An alpaca would normally avoid anything that looked like and was a fungus popping out of the ground.
To the alpaca, the thought of mushrooms is most probably not something they would eat, but the root network or mycelium underneath the ground has delivered strong disease-fighting properties to alpacas for centuries.
Alpacas can eat mushrooms, but not all mushroom varieties.
While some are edible and safe for alpacas and humans to consume, some mushrooms aren’t just toxic but can also be fatal for these animals.
If you are planning to feed your alpaca’s mushrooms, stick with the store-bought mushroom, and by all means, avoid the wild varieties or those that grow in the outdoors and just sprout almost everywhere.
What Are The Health Benefits of Mushrooms to Alpacas?
Mushrooms can be beneficial to alpacas, but only available ones fresh from a local grocery store.
And, as with their alpaca diet, offer these human meals without adding salt, spices, or other elements that may be harmful to your alpaca.
Simple mushrooms are a rich source of critical nutrients for alpacas, including vitamins B and minerals such as potassium.
By supplementing your alpaca’s diet with store-bought and organic mushrooms, you can provide him with the following health benefits:
- Boosts immune system
- Promote cardiovascular health
- Lower blood pressure
- Assists in the function of the liver and kidneys
- Enhance nutrition
- Maintain appropriate blood sugar levels
- Stabilize metabolism
- Reduce cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and protect against fatty liver disease
- Defend against viral infections
- Preventing and combating cancer
Numerous mushrooms, including Ganoderma and Cordyceps, are adaptogens, which means they assist in balancing the alpaca’s and other animals’ stress response.
By balancing your alpaca’s stress reaction, you can prevent or at least alleviate potential injury.
Additionally, numerous additional mushroom species are considered ‘tonics’ in the sense that they contain nutrients or phytochemicals that may aid in tissue repair or bodily reconstruction.
This could be accomplished solely through food provision or directly affecting the alpaca’s inflammatory processes.
These benefits directly aid the alpaca suffering from tendonitis, joint pain, a painful back, or even a wound that refuses to heal properly.
Unfortunately, all of these circumstances involve stress and an increased requirement for tissue support.
Here is a comprehensive article I wrote on what do alpacas eat
How Often Should I Feed Them Mushrooms?
Like every other treat given to animals, it is advisable to give alpacas mushrooms as treats or snacks once in a while.
Can Baby Alpacas Eat Mushrooms?
Although alpacas can eat mushrooms, it’s best to avoid giving the crai until they are above 6months.
This is because the crai feeds on the mother’s milk and a little hay in the first few months.
After then they begin to eat other food little by little.
Can Alpacas Eat Wild Mushrooms?
Alpacas adore sweet goodies and are significantly more likely to prefer wild berries or tree fruits over wild mushrooms on purpose.
Therefore, it is not recommended that alpacas consume wild mushrooms.
In addition, certain mushroom species can be quite harmful to these animals.
Can Alpacas Eat Raw Mushrooms?
The presence of harmful bacteria and heat-sensitive toxins in raw mushrooms and mycelium may pose a health concern, leading to red blood cell damage1, gastrointestinal irritation, and allergic reactions such as skin rashes.
Also check out this article I wrote on can alpacas eat mangos
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Mushrooms?
Buying mushrooms from a grocery store is OK, but it’s also a good idea to go organic.
Organic mushrooms are the finest option because they are devoid of chemicals and pesticides that are commonly sprayed on mushrooms.
Three types of mushrooms are commonly eaten by animals.
Reishi is a type of mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum). With a sweet flavor and a neutral to slightly warming impact, this mushroom is a good choice for winter.
As a lifespan tonic, reishi is most well-known for its ability to soothe the spirit, improve the immune system, block histamines (which cause allergic reactions), and reduce inflammation.
It was once thought to be a rare mushroom, but it is now widely available.
Cordyceps is a type of mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis).
The Himalayan Mountains are home to this fungus, which originates from hibernating caterpillar larvae and blooms in the spring. C
ordyceps have a pleasant flavor and have a warming effect on the body.
Cordyceps is an adaptogen that is most recognized for its ability to increase endurance. It also helps to maintain a healthy immunological and endocrine system.
In addition, Cordyceps is a mushroom that is used in formulations to enhance kidney and lung problems.
Cordyceps is also scarce and expensive, but it is now being farmed.
Turkey Tail (Tramates versicolor).
In addition to boosting immunological function and strengthening the liver, this warm and sweet mushroom also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties beneficial to the digestive, urinary, and respiratory systems.
In addition, T. versicolor is being examined extensively in Asia for its ability to aid in cancer recovery.
Finally, Turkey tail is a widely available energy tonic, and it may be beneficial to supplement if your alpaca is suffering from a chronic condition.
How Can I Feed Mushrooms To Alpacas?
To ensure a smooth transition or adjustment, you should gradually introduce any new meal to your alpaca, whether it’s human food or pet food.
You can gradually increase the amount fed to your alpaca if it seems to enjoy it and isn’t reacting strangely.
If your alpaca displays any signs of illness or allergic response, immediately cease feeding them mushrooms.
Make sure to wash and boil mushrooms before feeding them to your alpaca to remove contaminants and improve digestion.
Always go for fresh and dry alpaca food over canned or stored food because it has more nutrients beneficial to your alpaca.
Alpacas can consume mushrooms. However, they must be edible, and not wild, varieties.
A wide variety of mushrooms are found in the environment, many of which are harmful to animals.
That’s why organically grown mushrooms or store-bought ones are preferable for them.