Advert

Alpaca 'Bodyguards' Brought In To Protect Christmas Turkeys From Foxes

Published 
| Last updated 

Alpaca 'Bodyguards' Brought In To Protect Christmas Turkeys From Foxes

When it comes to protecting turkeys from hungry foxes, one Berkshire farm has decided to not take any chances by bringing in a herd of alpacas to protect the Christmas birds from being eaten.

The owners of Copas Traditional Turkeys farm, located in Maidenhead, Berkshire, have welcomed a group of the furry, four-legged guards in a bid to fulfil their festive orders without any problems.

Well, without the stock being devoured, to put it simply. Which has caused them problems in years gone by.

The turkeys at the Copas Traditional Turkeys farm have some new - and very fluffy - bodyguards. Credit: PA
The turkeys at the Copas Traditional Turkeys farm have some new - and very fluffy - bodyguards. Credit: PA
Advert

The vigilant animals were brought in five years ago after 160 turkeys were gobbled in a single year. Since then, the death toll has remained at zero thanks to these hard b******s.

Tom Copas, owner of the family business, came up with the ploy back in 2015. Speaking about his idea, he said: "It's not as strange as it sounds. Alpacas are used all over the world to deter wild dogs and coyotes.

"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."

It seems as if the alpacas and the turkeys are getting along just fine! Credit: PA
It seems as if the alpacas and the turkeys are getting along just fine! Credit: PA
Advert

He went on to add: "Alpacas are very territorial and although they seem standoffish, they're docile and co-exist pretty happily with the turkeys."

According to the Traditional Farm Fresh Turkey Association's chairwoman, Kate Martin, measures to protect turkeys from being eaten is more necessary than ever thanks to a shortage of European farm hands which has left supermarkets in need of birds.

Ms Martin explained: "This year it's looking like there is a national shortage of turkeys when we're talking about supermarket shelves, rather than buying direct from your farm."

She went on to reveal that 'unprecedented numbers' of turkeys have been ordered this year in comparison to the same time in previous years.

Advert

The Metro reported that some farms are claiming to have taken five times more orders than at this point in 2020.

Credit: Olena Danileiko/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Olena Danileiko/Alamy Stock Photo

With some people worrying that they won't be able to get a turkey nearer the time, some shoppers have resorted to getting the frozen alternatives in a bid to avoid potential disruption.

Tesco said it was confident of good product availability for Christmas but there could still be 'bumps in the road' amid supply chain challenges affecting the sector.

Advert

The supermarket giant praised the 'resilience of our supply chain' as it said it has already hired about 15,000 extra temporary staff as part of preparations for Christmas.

Ken Murphy, chief executive of Tesco, said that about 60 percent of the turkeys it sells each year are frozen but that this is likely to be higher this year.

He explained: "We currently have a 10 percent increase of turkeys and there is noticeably an elevated demand for frozen turkeys.

"We have a resilient supply chain and really good availability levels."

Featured Image Credit: Carolyn Jenkins/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: farm, Turkey, Community, Animals

Rebecca Shepherd
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Revolutionary DNA Technology Could Stop Serial Killers For Good

8 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

News

Paul Scholes’ Daughter Alicia Shares Video Of Her Dad Appearing To Bite Her Toenails

44 minutes ago