Guard alpacas protect Christmas turkeys from preying foxes

You don’t want to mess with these guys (Picture: PA)

A farm in a Berkshire village has come up with a creative solution to predators savaging its poultry.

These vigilant alpacas have been given the important task of protecting bronze turkeys raised at the Copas family farm in Cookham.

They were first introduced in 2016 to protect 24,000 of the free range birds from being attacked in the night.

Before they came along 160 turkeys were killed in a single year, but the alpacas have since kept the death toll at zero.

The farm said: ‘We now have 10 beautiful boys at our farm and are on the lookout for more friends to join them.’

They were brought in after foxes ravaged 160 of the birds in a single year (Picture: PA)
Last year the six kilogram turkeys sold for around £99 each (Picture: PA)
Alpacas are used all over the world to fend off dogs and coyotes (Picture: PA)

They might seem like an unusual choice of security guard, but Tom Copas, who owns the family business, says they’re used across the globe to fend off dogs and coyotes.

He told the BBC: ‘We’ve always had dogs that keep the birds safe, but they can’t be on the ranges all the time, unlike the alpacas who stay there day and night.’

Tom says they also get on much more with their current protectors compared to canines.

After the birds were taken away last year, Copas Traditional Turkeys e-commerce and marketing manager Simon Windsor told the Maidenhead Advertiser: ‘It’s a bit strange seeing them on their own now all the turkeys are gone, but they don’t seem too lonely.’

The farm says they get along well with the turkeys (Picture: PA)
They’ve helped keep the death toll at zero after hundreds were being savaged (Picture: PA)
The farm now keeps 10 of the ‘beautiful boys’ to protect the livestock (Picture: PA)
They instantly raise the alarm as soon as they see a fox or dog (Picture: PA)
Last year the farm’s six kilogram turkeys sold for around £99 each (Picture: PA)
The loyal and fluffy protectors have become a popular fixture at the farm (Picture: PA)


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