4 Types of Healthy Foods That Your Alpaca Can Also Eat

April 28, 2024 | Alpaca, Healthy Foods, healthy snacks
4 Types of Healthy Foods That Your Alpaca Can Also Eat

When raising animals on a farm or ranch, one of the biggest things you need to look into for their health is finding out what foods are best for them. Animals have pretty different stomachs and metabolisms than humans, meaning they have unique dietary requirements, weaknesses, and sensitivities to certain foods humans can safely consume.

Alpacas are no different. They’re exotic herbivores, and ensuring their dietary needs are met is essential to maintaining their health and happiness. However, while they may be exotic, their diet isn’t too hard to manage.

What Do Alpacas Usually Eat?

Alpacas are ruminant animals, which means they have multiple stomachs. They get nutrients from plants they eat while grazing by partially digesting them and bringing them back up to their mouths to chew on after they’ve been softened. They typically eat pasture grass and hay, which are high in dry fiber.

However, while these are their primary foods, there are actually human foods that they can eat! As a matter of fact, some of your favorite healthy snacks can make for an excellent treat for your alpacas! Here’s the rundown on four of them;

1. Spinach

It’s not often that a vegetable becomes a cultural icon, but spinach is one of the few that’s achieved superstardom, courtesy of being the favorite food of Elzie Segar’s famous character, Popeye. And it’s not hard to see why the cartoonist chose that leafy vegetable as part of his character’s identity; spinach is a superfood!

Spinach contains good calcium, magnesium, and iron, which help strengthen bones, improve metabolism, and improve the body’s energy efficiency, respectively. It also contains vitamins that help keep brains healthy, a benefit you and your alpaca will appreciate.

2. Carrots

While commonly associated with rabbits, carrots are also good for both humans and alpacas! They’re rich in antioxidants, molecules that combat cell-damaging free radicals.

Carrots are also a good source of fiber, which helps digestion and lower blood sugar. Furthermore, carrots are dense with carotenoids, compounds that can help reduce the risk of several conditions.

3. Apples

Apples are as beneficial to health as they are sweet, making them hard to turn down. Like carrots, they’re rich in fiber and antioxidants, but they also boast a high water content, which is great for when you or your alpaca needs a little extra hydration.

These iconic fruits can also help reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol, benefits only made sweeter by their typically inexpensive price point. They make for an excellent health booster that doesn’t run through your wallet.

4. Celery

Lastly, look no further than celery for an incredibly healthy green snack you and your alpaca can enjoy together. They carry several benefits of other foods on this list, such as antioxidants, water content, calcium, and fiber.

However, celery is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K and provides potassium. This mineral helps all across your body but is especially good for heart health and nerve function.

Snack Responsibly

While these fruits and vegetables make great treats for alpacas, remember that they typically eat grass and hay. While treating them now and then is okay, their primary food source must be foliage, so don’t go overboard with the snacks. For the bigger foods like apples, carrots, and celery, make sure to cut them up beforehand to prevent choking.