What Do Llamas Eat?

By Jason Jackson •  Updated: 05/30/22 •  6 min read

Llamas are a wonderful addition to your homestead. These are highly versatile animals that can serve a multitude of purposes.

You can use their wool to craft your own homely items of course, but perhaps the best benefit to having llamas on your homestead is their guarding purposes.

In fact, llamas are known to be even better guard animals than dogs.

But if you want to make sure that your llamas can live a happy and healthy life, they will need the right care from you.

This will mean giving them ample room for pasture as well as feeding them the right diet so that they get the nutrition they need to stay healthy and strong.

If you’re new to llamas and homesteading, you will of course be wondering what do llamas eat?

So today we’re going to cover what a llama’s diet consists of, what kinds of treats you can give your llama, and what foods you should avoid feeding your llama so as to not poison them or cause them discomfort.

What Foods Do Llamas Eat?

As with most camelids, the diet of a llama mostly consists of grasses as well as hay.

They are pasture animals, so as long as they have enough acreage to fulfill their needs, your llama will happily graze away on the grass in their fields.

what do llamas eat

Their diet mostly consists of vegetation such as grass as well as various different plants.

Vegetation

It’s important to note that llamas aren’t overly fussy eaters. So if you have any shrubberies or hedges around their enclosure, your llama will eat these.

You may think that because they are fairly large animals that they will require a lot of feeding, however, llamas will actually eat around 25% less vegetation than cows and other large mammals.

In order to give your llama a fully balanced diet, you will need to supplement their diet with hay, the occasional vitamin supplement or treat, and you will need to give them oats in the winter months.

Your llama will need to eat around 1% to 1.3% of their body weight in high quality grass and hay on a daily basis.

This is because they need a certain amount of fiber as well as nutrients in order to keep their digestive systems happy.

Grains

Llamas can also be fed a supplement of grains to ensure that they get a fully balanced diet. However, you will need to bear a few caveats in mind if you do do this.

Grains shouldn’t make up the majority of your llama’s diet, and you will need to ensure that you don’t give it to your llama on its own.

You should always mix your chosen grains with another food such as hay, and you should ensure that you opt for a type of grain that is suitable for llamas to consume.

Treats And Supplements

You may even be surprised to learn that some llamas will even eat things such as fresh vegetables and fruit.

However, you should only feed your llama a certain amount of fruit and veg, as we shall go into more detail about below.

Your llama will need a certain amount of mineral supplements to ensure that they get a fully balanced diet. This will include supplements such as calcium and copper.

Your llama will also need additional salt in their diet so as to properly maintain their muscle function and organs.

Giving your llama a salt lick to use as they wish will give them more than enough sodium in their diet.

Remember to only give your llama a small amount of dietary copper, as large amounts can be toxic for your animal.

Do Llamas Like Fruit?

Yes, llamas do like fruit. It is also perfectly safe to feed your llamas certain fruits as a treat. However, it’s important to note that this shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet.

llamas eat

Your llama will get all the nutrition they need from their daily diet of grass, hay, and forage.

The most common fruits to give to your llama as a treat include apples and pineapples.

Some of the other popular fruits and vegetables to give to your llama include carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, raisins, and bananas.

They are also perfectly safe with eating pears, oranges, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, and many more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other safe vegetables include pumpkin and celery.

What Can Llamas Not Eat?

It is important to note that there are certain foods that you cannot feed your llama as these can be toxic for them.

All llamas are herbivores, so they will only need a diet of natural vegetation.

They can’t eat animal products such as ham, as this won’t give them the nutrition that they need. They also can’t eat the stereotypical sweet treats that we enjoy such as chocolate.

There are also some fruits and vegetables that you should avoid giving to your llama.

These include potato, kale, avocado, cherries, as well as any nightshade vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes.

In Summary

So there you have it! Your llama is a herbivore, and will need an appropriate diet to match. This is so that they can get the nutrition that they need.

A llama’s diet mostly consists of grasses, hay, with some grains given as supplements. You may also need to give your llama some mineral supplements depending on their needs.

Llamas will eat typically around 25% less food than cows as well, so you will only need to give your llamas around an acre for a group of 6 llamas.

You can of course give your llamas a treat such as fruit and vegetables. However, you should bear in mind that your llama will only need to be given a small amount of these occasionally.

This is because they will get the vast majority of the nutrition that they need from their usual diet of grasses and hay.

You should also avoid giving your llama foods such as animal products, nightshade vegetables such as white potato, bell peppers, and tomatoes, as well as things like avocado, cherries, and chocolate.

Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson

Hi, my name is Jason Jackson, and I have been part of a homesteading settlement in the United States for the last 7 years. I made the move from my apartment in the city, and haven’t looked back. It was the best decision I made, and I love living off the land, being self-sufficient and living in nature. Over the years, I have developed many skills, such as how to milk a cow, and the best way to harvest your own crops. I want to share all of these tips and tricks with you all. Through The Preppers Resource, I hope to educate others on the importance of homesteading, and emphasize how easy it can be.

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