Is it ok to feed bread to llamas & alpacas?

schmije

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A friend of mine runs a local food bank, and they often have bread that is just past the expiration date, so they can't give it away. It's not moldy yet, so he offered it to me as a treat for my chickens. I'm curious if it's ok for my llamas and alpacas to eat it too. I offered it to them, and only a couple (out of 5) would even try it.

My goats, llamas and alpacas live together, and the goats go crazy for bread. I'm only talking a couple of slices a day, not large quantities.
 

trampledbygeese

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I've heard people locally cutting bread into one inch cubes then drying it, feeing one or two cubes a day... with mixed results.

Personally (and I'm no expert on camelid nutrition - just an overly opinionated bystander who keeps a few rescues) I feel that it depends hugely on what the bread is. If it was whole grain bread, made with wild (aka, sourdough) yeast, then yes, of course it would be great for your critters. If it's whole wheat (not the same as whole grain, whole wheat the kernel is taken apart, each component ground separately then recombined in a different ratio than it would have appeared in the grain), then maybe it would be fine. If was white bread, or something containing supplements (which is legally required in many parts of the world) and lots of sugar (as many commercial yeasts need sugar to work quickly, compared to the slow process of wild yeast which 'digests' the sugars naturally occurring in the grain) then, it might just kill the poor critter.

Sorry, I did seriously oversimplify the bread making process... hope you don't mind, but it's not a baking thread.

Generally, what I hear from hobbyists and breeders (in my local area) is that fresh bread is too moist and might be a choking hazard. So those who use it dry it.

Unless I made the bread myself, I wouldn't feel confident feeding it to my ruminants, they can be so sensitive to changes in diet, choke on the weirdest things, and show weird results from additives found in human food that might unbalance their trace minerals.

However, access to excess bread is a great excuse to get chickens or pigs.
 

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