Spoil your beloved llamas and alpacas with a delicious treat. Whether it’s summer or winter, I’ve compiled the nutritious and tasty treats you can share with your favorite camelid. They will love it and show you lots of llama love! Although alpacas and llamas are different, they are similar enough to enjoy the same treats. In this article, I’ll refer to one or the other, but it will apply to both!
What are the best treats for llamas and alpacas? Some of the healthiest treats for llamas and alpacas include bite-sized pieces of apples, watermelon, carrots, and romaine lettuce. Summer treats include frozen fruits and vegetables to cool your pet down. Winter treats are designed to warm your camelid friends up and include foods that provide high energy and boost the metabolism, and your alpaca’s body temperature, during the cold.
Whether it’s the hottest day of summer or the cold and snowy winter, check out these 20 tasty treats your llamas and alpacas will love! Here at bestfarmanimals.com, I surveyed alpaca owners from across the US and UK and found out which treats were the most popular treats!
Simple Treats for Llamas and Alpacas
The most favorite treats that alpaca owners love to feed their alpacas are apples and carrots. 41% of all alpaca and llama owners prefer to spoil their camelids with carrots and apples.
Fruit was the first choice of treats, with 69% of owners surveyed preferring some sort of fruit (which included pumpkins). Watermelons and pumpkins were the next most popular individual fruits. After that, strawberries won. Many owners offer a fruit melody with a combination of multiple fruits.
Vegetables are another popular treat to give alpacas and llamas. Most owners prefer to provide salad-related vegetables. Carrots are more popular than all other vegetables combined. After that, romaine lettuce comes in second. Shredded beet pulp surprised us as a popular vegetable choice.
Other vegetables named as treats include asparagus, sugar peas, snap peas, and the leaves of many edible trees, including mulberry and cottonwood.
The most popular purchased treats include animal crackers, peppermint horse poppers, and hay camelid pellets.
As you can see, a combination of fruit and vegetables is the most popular alpaca treat. That makes treating your llamas or alpacas easier and simpler. The 20 most popular fruits and vegetables to feed alpacas and llamas are:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Shredded Beet Pulp
- Tree Leaves (Apple, mulberry, cottonwood)
- Fruit Melody
- Sugar Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Other Vegetables
If you want to get a good idea of what treats your camelid enjoys before you decide to make any special treats, you can go to the grocery store and purchase an assortment of fresh produce to see which is accepted and which is not.
Always try to purchase organic or pesticide-free produce, and be sure to wash it thoroughly once you are home.
For those who want to make a special treat for your alpacas, I’ve listed 20 popular alpaca snacks.
Summertime Treats for Llamas and Alpacas
When the temperatures rise during the summer, your llamas will start searching for ways to cool off. You can help them stay cool by offering some quick and easy summertime treats!
Frozen treats can be made in countless ways and can easily be adjusted to cater to your llamas. Whether you have just a couple or a whole herd, it’s easy to adjust the number of ingredients to suit your needs.
1. Frozen Fruit Treats
Frozen fruit is a very easy-to-make treat that your llamas and alpacas will love.
- Chop an apple into tiny, bite-sized pieces and place the pieces into an ice cube tray.
- Add water or unsweetened apple juice on top of the chopped fruit and stick the ice cube tray into the freezer.
Once the cubes are frozen, you can offer this cold and refreshing summertime treat to your llamas and alpacas by hand or by placing them into a feeding pan. Replace the apples with pears, strawberries, grapes, carrots, or sweet potatoes for a different result!
2. Frozen Banana Pop
Frozen Banana pops are great for larger groups of alpacas to enjoy on a hot summer day.
- Four large peeled bananas
- Four cups of finely shredded carrots
- Three cups of your normal pelleted camelid feed
- One cup of clover honey in a large bowl.
- Mash it around or use a mixer until it all becomes moist.
- Place the mixture into ice cube trays or a large bowl and freeze until it’s solid.
Offer the cubes to individual alpacas as a treat, or place the large frozen block from the bowl on a feeding pan and let the whole herd enjoy it at their leisure.
3. Frozen Watermelon Pops
Watermelon is a favorite snack among many llamas. Give your friendly camelids a treat with some frozen watermelon pops!
- Cut watermelon into small slices or triangles.
- Push popsicle sticks into the rind to make an easy handle for you to hold when offering the treats to your llamas and alpacas.
- Freeze for 1 hour.
You can sprinkle sea salt on top to help entice licking and provide a small electrolyte boost to your camelids during sweltering days.
4. Frozen Pellet Snacks
Some llamas and alpacas are especially picky when it comes to treats they will accept. If your llama is one of the picky ones that turns its nose up at every treat you have tried, this simple snack might be the one they will finally accept.
- Take some of their usual pelleted feed and soak it in warm water until it becomes a mash.
- Chop small bite-sized pieces of apples, pears, grapes, or carrots.
- Place a few fruit and veggie pieces into ice cube trays and pour the pellet puree on top.
- Place in the freezer until it’s frozen solid, then offer the new icy treat to your picky llama.
5. Frozen Veggie Treat
A frozen veggie treat is a four-ingredient recipe that’s great for scorching days and will give your alpacas some entertainment as they lick their way through the flavors.
- Place romaine lettuce, apple slices, and some strawberries into a blender, fill the blender with water or unsweetened apple juice and blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended ingredients into a large bowl and freeze for 24 hours.
- Run some hot water on the outside of the bowl so the ice block can be removed easily.
- Place the ice block into a feeding pan.
After they’ve tried this once, you’ll watch your alpacas come running every time you bring this treat out!
Fall and Winter Treats for Llamas and Alpacas
As the weather cools, you can start offering warmer treats for your camelids. Wintertime is the best time of year for comfort foods. Your llamas will like a wintery treat now and then to help them get through the boredom of not being able to go outside as often as they did during the warmer months.
6. Snack Garland
Create a garland of edible fruit for your alpacas! Hang it where they can have easy access to it!
- Use an apple corer to remove the cores from multiple apples. This should leave you with whole apples with a hole through the core. Don’t use a corer and slicer tool.
- Run a baling twine or other thick cord through the core hole of each apple and tie a knot at each end to keep the apple in place.
- Add another apple and repeat the process until you have a garland of multiple apples.
Hang this edible decoration in your barn and let your llamas and alpacas munch on the apples at their leisure. This provides a simple and healthy treat and gives them something to play with to prevent boredom. Since camelids only have bottom teeth, they will spend more time playing with the apples than eating through them. This provides some added entertainment on a dreary winter day.
But, be sure to remove the garland when the uneaten apples start to spoil.
7. No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
You might think a pumpkin pie is difficult to make, but this treat for your alpacas couldn’t be simpler! Take 1 to 2 cups of your normal camelid pelleted feed and grind or blend the pellets until they become powder.
- Add enough water until it becomes a dough-like thickness and add it to a small bowl or pie tin.
- Shape the pellet dough into a crust. Add 1 can of pumpkin pie filling from the grocery store, or use the pumpkin pulp and seeds from a fresh pumpkin.
- Smooth it out until it looks like the pumpkin pie you might have at family gatherings.
- Place in the freezer until it becomes thickened
- Remove and offer to your llamas and alpacas.
You can even choose to garnish it with carrot shavings, sea salt, or alfalfa pellet crumbles.
8. Dried Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a speedy snack you can keep in your pocket and offer to your alpacas throughout the day.
- Remove the seeds from a fresh pumpkin and wash them to remove the pumpkin pulp.
- Place in a food dehydrator at 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) for 1 to 2 hours.
- Once dried, they can be dusted with pumpkin spice or sea salt for a quick and simple pocket treat when working with your llamas and alpacas.
9. Stuffed Pumpkin Treat Bowl
If you’re looking for a quick treat that can also provide some entertainment for your llamas and alpacas, look no further than the stuffed pumpkin!
- Choose a pumpkin of any size, cut a hole in the top, and place various chopped fruits, vegetables, hay, and alfalfa pellets inside.
You can also cut additional holes in the sides to give your llamas and alpacas more ways to see and get to the treats. Set the pumpkin out for your llamas and alpacas to inspect and watch them try to figure out how to get the treats from inside!
10. Warm Beet Stew
For a warm beef stew, you will need:
- 1 cup of beet pulp shreds
- 1 cup of your usual camelid pelleted feed
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup apple juice.
- Soak the beet pulp in 4 cups of hot water for at least two hours to ensure it all becomes fully rehydrated with no hard spots.
- Add the pumpkin puree, chia seeds, apple juice, and pellet feed and mix thoroughly until it all becomes soft and the pellets start to expand or break apart.
- Let it sit to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Add another 4 cups of hot water, mix to avoid hot spots, and serve to your llamas and alpacas.
This treat should be fed sparingly because of the higher calorie count. Still, it can help provide a nice boost of warmth on cold winter days.
BakedTreats For Your Llamas and Alpacas
Sometimes the best treats come out of the oven. If you love to bake snacks and treats for your own family, consider baking a few for your llamas and alpacas. I’ve included my favorite baked treats. Feel free to adjust to fit your needs and the preferences of your llamas and alpacas.
11. Banana Mash Cookies
For this recipe, you will need:
- one banana, two large carrots, one cup of your normal llama, and alpaca pelleted feed.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius) and prepare a baking tray.
- Blend the banana and both carrots in a blender until it becomes a puree.
- Grind up your pelleted feed until it becomes powdery.
- Mix the puree and powdered feed in a bowl until it all becomes moist.
- Form the dough-like mixture into small balls and place it on the baking tray in rows as you would do with cookie dough.
- Bake until the small balls look dry but not crumbly.
Cool and offer snacks to your llamas and alpacas during training or when getting their toenails trimmed.
12. Honey Roasted Carrot Sticks
Not all types of honey are safe for llamas and alpacas. So, if you bake this recipe, make sure you use clover honey, which is considered safe. Never use honey that includes unknown flowers or mountain laurel flowers. This recipe is quick and simple, but your llamas and alpacas will love it!
- Place vegetable oil and honey in a small bowl and mix. You’ll need enough oil and honey for the carrots to be coated with.
- Slice some carrots lengthwise and place them in the oil and honey mixture for a quick dip or let them soak for up to 4 hours.
- Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and pumpkin spice on top and roast them in the oven.
- Depending on the size of carrots you used, the baking temperature and times will vary, but start at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes and go from there.
- Keep a close eye on the carrots and remove them when they start to get a slightly golden color to their tips.
Since this recipe uses vegetable oil, it is a high-calorie, and fattening treat for llamas and alpacas, so feed it on special occasions only.
13. Roasted Fruit Medley
Llamas and alpacas enjoy a wide variety of fruits, so you can prepare an assortment of fruit to give them a selection of tasty treats.
- Slice oranges into thin disks, half strawberries, cube or slice apples, slice pear, grapes, and sliced banana. Any combination of these is an excellent assortment to start with.
- Toss the fruit in two or three tablespoons of vegetable oil to ensure even coating and place on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with sea salt or pumpkin spice, or drizzle with clover honey for added flavor.
- Roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes.
- Check often to ensure the fruit does not scorch.
- Give the pan a gentle shake to ensure all fruit gets full heat coverage, and place back in the oven if needed.
Once cooled, these roasted fruits are a great snack for you and your llamas and alpacas.
14. Baked Beet Snacks
Beet pulp is an excellent snack option for llamas and alpacas. In fact, you might find that your camelid friends come running when they think you have some beet treats for them!
- Soak one cup of beet pulp shreds in 4 cups of hot water for two to four hours until it is thoroughly rehydrated.
- Drain off any excess water.
- Place the rehydrated beet pulp on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, spreading the beets evenly.
- Close the foil around the beets to make a pouch, or add foil on top to enclose it.
- Place in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove the foil pouch and check to see that the beets are roasted by pressing a fork into them. They should be soft and tender.
- If they are still firm, stick them back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Once baked, you can garnish with alfalfa pellet crumbles to give your llamas and alpacas a gourmet snack!
15. Baked Bananas and Raisins
Most Alpacas love bananas as a treat. But, bananas are high in natural sugar, so they should only be fed as a treat to your llamas and alpacas on special occasions. This recipe is straightforward and only requires 3 ingredients: bananas, honey, and raisins.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).
- Find two or three very ripe bananas. The ones with the large black spots on their skin are great. Peel them and cut them lengthwise, then place the bananas on a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Drizzle the bananas with clover honey and fold the aluminum foil over to make a pouch.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the bananas become golden brown in color.
- Sprinkle some raisins on top and offer a warm treat to your llamas and alpacas in their feeding pan.
Grow These Safe Plants as a Treat for Your Llamas and Alpacas
You might like to provide your alpacas and llamas with vegetation and variety instead of a plain field if you are like me. But when I started, I worried about choosing poisonous plants that would harm my alpacas.
While there is a wide range of plants and trees that are not safe for your llamas and alpacas to eat, there is an equal number of safe and desirable plants and trees as well. Always be sure to protect your young trees and growing plants from curious llamas and alpacas with proper fencing or tree guards. Once the plants are big enough to withstand chewing, you can allow access. But, even then, you will want to take steps to protect the bark and sensitive parts to keep your plants healthy.
16. Pear Trees
Even in poor soil quality, pear trees can thrive. Fertilize once a year, and you should soon see fruit on your young trees within 3-5 years.
Pear trees need a full sun spot and plenty of water in the first few years. Pears are a highly desirable snack for my llamas and alpacas. They can be used in place of most other fruits in any treat recipe.
17. Apple Trees
There is a wide range of apple tree varieties, and all are a great choice for alpaca treats! Apple trees love being planted in full sun and require well-draining soil. Apples are an excellent treat for llamas and alpacas, and being able to grow your own can save money if you use many apples in your treat recipes.
Grow strawberries easily on your windowsill or patio. Strawberries are a very desirable snack for llamas and alpacas due to their bright color and sweet smell.
Strawberries can be planted in normal pots, large buckets, or even barrels to provide ample amounts of fruit for your camelid herd. If you’ve had trouble growing other plants, strawberries are an excellent choice!
19. Romaine Lettuce
One of the best leafy greens to feed llamas and alpacas as a treat, Romaine lettuce is quick and easy to grow for even the newest gardener. You can plant this lettuce in standard garden rows or grow it in hydroponics systems with excellent results from each. Keep some for your own salads, but use the rest for your llama and alpaca treats and snack recipes.
This seasonal melon is a very versatile and easy to grow plants your llamas and alpacas will love! The entire pumpkin can be used as a camelid treat, the seeds can be roasted or baked, and you can make pumpkin pie for your family as well. You can also make Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween and save the inner pulp for baking or making llama and alpaca treats.
Store-Bought Treats for Your Camelids
Llamas and alpacas can be very picky when it comes to what they like and dislike. 4% of alpaca and llama owners surveyed said that their camelids wouldn’t take any of the treats they had tried.
In addition to fruits, vegetables, and homemade treats, some alpaca and llama owners have found their alpacas like some unconventional store-bought treats.
The most popular purchased treat is animal crackers. They are followed by peppermint horse poppers and camelid hay pellets. Some owners even feed their alpacas fruit-based dog treats.
- Animal Crackers
- Peppermint Horse poppers
- Camelid Hay Pellets
- Equine treats
- Fruit-based dog treats
Foods to Avoid Giving Your Llamas and Alpacas
Llamas and Alpacas can safely enjoy a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, but some vegetables are bad for alpacas and llamas. If fed to them by accident, these foods can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, dehydration, and possibly even death.
Always be aware of what ingredients are in every treat you offer your camelid friends. Foods to avoid giving your llamas and alpacas include:
Using Treats Effectively
Treats of all types can be a great way to bond with your llama. Offering them a small snack after they come up to you in the field can help reinforce friendly and tame behavior, as well as letting them know you are not a threat in any way.
Some necessary tasks can be stressful to your llamas, such as shearing or toenail trimming. Offering a tasty treat to your llama during this time can help keep them calm and relaxed while you continue with the task.
Additionally, treats can also be used as a way to administer medication to your camelid. You can easily hide pills or worming paste inside a small treat before offering it to them. This can make a sometimes difficult task so much easier for everyone involved!
Whether your llamas and alpacas are considered pets, or livestock on your farm, offering them a treat during training or doing routine maintenance such as shearing and nail trimming can make the experience so much easier and less stressful! I can always tell if an alpaca I’m trimming nails of has been trained with treats or not!
Treats can not only help hydrate your animals on hot days, but they can also help calm them down and prevent boredom and stress, as well as showing them you love them.