Feeding Recommendations for Alpacas & Llamas

Hay

Forages such as grass or grass hay should make up the majority of the diet for llamas and alpacas. Additionally a small amount of alfalfa hay can be fed to growing, pregnant and lactating camelids. Alfalfa hay should only be fed sparingly to non-pregnant females and males. High percentages of alfalfa in the diet can increase the risk of urinary stones and blockages, which can be fatal.

Grain

Grains are high in carbohydrates, and should be fed sparingly to llamas and alpacas. Sweet feed should not be fed to camelids, as the high amounts of sugar and starch can cause digestive upsets such as bloat and ruminal acidosis. If grains are fed, they should be fed as a commercial pelleted feed designed for llamas and alpacas. Choose a feed formula based on the life stage of your camelid (i.e. growth, maintenance, etc). Feed amounts according to label recommendations to prevent obesity. Never feed grain or pelleted feeds free choice. Supplemental feeds designed to improve fiber quality are available for llamas and alpacas.

Minerals & Salt

Like sheep, camelids have a low threshold for toxicity of dietary copper. When feeding a pelleted feed formulated for llamas and alpacas, provide access to a plain white salt block or plain loose salt without minerals. Many llamas and alpacas prefer loose salt instead of blocks. Camelids should not have access to mineral salt blocks or loose mineral mixes unless they contain no copper, such as those formulated for sheep. Provide minerals/salt in a small feed pan or bucket in a dry area.

Water

All llamas and alpacas should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Resource type: