When you’re wondering what do llamas eat for a diet, you’re not alone. Whether you’re a farmer or just a home llama owner, it’s important to know the best options for your llama. Listed below are several common options for llamas, as well as the proper precautions you need to take to keep your llama healthy.

Grass

Llamas are not fastidious animals. Usually, they only eat grass in mountainous regions of South America. However, when fresh grass is scarce, they will switch to other sources of food, including moss and lichen. Moreover, unlike humans, llamas do not reject roots or fruits. In fact, their powerful teeth help them chew through dried up leaves and thin branches.

Hay

Hay is what llamas eat. It’s a great way to supplement the grass they get in their pasture, especially when there’s little or no grass to be found. Llamas and alpacas also eat it during periods of drought. Hay is a good source of protein and carbohydrates, and most llamas can be kept on a mixture of alfalfa hay and grass.

Commercial horse treats

Some people wonder if commercial horse treats are safe for llamas to eat. In reality, commercial horse treats may contain some potentially harmful ingredients. The toxins present in onion and garlic are toxic for horses. Even though it has been proven that garlic can cause digestive issues in horses, the FDA has not yet approved the use of this substance in animal feed. It is not safe to feed your horse onions and garlic, but it is safe for llamas to eat the skins of those fruits.

Apples

Llamas are herbivorous animals that like to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. While they do not eat meat, llamas do love apples and pears. They can also be substituted for most other fruits in treats. Adding an apple tree to your property will save you money on treats, and you can even grow your own! But make sure to remove any uneaten apples to prevent them from spoiling.

Milk

Llamas’ daily ration consists of about two to four pounds of forage. During their early development, they consume hay and other grasses as a diet. When pregnant, llamas must have 10 to 12 pounds of milk per day, and supplemented with hay and a free choice trace mineral diet. Their dietary needs depend on the type of pasture they are fed, and their overall health.

Dairy products

Although llamas will eat approximately 1.8 to 2% of their body weight each day, they are often fed grains, legumes, and hay as a supplement to their diet. However, they shouldn’t make up a significant portion of their diet, and should be mixed with hay or other appropriate sources of fiber. Llamas live all over the world, so it’s unlikely they will consume much grain, as they are mostly vegetarian.

Plants toxic to llamas

Llamas are incredibly picky eaters and, as a result, some plants are poisonous for llamas to eat. According to farmer Sheridan, who has seven llamas on his farm, some plants llamas skip over in pastures. While many plants in pastures are edible, llamas cannot eat buttercups, azaleas, rhododendrons, or yews.