Your alpacas’ growth and health is closely tied to what you feed them.
This is why you have to carefully select their main food and treats.
Alpacas enjoy fruits and vegetables as treats, so feeding them parsnips is quite okay.
Can alpacas eat parsnips? They can eat parsnips as they are root vegetables that are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are edible and sweet and can be eaten safely
At first glance, parsnips look a lot like carrots but it is wider at the base and sweeter especially when cooked.
Parsnips is a root vegetable that originated in Eurasia and packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals.
They have several edible parts and can be prepared in several ways.
All of which are very good for alpacas. Let’s take a look at some of its health benefits for your lovely pets.
What are the health benefits of parsnips?
1. It contains fiber.
Parsnips are very fibrous vegetables which your alpacas will benefit from.
Fiber is an important part of their diet. It helps them maintain a healthy digestive system and grow without issues.
Alpacas maintain a very healthy growth when their diet is based majorly on fiber.
That’s why they are fed hay/pellet.
2. It contains vitamin C.
This is an essential nutrient found in parsnips.
Vitamin C helps to build the immune systems of alpacas and help their body fight against diseases.
It also helps protect them against infections. Vitamin C in their body also helps them absorb iron and aids wound healing.
Parsnips do not just contain vitamin C, they are packed with it.
3. It is rich in folate.
Parsnips contain folate which gives your alpacas folic acid.
Folic acid is essential for lactating and pregnant alpacas to help them produce more milk.
It also ensures that their pregnancy go smooth without stress and complications.
4. It contains magnesium.
Parsnips provides magnesium for your alpacas to develop strong bones, muscles and teeth.
Alpacas that lack magnesium easily get frightened and develop soft and weak bones.
A deficiency can cause convulsions, loss of consciousness and even death.
5. It has a high calcium content.
Eating parsnips provides your alpacas calcium which helps strengthen their bones and improves the function of their nerves.
Are there any disadvantages to feeding them parsnips?
Alpacas are choosy when it comes to food and may not eat Parsnips if you give it to them.
If your alpacas like parsnips and eat them however, there is no need to fear.
It is perfectly healthy for them and pose no threat whatsoever.
You should only be careful not to overfeed them with it in order for your alpacas to grow healthy.
Parsnips cannot provide them with all the vitamins and minerals they require so choosing it over their main diet will be disastrous to their health.
It can make them look thin and malnourished.
Feeding them parsnips without first cutting it into small sizes can also cause them to choke.
Can alpacas eat parsnips leaves and peelings?
Parsnips leaves contain chemicals that are toxic to the human skin.
They also affect animals and poultry.
If these leaves can cause blisters and irritation on their skin, then it is not good for them to eat.
So I advise you to avoid feeding your alpacas parsnips leaves and also avoid growing it around them.
Alpacas love to nibble on grass and will definitely eat parsnips leaves when they see it.
I do not think cooking it will make a difference either so better to avoid it totally.
Parsnips peels from young parsnips are quite edible for alpacas.
They would even enjoy them.
Parsnips skin gets tougher as it ages though, so the peels will be tough and may even be woody.
Your alpacas may not like them but if you offer it to them and they eat it, it’s fine. You just have to make sure you feed it moderately.
Can alpacas eat wild parsnips?
The leaves, growth length and flowers are some of what makes wild parsnips distinguishable from cultivated ones.
Wild parsnips leaves are more toxic than that of cultivated parsnips and while the root can be edible, it is not advisable to feed your alpacas with them.
There are other safe treats you can feed your pets which they will enjoy.
Cultivated parsnips also contain whatever nutrients present in wild parsnips you may covet for your alpacas.
Can they eat cooked parsnips then?
Cooked parsnips can be fed to your alpacas without worry.
It even makes it softer and easily digestible.
There is also less chance of your alpacas choking when eating cooked parsnips.
Cooking also makes parsnips sweeter but you want to be careful not to overcook because overheating can destroy some nutrients in it.
Parsnips are root vegetables that are packed with vitamins and minerals.
They are edible and sweet.
Alpacas can safely eat them with no repercussions.
It provides them with essential nutrients like fiber, carbohydrate, magnesium etc.
Parsnips should however not replace their main food as they can’t supply them with their daily nutritional needs.
It is a treat and should be given occasionally.
It should not also be made their only treat, as there are several other treats like carrots, apples et. that alpacas enjoy.
Parsnips leaves should not be given to alpacas as they can be toxic to them.
Their peels are however safe especially when they are from young parsnips.
Wild parsnips are not safe and not necessary since cultivated parsnips can be easily gotten.
Their leaves are also more toxic than that of cultivated ones.
Cooking makes parsnips tender and sweeter so your alpacas will enjoy them.
You should avoid adding sweeteners when cooking though, as too much sugar isn’t good for alpacas.
Don’t give your alpacas mouldy or bad alpacas. It isn’t good for them.
If the parsnips are too bad for you to eat, they are bad for your alpacas too.