What do alpacas eat?

You are an alpaca fan and you want to adopt one?

You are tired of the daily routine and you want to create your own alpaca farm?

You already own one or more alpacas and you are wondering about their diet?

Then you are on the right article!
Here you will find tips and explanations on how to feed your favorite animals: alpacas. 

alpaga au Pérou

What do alpacas love? 

Alpacas are herbivores which, like the cow, ruminate.
However, unlike the cow, the alpaca has 3 stomachs and not 4!
They graze and feed on pasture grass but also on hay.

On average they eat between 1,5 kg and 2 kg of food per day.
Female alpacas can eat up to 3kg of food per day when they are pregnant.
However, their diet consists mainly of dry fiber, with little protein but rich in trace elements and minerals.

The grass in European countries is often too wet and rich for its body.
In order to compensate for the bad effects of this diet, it is essential to feed your alpaca with grass fodder which is a dry fiber.
This will prevent your animal from digestive problems and will allow him to digest properly.

For pregnant females you can feed them partly with regain or cereals.

Food supplements are often not adapted for our dear alpacas.
Their organism, especially their stomachs, can't digest them easily.
It is possible to give them some when it is necessary (gestation, growth etc) but you have to be careful with the size of the pellet which must be small and served in small quantities.

alpagas en troupeau

Which plants are toxic to alpacas?

You have to be very careful with the plants present in your meadow.
Many plants can be toxic for your alpacas.

First of all, there are the relatively common lethal plants such as laurel, thuja, yew or boxwood.
These grasses are extremely toxic to your animals and destroy their liver.

You should not feed your alpacas with your garden waste or grass clippings, as this will lead to serious food poisoning.

Rhododendron, azalea and holly are also plants to avoid if you don't want to make your animal sick.

And yes, alpacas are very resistant animals but paying attention to their diet is essential for their daily well-being.

alpaga cordillère des andes

How do alpacas eat in their natural environment?

Alpacas have a really efficient metabolism.
This is due to the living conditions in its natural environment which are very harsh.
It is in the Andes Mountains, at an altitude of about 4,500 meters, that alpacas live.

They undergo big changes in temperature every day, making food and water quite scarce.
However, they do not suffer from this.

Their wool is thermoregulatory, so they are protected from the cold without getting too hot when the temperatures rise.

Their organism is designed so that they do not need to eat and drink large quantities to live.
That's why you shouldn't feed your pet too much.

That's it!
Now you have all the keys in hand to cherish your animals.

Respect and care for your pet are the key words for their development.
Feed them properly, they will repay you well!