Alpacas are mainly herbivores as they feed on pasture grasses and hay.
They also enjoy feeding on treats and as an alpaca owner giving treats should be a part of their diet.
Alpacas enjoy eating watermelons as treats and it is one of their favorite snacks.
I mean it is healthy and watermelon is more like the super fruit with so many nutritional benefits gained from eating it.
If you have not been feeding watermelons to your alpacas then you should start now and in this article we will answer most of the questions you might have on watermelon feeding to alpacas. Just tag along with us.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Watermelon To Alpacas?
Watermelon provides high water content to the body when it is eaten. Watermelons are made up of 90% water content.
Taking in enough fluid, including water-rich foods such as watermelon, promotes blood circulation, healthy skin, and digestive health.
It also assists in the temperature regulation, organ and joint function, metabolic activity, appetite, and waste disposal.
The fibre obtained from watermelon helps to support a healthy gut in alpacas.
Prebiotics, a type of fiber that promotes the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine, are also found in watermelon.
Prebiotics have been linked to improved immune function, mineral absorption, glucose and insulin levels, and it may help prevent colon cancer.
Watermelon is rich in body enriching vitamins which help to build up the body and improve basic functions.
The fruit contains vitamins A and C, which help with immune system function and healthy skin, as well as trace amounts of the B vitamins, and antioxidants.
Watermelon also contains trace amounts of potassium which is essential in bone and muscle development.
Watermelon is a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress happens when there is a lack of balance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract their negative impacts.
Lycopene lowers the risk of the majority of chronic diseases.
Here is an article I wrote on what do alpacas eat
How Often Should I Feed Them Watermelons?
Watermelon is a great fruit and a great treat for alpacas.
Every part of the fruit from the sweet fleshy core to the seeds and the rinds are edible and provide one nutrient or the other.
Your alpacas would most likely be fighting to get the bigger share when you share amongst them.
This however, doesn’t mean you should feed them watermelon all the time or replace their diet with watermelon.
Watermelon should be given in moderation as too much of it can lead to digestive issues such as gas and bloating.
Watermelon can be given once a week and mixed in with other fruits. The frequency can be increased in summer as it will help your alpacas stay hydrated in the heat.
Can Baby Alpacas Eat Watermelon?
Baby alpacas can eat watermelon and it is absolutely delicious and healthy for them. The crias who are oftentimes sucking on the mothers milk.
Crias are usually delicate at birth and oftentimes require delicate and intensive management to avoid neonatal mortality.
Depending on the cria, they can start eating grass, pellets and treats as early as a few weeks or could take some months.
You should watch the cria’s behavior before introducing watermelon to them.
It is best to give baby alpacas only the soft fleshy core with the seeds removed so they can easily get it down.
Also cut the watermelon into small pieces that are easy for them to feed before putting in their bowl.
Can Alpacas Eat Watermelon Seed?
Alpacas can eat watermelon seed however, the seeds can be tough for them to swallow.
Watermelon seeds are not toxic and do not contain cyanide like some other fruits such as apples.
Watermelon seeds are perfectly safe for the alpacas to eat and you can decide to leave the seeds in when you cut the watermelon pieces.
You can also remove them if you feel it might be too stressful for them to eat.
Can Alpacas Eat Watermelon Skin?
Watermelon skin or rinds as they are called are very healthy to eat and provide extra benefits for your animals.
Watermelon rinds are rich in fiber content, it also contains citrulline which helps the delivery of oxygen to the muscles, it also lowers blood pressure among other health benefits.
Alpacas love to eat watermelon rinds and some farm owners have reported their alpacas fighting to each get rinds to eat.
Also cutting the watermelons with the skin and letting your alpacas have them together helps to reduce the sugar content in the watermelon and that way they are less predisposed to weight gain.
Also check out this article I wrote on can alpacas eat spinach
Things To Watch Out For Before Feeding Them Watermelon?
Watermelons are a great treat to incorporate into your alpacas diet as it is full of nutrients and most especially will help them to stay cool and hydrated in summer.
If your alpacas have not been eating watermelon previously, it is best to introduce it to them slowly so it doesn’t upset their digestive system.
Watermelon should always be fed in moderation to alpacas as excessive feeding of the fruit can cause stomach upsets like diarrhea, bloating and loose stools because of its sorbitol content.
Excessive feeding can also lead to high sugar blood levels in your flock.
Wash the watermelon thoroughly with water before feeding to the alpacas especially if you intend to feed them the rind of the fruit.
How Can I Feed Watermelon To Alpacas?
Before feeding watermelon to the alpaca, wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any contaminant or agro-chemicals that might have been adhered to it.
Cut the watermelon into smaller pieces. You can feed the alpacas just the core of the fruit or everything including the skin.
All parts of the watermelon are safe for them. Place the pieces in a bowl and serve them.
You can also freeze the watermelon before giving them and this is particularly good on hot days and also for pregnant and lactating mothers.
Watermelon is a super fruit which has quite a number of nutrients within it such as antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and water.
Watermelon helps your alpacas to stay hydrated by giving them water content.
It is a safe treat for alpacas and they can eat all parts of the watermelon including the skin and seeds.
You should thoroughly wash the fruit before feeding it to them to ensure they are not contaminated.
Watermelon should be fed in moderation as its high sugar content can cause diarrhea and bloating when it is over fed.