Nitrogen Balance and Blood Metabolites of Alpaca (Lama pacos) Fed Three Forages of Different Protein ContentSixteen intact male alpaca consisting of four age groups (AG1, 16 ± 4.4 months, 44.3 ± 9.2 kg; AG2, 25 ± 1.8 months, 51.7 ± 2.3 kg; AG3, 35 ± 1.1 months, 64.7 ± 15.6 kg; and AG4, 60 ± 12.0 months, 67.0 ± 8.2 kg) were housed in metabolism crates (20 °C with 12:12 h on:off light cycle). Three forages, straw (ST), grass hay (GH) and alfalfa (ALF) were fed to each alpaca in random order. The forages were fed at 12 h intervals with water provided ad libitum. Treatment periods were 14 days, with blood samples collected over a 24 h period on day 14 to determine temporal patterns of plasma metabolite and electrolytes. Dry matter intake was lower (P
- Following a small survey of milk constituents in 5 lactating alpacas in south-eastern Australia, it was revealed that the average milk fat content was 4.4%, the average milk protein content was 4.2% and the average milk sugar (lactose) content was 5.8%. Constituents in alpaca milk can vary depending on age of dam, number of days post-partum, nutrition and genetics. Accordingly, alpacas and llamas exhibit small ranges for milk fat (2.7-4.9%), milk protein (3.4-4.5%) and milk sugar (lactose; 5.6-7.4%) in the scientific literature.
- 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.
- Alfalfa (“lucerne” for those “down under”) is leafy forage that is a rich, highly palatable, perennial legume. This type of plant “fixes”atmospheric nitrogen in the root system, converting gaseous nitrogen into plant nitrogen (protein). Like bermuda grass, it is not native to the USA, but likely came in from central Asia and has been known for thousands of years as a superb animal and horse forage. Alfalfa grows almost everywhere in the USA, perhaps best in the mid-south and less so in the upper north.