Mulberry Alpacas Home Page
Located in the mountains of Ashland, Oregon  
Mulberry Alpacas Friday, 9 February, 2007  

 

Nutrition

Nutrition
Alpacas living on "dry lot" in Northern California

A whole book could be written just on this topic, so what is written here is but a brief introduction. Alpacas are very efficient at utilizing available feed, making them relatively inexpensive animals to maintain. Water is the most important nutrient and alpacas need access to fresh clean water at all times. They will drink up to 3 pints a day (and more when exercising, lactating or if the temperature is high).

A mature alpaca will eat about 2 pounds of dry matter each day depending on size and activity. The alpaca that is pregnant will need to eat more during the last three months of pregnancy which is when most of the foetal growth takes place. Lactating animals have greatly increased requirements as they are eating literally for two. Nearly all owners feed a food supplement to ensure their animals receive the correct amounts of minerals and vitamins which are essential for a healthy herd. These supplements are readily available and inexpensive - their exact formulation varies across North America and from farm to farm.