Is my pasture healthy?

Asked June 17, 2015, 8:41 AM EDT

I live on a small farm in Bucks County. We have several pastures with a few grazing donkeys, sheep and alpacas. I do not notice them grazing that often and when given hay they will eat it. The other alpaca owners in the area say theirs only feed on pasture in the summer. That leads me to question if my pasture grass is not meeting their needs. Does the extension make home visits? Thanks Trudi

Bucks County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Trudi - it could be related to differences in the grass species present. For example, if the grass in your pasture is tall fescue that could explain why the alpaca do not want to graze. That particular species is infected by a fungus that affects the palatability of the grass. In that case your other animals probably do not want to graze it either. If there is no tall fescue present then I don't know what the problem might be and it would be best to have someone local take a look at the situation if possible. Contact the Penn State Extension office in Bucks County. Ask for either Andrew Frankenfield or Bob Brown.

Dave Hartman