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What Do Alpacas Eat?

Eighty percent (80%) of alpaca and llama diets should be of high quality grass and / or straw. Alpaca and llama diets vary by region in North America, depending on pasture grass, dietary supplements and breeding options. The remaining twenty percent (20%) of the diet should be supplements, minerals, and probiotics.

Camelid's stomach

Alpacas and llamas have three stomachs. The first stomach is a great "fermentation" for all the dry grass and grass they eat. The second and third stomachs extract nutritional components from their food intake. So to keep your alpacas and llamas healthy, you need to keep your stomachs first, fermentation bar, in good condition, steady, working.

Pasture grass and Hay

Your lawn or grass needs about twelve percent (12%) of protein. You can contact your local agricultural extension office for information on how and where to test your lawn. Typically grass or grass analysis will cost around $ 15 to $ 20 US. If you are buying straw, get some "horse quality" grass. You need about one square pound of 70 lb per animal per week, plus ten percent (10%) of hay for contingency. For example, if some women come to your farm for breeding. If you need to feed hay to 6 adult alpacas for 16 weeks, you will buy (6 * 16) = 96 plus 0.10 * 96 = 9.6, or 106 bales.

The straw you buy cannot be salted. Do it No. let the hay handler destroy any straw from his truck until you have done a "smell test" on some balls. It should have a sweet grass scent. If it smells bad, it's sunny. So don't buy bad grass.

Regular Dinner Schedule

No matter how many days you feed your alpacas extra pellets, provided you feed at a regular time each day. This helps keep their first stomach in good working order.

The alpaca belly produces a lot of heat. So you can change the best meal schedule this year. For example, if you live in a very hot summer climate, you may be feeding in the evening rather than during the day, to avoid generating unnecessary heat during the hot summer months.

Eat Extra Pellets

Many alpaca owners are eating too much additional pellets. They are the relationship between how much alpacas are eaten and whether they produce fine or coarse fiber. Too much alpacas works and produces rough fibers! While we do not want to starve our animals to produce fine fibers, the goal is to feed them well.

There are various brands of high quality alpaca pellets, which usually come in 40 to 50 lb bags. Pellets with about fifteen percent (15%) of protein are recommended. Each bag has a final label that provides nutritional value, total pellets for men, non-pregnant women, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and crias (babies). Usually, pregnant and breastfeeding women should get 1 pound of pellets daily. Pregnant men and women need to gain 1/2 lb a day, and crias need to gain 1/4 to 1/3 lb of pellets daily.

In the winter, when no grass is available and alpacas eat dry grass, I increase the amount of pellets daily by about fifteen percent. In the Summer in my area (East Texas), I cut back on the daily pellets as animals have access to abundant grassland. Moreover it is so hot that the animals do not go under the hot sun to eat. Instead they sit in front of fans all day. So they don't move very well, and therefore don't burn a lot of calories. They need less food in Summer.


I also mix alfalfa with my pellets for specific animals, at certain times. However, you want to be careful not to consume too much alfalfa. Too much alfalfa interferes with the calcium and potassium balance in the animal system. I usually feed 5 portions of pellets to 1 part alfalfa for my pregnant woman. Men only get alfalfa in the winter.

Other additions

Other supplements include minerals and probiotics. Alpacas and llamas require selenium and other minerals not found in some North American soils. Minerals come in the form of loose granules and as a compressed block. I have found that mineral blocks are much cheaper than loose granules. When you buy a mineral block, do it No. buy a block of salt. You may not find mineral blocks made specifically for alpacas and llamas. So buy either a mineral block or a goat horse.

Probiotics are important supplements. Probiotics have micro-organisms that help alpaca's first stomach break down cellulose that is difficult in straw and grass. There are two categories of probiotics: those based on lactobacillus, and those based on the year of beer. Both are very good. If you notice that alpaca has diarrhea, probiotics help get your digestive system back. You can sprinkle about one teaspoon of probiotic tea on a daily pellet for a few days. I always offer probiotics to my alpacas and llamas after taking a worm medicine.


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