Can Alpacas Eat Corn? (Answered)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Alpacas can eat corn. However, alpacas should not be fed corn in large quantities because it might cause sugar levels to increase and potentially diabetes in the animals.

In addition, additional nitrate will be produced if there is a drought or other stressor. The largest concentrations of nitrates are found in the stem and leaves.

A lack of energy, apathy and a diminished appetite are among symptoms that alpacas experience when they have this sickness.

Alpacas should not be fed only this grain, and it should not be the primary source of their nutrition.

Forage and mineral supplements are still needed, as grain does not contain a lot of fiber.

However, suppose your alpaca is being used for packing, pregnant, or nursing a baby alpaca (cria).

In that case, it may benefit from the addition of protein to its diet. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Corn to Alpacas?

Can Alpacas Eat Corn

Corn can give alpacas an energy boost, particularly in the colder period, which is efficient for their health.

1. Fiber

Corn contains a high amount of fiber which is very for animals such as alpacas.

The fiber also helps the animals stay full between meals and also helps the animals digestive tracts.

Another major benefit of corn is that it contains vitamin C, a major antioxidant, that helps protects the animals cells from damages and wards off diseases.

2. Carbs

Corn also contains carbs with starch being the major ingredients comprising of 28% – 80% of it’s dry weight.

Corn also provides small amounts of sugar which also helps the animals with their carb requirements.

3. Proteins

Corn is also a rich source of proteins.

Depending on the type of corn, the protein content usually ranges from 10 to 15% and this is ideal for most farm animals.

The most abundant proteins in corns are known as zeins accounting for about 44 to 79% of the total protein content.

So the proteins in corns will help your farm animals be stronger and also help in healing injuries and diseases.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

Corn contains a fair amount of vitamins and minerals which is very good for the growth and well being of most farm animals.

It contains manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper which helps in developing strong bones in farm animals.

Here is an article I wrote on a comprehensive list of foods that alpacas can eat

How Often Should I Feed Them Corn?

Feeding them corn should be a once in a while thing. Corn is not very good for alpacas and can cause serious issues if they eat this all the time.

Corn can be fed to alpacas regularly as it has all the minerals and vitamins needed for the healthy growth of alpacas.

In my opinion, I ensure that I feed corn to my alpacas regularly – sometimes 3 to 4 times a week.

Can Baby Alpacas Eat Corn?

Crias (or baby alpacas) rely primarily on their mother’s milk for the first month following birth.

After that, they are only allowed to drink 10% of their body weight in mother’s milk per day.

Crias will begin eating a mixture of grass and hay after they are a few weeks old, separate from their mother’s milk.

Pellets and other hard meals can also be fed to two-month-olds.

Crias are no longer dependent on their mother’s milk once they have completed their weaning period at six months old.

When it comes to diet, they rely on a wide variety of grass, grain, hay and pellets.

For optimal growth and health, you should increase the food portions of your crias following their weaning period.

Can Alpacas Eat Corn On The Cob?

Alpacas can definitely eat corn on the cob as in my opinion it is exactly the same thing as eating corn.

Corn on the cob is simply corn cooked and eaten straight from the cob.

Also check out this article I wrote on can alpacas eat alfalfa

Can Alpacas Eat Corn Husks?

Corn husks is basically the outer protective covering of an ear of maize. It can also be called the chaff.

Alpacas can definitely eat corn husks as it contains fiber that is good for them.

Although most animals might have a problem dealing with corn husks because of it’s high fiber, alpacas will not have any problem with this.

Can Alpacas Eat Cracked Corn

Alpacas are able to eat cracked maize, which is easy for them to process. During the winter months, it is a wonderful source of calories.

How Can I Feed Corn to Alpacas?

  • Keep them apart during feeding time

To avoid choking, feed your alpacas their daily grain separately.

This enables them to consume food at their own leisure rather than competing with other alpacas.

  • Stack grain between hay

Layering their grain with hay can also help them eat more slowly, as it slows them down.

They’ll have to sift among the hay in search of the grain rather than wolfing it down in one go.

  • Alpacas should be fed in a small trough or container

Another approach is to place the grain of the alpaca in a shallow basin or trough rather than a larger, deeper dish.

Additionally, this limits the alpaca’s capacity to consume vast quantities of grain at one time.

  • Make enough available for them.

To avoid food impaction in their throats, make sure your alpacas have constant access to fresh water when eating.


Alpacas are pseudo-ruminant, which means they mostly prefer to feed on hays or grasses.

However, this doesn’t mean they can’t eat corn just in moderate quantity.

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About the author

Chukay Alex

Chukay is a season writer and farmer who enjoys farming and growing plants in his backyard farm. When he is not farming you can find him at the nearest lawn tennis court, hitting a mean backhand down the line.


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