we put up a barrier at some point in our barn that the goats, sheep can get under but large animals can't. It seems to work well at giving them all their space and has seemed to prevent some of the small injuries that the little animals get from the big ones. We have used a wire spring gate (identical to the ones used in the field with the electric fence) set at about 3 feet high. We've also used a chain strung across an opening but that can have its own set of problems. Goats and sheep slip right under it but the cows and horses will not breech it.
I would definitely separate when you have lambs or kids. Those curious little fellows just don't understand how a horse or cow moves and we've had a few sprained legs from being stepped on. They usually recover but it's not something that we like to chance. We also had a pony bite the tail off of a young buck. I think they were in a territorial war over the girls in the flock and the Shetland nipped off about a 1/2 inch of tail. The buck recovered but it could have been bad. So just watch allegiances in the field and make sure the pony doesn't become too protective and want to fight newcomers, etc.
I have done well with all sorts of animals in a mix
At one time had cats, dogs, chickens, sheep, geese and ducks wandering in a pasture. only problem I had was that they all wanted to eat a different animals feed ?!?!?
Later after pasture and housing became organized I did have a 15.3 hand horse in with my flock of sheep, plus guardian dog and the wandering barn kitty. They all got along wonderfully as long as the sheep knew the horse was in charge at feeding time. He turned into the lead sheep, they would graze around him and follow him in single file to the water.
Ditto on feed without copper and making sure the equines you have are of the right personality to mix.
As for cattle, a guy I have seen down the road has a herd of cows and several full grown sows looking happy in the same pasture.
The only mix I have heard is bad is hogs and sheep because hogs will root at and chew on ewes rear quarters and tender parts when they are in heat. The only problem I have ever had is with bossy goats or horned goats. Sheep will be easily intimidated by a goat who knows how to use it's horns as a means to side poke at feeding time.
Good advice in all the posts - especially the mineral concern - what some species need is toxic to others...only thing I would add is to introduce them through a fence first - keep an eye on them when they are introduced in the same pasture - and be cautious of a change in relationships when certain species come into estrus...that can change everything - especially with a sweet little pony!
We run all kinds of critters together at any given time of the year. Right now our mini mares are in a sheep pen with actively breeding sheep - but this particular ram is not especially aggressive - and these ponies couldn't care less about sheep - oh - and there is three geese in with them, too!
Oh I am glad to read this ... I have a Dexter cow/calf pair and I need to pull the calf off the mama in January so she's on her own before calving, and I was hoping to put the calf in with the sheep. The sheep live right across the fence from the cows, so everyone is accustomed to one another.
I was a bit worried about the calf bossing the sheep at feeding time, but since he won't even push the dog out of the hay feeder when the goofball decides to nap on the poor cow's breakfast ... I think we'll be okay.
I like the idea of giving the smaller animals a corner they can get into that the calf can't enter ... I'll have to try that!
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!