Live With Donkeys

Yes, alpacas are good with donkeys. Alpacas prefer to be among the herd and are always wary of other animals because they are prey animals, but when properly trained, alpacas can be good to other animals.

If you would like your alpacas and donkeys to get along well, then you have to introduce them early.

Mixing adult alpacas with adult donkeys may cause problems and lead to very serious injuries.

Introduce them early and cautiously. First separate them by fencing. Let them get used to one another gradually.

After that, you can now allow them move together while you supervise, until you are sure they get along well.

Why are alpacas kept with donkeys?

Alpacas are kept with donkeys for a lot of reasons, depending on the farmer.

Some farmers just want to spice things up a bit in their farm by having different animals stay together, some do it for protection.

Alpacas and donkeys can chase off predators like coyotes, foxes, wild dogs etc.

They can both be used as guard animals, so we can’t say one is protecting the other.

A combination of the two however should keep bigger predators like wolves and bears away.

Alpacas on their own in few numbers might find it difficult, same with donkeys, but when both are put together, they form formidable opponents.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on “can alpacas live with sheep?”

Things to consider.

There are several things to consider and put in place, before keeping alpacas with donkeys. I’ll be discussing a few.

1. Feeding.

Alpacas and donkeys are both grazers.

If you have enough pasture, your alpacas and donkeys can graze happily.

When giving them supplements and grains however, you need to separate them.

Alpacas require high quality forage, while donkeys eat low quality forage.

The donkeys’ digestive systems are not suitable for lush forage because of its high energy and nutrient content.

They also need to be separated when being fed because alpacas cannot eat the sweet feed and grains donkeys eat.

Unlike donkeys, alpacas are in danger of becoming bloated when they eat sweet feed or treats that contain a lot of sugar.

2. Housing.

Donkeys are territorial in nature and may react violently to being kept in the same paddock or barn with alpacas.

Alpacas are also often known to fight for dominance and choice spaces.

To avoid all these, do not house your alpacas and donkeys together.

If you are going to keep them in the same barn, make sure they are separated into different stalls.

3. Conflicts.

Alpacas are generally wary of other animals, so you have to introduce them early and train them to tolerate other animals.

As time goes on, you can allow them forage together under supervision until you are sure they get along.

This should hinder fights or conflicts.

You should also feed them separately so they won’t fight with one another over food and water.

Alpacas can be aggressive when it comes to feeding so ensure the donkeys are separated from them.

Keeping them in the same stall or house can also cause conflict, so this should be avoided.

Before deciding to keep alpacas and donkeys together, make sure you have a very large pasture that can feed them sufficiently with no issues.

You could also make sure they forage at different times.

Related: Should you keep goats and alpacas together?

4. Disease.

Diseases can be transmitted from alpacas to donkeys and vice versa.

This is why you have to be careful about keeping them together.

Ensure they sleep in a neat and tidy environment, change their water regularly and give them healthy food.

You should also be careful about their grazing.

It is advisable they do not graze together in the same place and at the same time.

Donkeys can acquire worms by grazing a contaminated pasture.

Although this is less likely to happen if they graze with alpacas, because alpacas do not litter the pasture with dung.

They all poo in the same place, in a different location.

This is however not true for donkeys.

Your donkeys will probably poo as they graze so your alpacas are in more danger of getting worms.

It’s better to let the alpacas graze first, then your donkeys can go there to graze later.

5. Interbreeding.

There has not been proof that alpacas and donkeys can interbreed.

It is unlikely that there would be an offspring.

It is however possible for them to mate, in order to avoid this, keep them away from each other.

If you are going to use alpacas as guards for donkeys, let them be castrated males or non breeding females.

The same goes for the donkeys.

One or the other animal could even get hurt during the process, which you wouldn’t want.


Alpacas can live with donkeys and they can be good with them.

Both animals need to be properly trained for this to happen though.

Alpacas can be kept with donkeys for protection, with both animals serving as protection for one another.

Alpacas and donkeys cannot eat the same feed.

Alpacas require high quality forage, while donkeys cannot digest it.

Donkeys also eat sweet grains and feed which alpacas cannot, because they are more prone to diarrhea and bloating.

Alpacas and donkeys cannot be housed together because of their different personalities.

Alpacas are also generally wary of other animals.

Separate them into different stalls if they are going to be in the same barn.

Diseases can spread from alpacas to donkeys and vice versa.

This is why you have to make sure that both animals are taken care of and fed properly.

They should also be separated if you do not want them to mate or interbreed.

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.


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