Alpacas require little food and hence are very cheap to keep once the initial investment has been made. They are efficient grazers but do require good quality hay in the winter. One small bale per animal per month is sufficient.
We feed our lactating females a supplementary pellet that provides them with the essential minerals they require to keep them in prime condition. The higher protein levels help to maintain health and productivity. Although the feed may seem expensive they only require one small handful each every day. Again a collection of buyers can group together to reduce feed costs. Old drainpipe can be used as a trough if you do not want to buy galvanised feeders.
They do like to have a clean supply of water as they will become dehydrated rather than drink stale water. Obviously they will drink greater quantities in hot weather or if heavily lactating.