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Alpaca Nutrition
Alpacas require less food per day than almost all other livestock. Adult alpacas will typically consume 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs. per day of forage. Although very little hay is used during the summer months (depending on pasture quality), alpacas require a good quality orchard grass hay year round. We buy second or third cut fine stemmed orchard grass with a small amount of alfalfa and/or clover. Hay should also be analyzed once a year or when changing suppliers to ensure it meets the proper nutritional levels.
   
 

During the summer months, most breeders will recommend keeping 5-10 alpacas per acre. This, of course, depends on whether or not you are rotating pastures and have regular irrigation. Even with 10 alpacas per acre at our farm, we usually end up cutting the grass occasionally. Types of forage grown depends on your region. We plant mainly orchard grass although small amounts of alfalfa, timothy, and certain fescues are fine as well.

 
     

All alpacas (male and female) need some type of mineral supplement which should be provided free choice. The actual mix will depend on your pastures, hay, and region, but minerals can be found that are specific to alpacas. We get our Vitamin /Mineral Premix from Sure Crop Feeds in BC.

 
   
Most alpaca breeders supplement pasture, hay, and minerals with grain. Several large manufacturers now produce specific formulations for alpacas. We prefer the alpaca/llama mix from Unifeed. Although we rarely feed the males grain, for pregnant and nursing females, it is an important part of their diet in helping them keep satisfactory body condition.
   
  Alpacas eating from PVC grain feeders.    
                   
Last Updated ( Friday, 04 July 2008 06:50 )