What do llamas eat? Whether you're running a llama farm or just want to know more about these interesting animals, you'll find this llama information useful.
Built for Grazing
A llama, like other Camelids, has padded feet with two toenails on each foot. Llamas and other Camelids also have a split upper lip. This split upper lip helps them sift the grass or hay they eat. Llamas do chew a cud, but they are not ruminants.
A llama has only one stomach, but the stomach is divided into three parts. The only teeth a llama has are the front teeth on the bottom jaw. This allows the llama to rip grass off, leaving the roots behind so the plant can survive.
The Llama Diet
Llamas eat mostly grass and hay, but will sometimes eat grain. They should be fed something other than alfalfa grass, as alfalfa might be too rich for them, allowing them to gain weight. Once a llama gains weight, it is difficult to get it off. If a llama is allowed grain in its diet, it should only be given as a treat. Some grains may be high in fat, allowing a llama to gain too much weight.
Because a llama eats mostly grass and hay, you should not keep more than four llamas per acre. This will give them enough grass to graze on to keep healthy. An adult llama will eat 10 to 12 pounds of grass or hay each day. Llamas also need shelter from the weather. A southeast-facing three-sided shelter is the type normally used for llamas. If the bad weather in your area normally comes from the southeast, face the shelter opening in a different direction.
Llamas don't drink as much water as other livestock animals, but a fresh supply should always be available. Change the water twice a day and clean the bucket or trough at each changing. Female llamas who have recently given birth will drink extra water to help them produce milk.
Considering a goat as a pet? If you're used to domesticated dogs and cats, you should get to know the rules of goat behavior before you bring one home.
Wondering what do alpacas eat? These cousins of camels and llamas do best with mineral-rich, low-protein grass.