We have a pasture under construction that has four Live Oak trees that drop acorns once or twice a year. Are these bad for alpacas if they eat them? The pasture isn't open yet and they're not anywhere near them, so this is a preventative question. We'll pull the Live Oaks out (pretty young, might sell to a nursery nearby to replant) and clean up any acorns around them that we can find in the grass before we let any of our pacas out there. Thanks!
Acorns can make them ill, since they contain tannins that can be toxic in large quantities. I doubt they'd eat many - acorns are pretty hard to chew whole - but I would not want to take any chances. I think I'd move those oaks out of there if possible.
Not sure about Live Oaks ...but I do know of some farms on the West side of Austin that have nothing but live oaks on their properties...! I am quite certain they do not eat them in quantities that would cause them harm or else these farms would have removed the trees long ago...
We have Post Oaks here on the poor side of Austin (East of the city) and my alpacas eat every single acorn that falls from the trees when they produce them (every other year)...Never had an issue..They are like candy to them....
That being said I know from many many years of planting native trees both in Houston and in this area where we are now at that the acorns of the live oak and post oak are completely different...The live oak acorn is much harder and like Judith said may contain more tannins than the Post oak...But as mentioned there are many farms out in the rich side of the tracks that have the Live oak trees and they have been in business for years..! I wouldn't worry about them....other than the fact they may chew on the bark of younger more easily accessible trees or as they like to do rub against the trees till they bend and could break them off....I would protect the trees if possible with fencing or wiring and put lots of paca poo around them so they will grow nice and big an provide shade for your beautiful alpaca herd for many years to come...As we all know in Texas...Shade is a high priority...!!
Best of Luck..
Mike and Maggie Carabajal Rancho De La Luz Alpacas Elgin, Tx www.alpacanation.com/ranchodelaluzalpacas.asp