Llamas belong to the same family as camels and are classed as Camelidae. They do not have humps to store fat, but like camels, they can go for long periods of time without drinking water.
Llamas live in the wild, and as domesticated animals; reared on farms, in zoos, and as pets. What do llamas eat can really depend on where they are raised.
What do llamas eat?
Llamas are usually fed grains, grass hay, and herbivore pellets.
Llamas are native to South America, especially to the cold, high-altitude areas of the Andes Mountains. However, there are very few, if any, llamas roaming freely in the wild these days.
Instead, they can be found living as domesticated creatures in many countries and climates across the world; producing milk, meat, and wool, or simply kept as pets.
They are pack animals, that move around in large herds. Llamas are gentle creatures and can be used to pull carts, much like horses do.
What do llamas eat is similar to other herbivores that move about in herds; they like to eat grass and hay and enjoy eating farm animal feed and grain too.
The wool of the llama is exceptionally warm. Its undercoat is very soft, with its topcoat, known as its ‘guard hairs’, being much thicker, to protect it from its native harsh mountain climate of the Andes.
A llama’s coat can be sheared every couple of years and its wool is woven into fibers to create materials for many uses. Llama wool is a much sought-after commodity, that can fetch a high price. Their coats can come in several colors, including white, tan brown, and black.
Llamas have a reputation for spitting, which is somewhat unfounded. What do llamas eat has nothing to do with why they spit. Llamas use spitting for defensive purposes and to establish ranks in their herd.
A llama will spit on another llama to show that it has a higher status in the group or to show that it is angry or annoying. Llamas do spit at people, but this is only when they are provoked. Treat a llama well, and you should not be on the receiving end of a llama’s spittle!
What is the diet of a llama?
Llamas are herbivores, meaning that they only eat plant material and vegetation. They are grazing animals. Like cows, they graze on grass and hay, which they swallow, regurgitate back up into their mouths, and then chew as cud.
Llamas eat many different types of plants, trees, and mosses. They are also able to digest rough tree bark and twigs too. They are capable of surviving for a long time without drinking any water.
What do you feed a llama?
Domesticated llamas enjoy eating grass and hay on a daily basis. The question what do llamas eat can be answered by simply ensuring they have constant access to growing grass and fresh bales of hay.
A llama’s diet should also be supplemented with occasional treats, such as cut-up pieces of fibrous fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots. Llamas can also be fed commercial animal feed pellets, often used on farms.
Although llamas can go without water for some time, you should make sure that they always have a fresh supply of it, especially if your llama lives in a warm climate.