Dr. LaRue Johnson DMV, of Colorado State University, one of the leading experts on camelid nutrition, after extensive research, developed a vitamin and mineral supplement for llamas. Dr. Johnson's findings are very similar to the vitamin and minerals found naturally available to llamas in the higher planes of Peru. Animal nutritionists agree that this formula is balanced.
Stillwater Minerals used the highest quality and most natural ingredients available. Balanced with its nearly ideal 2:1, calcium to phosphorus ratio (no bone meal). You will find Selenium (Se) in high levels and Copper (Cu) in low levels just like in South America. In the high mountains, near the equator llamas and alpacas are exposed to higher levels of sunlight. This sunlight aids the synthesis of Vitamin D. Since North American llamas are not exposed to so much sunlight and we are breeding for longer wool which shades the skin, Stillwater has higher the levels of Vitamin D in all it's supplements.
Only one problem remained.....llamas with their keen sense of smell detected an unfamiliar odor and won't eat it. Back to the drawing boards. Working with two animal nutritionists and after extensive testing on ranches across the country, the formula has been modified in such a way as to mask the smell and taste without changing the guaranteed analysis. Dr. Johnson has remarked "they sure like your minerals better than my original formula!" Thousands of llamas and alpacas must agree.
The original formula is our Llama-Min 101. It is an organic source of Calcium and Phosphorus in a 2:1 ratio necessary for proper development and bone strength. High quality trace minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin E and Selenium, to help protect against "white muscle disease". Zinpro 100, a highly available source of Zinc Methionine, to help promote wool quality and improve skin condition.
Llama-Min 102 is a variation of our original formula, Llama-Min 101. It was developed with Electrolytes and with higher levels of Selenium and Vitamins A, D-3, and E to help llamas handle the stresses of heat, showing, trailing , breeding, and packing. This product is particularly beneficial during the fall, spring, and hottest part of the summer. In the fall and spring, warm days and cool nights are conducive to poor water intake. Electrolytes replace essential elements lost whenever your llama sweats, urinates, passes feces, salivates, etc. Salt blocks and free-choice salt mixtures replace only some of the elements lost. Electrolytes will promote increased water intake, which is useful for the prevention of heat stress. This is the most poplar llama and alpaca supplement.
Feeding programs with alfalfa will experience an imbalance in the calcium to phosphorus ratio. This condition may cause deformities in the legs of young llamas, sometimes diagnosed as poor conformation. We recommend using the Llama-Min 104 to help balance the higher levels of calcium found in alfalfa and we have add higher levels of vitamin D to combat rickets. This formula has the highest levels of Vitamin E. Plus the proprietary ingredient "B-Plex Five", similar to brewer's yeast but with a longer shelf life.
All of our supplements are made from the highest quality natural ingredients in 10, 25 and 50 pound reusable plastic buckets to assure freshness. The free choice minerals are safe, natural and easy to use. We hear the empty buckets are useful around the farm too!
Having trouble getting them to eat Stillwater Minerals? You must remove all other sources of salt, this means the salt block too.... Remember the only reason they are going to eat the Stillwater Minerals is for the salt, not the vitamins. All those vitamins and minerals taste different than pure salt. We put grain on top of the minerals in the beginning just so they know where they can find salt when they need it. This helps them acquire a test for what is good for them. The salt is like candy to a child and vitamins and minerals are the vegetables.
Adding Stillwater Minerals to their feed? The recommend feeding method is free-choice. In some case, llamas have turned away from their feed because it tastes salty. Animals are used to eating their grass or grain salt-free and then seeking out a separate source of salt.
What about other animals getting into the Stillwater Minerals? We did not formulate Stillwater for animals other than llamas and alpacas. At one time I raised my llamas with horses. They would get in to the minerals with no ill effects, but my concern would be, are the horses getting all the vitamins they need? Remember llamas as ruminants make most of their own vitamin B. Only Llama-Min 103 and 104 have any vitamin B. With my horses, I simple placed a 2X4 across a gate about waist high leading into one of the pastures. This will keep the horse out, but not the more agile llamas. As a side comment we have had horse owners buy our minerals for their high selenium content. You should probably avoid the 103 copper formula around sheep and goats.