Composition of milk from llamas in the United States

J Dairy Sci. 1995 Aug;78(8):1713-20. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(95)76796-0.


Neonatal llamas must receive supplemental milk when the dam has inadequate milk yield or fails to accept the cria. Data on llama milk composition are limited, and selection of suitable milk supplements has been difficult. Milk from 83 llamas on eight farms in four states (Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Colorado) was collected, and milk composition was analyzed. Llamas had no history or signs of mastitis, and major mastitis pathogens were not isolated from the milk. Total solids were determined gravimetrically. A colorimetric method, a dye-binding assay, and the modified Mojonnier method were used to quantify lactose, protein, and fat, respectively. Concentrations of seven macrominerals and 17 trace elements were obtained by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, and Cl was quantified by anion chromatography. Llama milk was higher in sugar (6.5%) and lower in fat (2.7%) and energy content (70.0 kcal/100 g) than milks of domestic ruminants. Llama milk also contained more Ca and less Na, K, and Cl. In general, milk composition was not affected by stage of lactation, lactation number, or body condition score of the llama, but several milk constituents varied among farms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Camelids, New World*
  • Chlorides / analysis
  • Colorado
  • Female
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Lactation
  • Lactose / analysis
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Michigan
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk Proteins / analysis
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Sodium / analysis
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Trace Elements / analysis


  • Chlorides
  • Lipids
  • Milk Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Trace Elements
  • Sodium
  • Lactose
  • Potassium
  • Calcium