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October 7th, 2004 . Scattered Dung Pile, Physical or Mental Cause?

 
 

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A month ago we bought a one year old suri gelding. Very sweet character and a joker in our herd. However he never uses the toilet but leaves his droppings absolutely everywhere (even when we are
taking a walk!). Now the other 4 boys in his group are doing the same (something they never did before!) which is resulting in a terribly mess in the field and it is impossible to clean. Just like having
sheep!

Why do you think he is behaving like that (he is bottle raised as his mother refused to give him milk, but has never been alone)? Is it at all possible to teach him to "go to the loo", is it advisable to have him together with weanlings or will they copy this behavior?
 

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Well I am seldom stumped, but that is a new one on me. It would be interesting to try and figure out why this fellow is missing the poop in the pile behavior... rejected by his mother would certainly be
my first guess... however it is academic at this point. I don't know of anyway practical to change the behavior given that your alpaca lives in the barn. Dung piling behavior occurs because the smells are concentrated in one area. Because this little guy is scattering his dung, and therefore the smell is all over the barn area; it doesn't surprise me that the other boys are making dung piles pretty much
everywhere.

You can't rule out a physical cause for this behavior; an abnormal sphincter muscle perhaps, but in any case I don't see a way to change the behavior. It is certainly possible that he could grow out of it when he becomes pubescent and territorial and dung piles become more of a biological imperative.


Marty

 

 

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