- The approach I use in feeding alpacas attempts to mimic their natural grazing and foraging eating habits. From what I've read, alpacas are both grazers and foragers and are very good at selecting the tiniest morsel when they are searching for “something” they desire or believe is missing from their diet. So since I've removed them from an extensive/endless/free range environment and enclosed them in a pasture, I've eliminated a wide variety of “culinary” choices. Therefore on our farm, they have access to both hay and pasture year around. Probably says a lot about why my alpacas never body score low!
- Good quality grasses (the pasture is always best), hays and other good “rumen foods” are what the camelid physiology is built for. The major issue we see on farms is overfeeding and fat animals.
- Bermudagrass is an excellent perennial hot season (southern) grass for grazing alpacas. It produces moderate protein levels, is tremendously productive, lives in marginal soils, and responds well to water and fertilizer. It is superb winter hay quite resistant to rot and mold. Here is some information on its history, cultivation and regional applications.