The unique digestive system of a llama contains one stomach with
three compartments. Food is taken in through the esophagus and
stored in the first compartment called the rumen. Most food
collects in the rumen immediately after being swallowed and it's
later returned to the mouth as cud for chewing thoroughly.
their food to rechew it. You can observe a bubble-like lump coming
up the front of the neck when they bring up their cud. They then
chew it with their back teeth in a figure eight motion - normally
chewing 55-75 times. They swallow it again, wait about eight
seconds, and then bring up another cud to chew. When the cud is
re-swallowed, it passes into the other two compartments of the
stomach. This rumination enables the llama to break down its feed
materials very efficiently. By the time all the nutrients are
absorbed from the digestive tract, the waste is formed in small
pellets call feces.