Alpaca Digestive System

(Vicugna pacos) Foregut Fermenter Joshua Tang

5 to 2% of own body mass in grass and hay (sometimes leaves) per day. . ‡ Healthy alpacas actually only eat 1.Diet ‡ They do not need to drink or eat a lot because their three stomachs are extremely efficient. ‡ Their stomachs have evolved this efficiency due to harsh conditions in the heights of the Andes.

cutting the grass and not pulling its roots out .and defecating in communal piles for hygiene .Obtaining food ‡ Alpacas graze and sustain the scarce grass of the landscape and plateaus of Peru by: .having padded feet to soften impact on grass .

Digestive System .

a) 80% Stomach Rumen ‡ Alpacas chew their food in a figure eight to mix food with saliva then swallow it into the rumen. swallowed and can be repeated up to 75 times. ‡ Fermentation begins here with microbe action helping to absorb water and nutrients. ‡ The grass is first regurgitated as cud then chewed. .

.Absorb nutrients.Secretes mucus.b) 6% Reticulum ‡ Symbiotic process of microorganisms decomposing cellulose urea and protein take place ‡ Glandular surfaces of first two compartments: . . glycoprotein and urea for microbe environment.

‡ Gastric juices help rapid absorption of solutes and water in the omasum of this compartment. abomasum contains strong acid. . ‡ Microbes are digested here to form amino acids in the alpaca.c) 11% Omasum and 3% Abomasum ‡ The third and last compartment of the stomach.

absorbs water .absorbs minerals and vitamins .secretes mucus . ‡ There is little left for the large intestine after the stomach s efficient fermenting ability.allows further microbial action . ‡ The large intestine (6m): .Intestines ‡ The small intestine (8m) digests and absorbs nutrients.

Inappropriate high grain diets can also cause the same.Food .Mate-less .Hierarchy .Temperature ‡ Cortisol is released to help reaction time.Infection/Parasite .Fear . . However cortisol switches off the immune response leaving the body open to infection like facial abscesses caused by foreign matter in grass cuts.Over crowding .Potential Disorders ‡ Stress factors: . and agility in stress. ‡ Stress upsets the pH balance in the abomasum. which can create fatal stomach ulcers. concentration. strength.

com/facial-abscess.html http://www.owning-alpaca.html http://www.tonygraham.owning-alpaca.png ‡ ‡ http://www.html ‡ https://www.wikimedia.html ‡ ‡ http://www.owning-alpaca.GIF ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ http://www.uky.html http://www.html ‡ http://sepiensa.pdf Pictures ‡ http://www.jpg .org/mediawiki/files/a/ac/ ‡ http://www.html http://www.jpeg ‡

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful