Can Alpacas Eat Potatoes? (Read This First…)

by Chukay Alex
Updated on

Alpacas cannot eat potatoes because they are part of the nightshade family. Because they are nightshade family members, alpacas cannot consume potatoes. Most ruminant animals and alpacas are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of plants in the nightshade family, which includes peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes.

Since they belong to the nightshade family, potatoes are an excellent source of solanine.

To make potatoes safe for human eating, the solanine in them must be broken down.

However, in undercooked potatoes, solanine levels are high, making them dangerous to both people and alpacas.

Potatoes may be safe for alpacas, but it’s not worth the risk.

Of course, alpacas are more at risk from eating raw potatoes than cooked ones, but what’s the big deal? Feeding potatoes to alpacas is simply not an option.

What Are The Health Benefits of Potatoes To Alpacas?

Can Alpacas Eat Potatoes

There are many health benefits to humans, but potatoes are not the same for these animals.

This crop has a harmful enzyme that makes it difficult for alpacas to eat. Because of this, it is of no benefit to the animals involved.

On the other hand, alpacas can greatly benefit from sweet potatoes.

A well-balanced alpaca diet includes sweet potatoes, which have various health benefits.

They are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals and have even been proved to help heal ulcers. 

  • Fiber

Alpacas’ digestive health benefits greatly from fiber. A lack of fiber in their diet will lead to constipation and other gastrointestinal issues for your alpacas.

  • Vitamins and minerals

Alpaca owners must watch how many vitamins and minerals their alpacas are getting from their diet.

Sweet potatoes can make alpaca diet planning a little easier because they include a wide range of nutrients to help alpacas maintain optimal health.

There are a variety of vitamins in it, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. it also contains potassium.

  • Gastric Ulcers 

Many alpacas suffer from gastric ulcers, which is unpleasant.

It can be harrowing and distressing for an alpaca to have these ulcers build in their stomachs if they don’t obtain a balanced diet. 

Here is an article I wrote on what do alpacas eat?

How Often Should I Feed Them Potatoes?

It best not feed your alpacas potatoes at all. 

While some alpacas are able to eat potatoes without experiencing any gastrointestinal difficulty, many alpacas are unable to eat potatoes without experiencing significant gastrointestinal irritation.

Assuming that potatoes will make your alpaca ill rather than risking poisoning symptoms is the best course of action.

Potato poisoning is almost always caused by ingesting too many potatoes at once.

The more potato an alpaca eats, the more likely it is to experience symptoms, which worsen with each additional bite.

Can Baby Alpacas Eat Potatoes?

Baby alpacas cannot eat potatoes because of the potential health danger it possess to them.

However, these animals are quite young and not as developed as the older ones. So the effect might be different with them.

Can Alpacas Eat Potato Leaves?

Potatoe leaves present the most danger to alpaca. So be on the safe side. These animals cannot eat potato leaves. 

Can Alpacas Eat Potato Chips?

To make matters worse for your alpaca’s digestive system, processed potatoes, like chips, contain a plethora of toxic chemicals and sodium.

It’s not just potato chips that are affected by this: any processed food is.

Processed foods shouldn’t be given to alpacas because their digestive systems aren’t designed for them.

It’s also common to add oils and butter to potatoes when boiling them. Fattening compounds like these are far more potent weight gainers than simple carbs like potatoes.

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

Can Alpacas Eat Raw Potatoes?

Avoid feeding your alpacas raw potatoes. They contain solanine.

Many plants and vegetables contain this chemical. Tomatoes, which are also in the nightshade family, contain trace levels acceptable for human consumption.

When potatoes are cooked, a compound in the solanine they contain is rendered harmless and has no effect on people.

However, this chemical is highly deadly if left unattended.

Your alpaca should not be fed raw potatoes since they contain a high amount of the carcinogen solanine.

In addition, it’s not a good idea to feed your alpaca raw potatoes since although while most of the solanine concentration is found in the green portions and all the leaves, there can still be traces discovered in the parts that we eat in varying quantities.

Can Alpacas Eat Sweet Potatoes

Alpacas can eat sweet potatoes. Because they are not a part of the nightshade family, they are not harmful to wildlife.

Sweet potatoes, both raw and cooked, are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Your alpacas will benefit greatly from their inclusion in their diet as a supplement.

Consume in moderation as they are heavy in carbohydrates and contain some sugar. They do have less sugar, though, as compared to carrots.

Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Potatoes?

Some vegetables might wreak havoc on an alpaca’s stomach. For example, the raw form of potatoes should never be fed to alpacas.

A potato plant’s foul scent and poisonous chemicals deter alpacas from eating it.

In order to acquire weight, alpacas must eat a lot of carbs because their bodies are incapable of breaking them down.

In addition, alpacas are unable to vomit; if they eat potatoes and become ill, there is no way to eliminate the potatoes naturally from their digestive tracts.

On the other hand, some alpacas enjoy potatoes and will eat them when they are grown naturally on farms.

Potatoes are wild plant that is naturally poisonous, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

Your farm should be regularly checked for harmful fruit and vegetable plants. Poisonous plants must be removed immediately if they are discovered.

Alpacas who consume large amounts of potatoes may experience drooling, an upset stomach, and excessive thirst, so it’s best to consult your vet if you see these symptoms.

How Can I Feed Potatoes To Alpacas?

If you actually decide to feed your alpacas, the best way is to cook the potatoes. This helps break down the solanine in it. 


Alpacas cannot eat potatoes.  Alpacas should never consume potatoes, especially raw ones because they are poisonous and harmful to their health.

Sweet potato, broccoli, and swede are just some of the other healthy veggies for your alpaca’s diet. Instead, give your alpaca one of these as a treat.

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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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