Farms use Alpacas to protect 24,000 Christmas turkeys from being attacked by foxes

(Web Desk) - Alpacas are part of a herd of 10 that have a very important job i.e. protecting 24,000 free range turkeys from being attacked by foxes.

The introduction of the alpacas - called Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Onion, Prancer, Sage and Vixen - was the brainchild of Tom Copas, the owner of family business Copas Turkeys.

He came up with the idea in 2015 after a series of fox attacks resulted in hundreds of birds being killed at his farm in Cookham, Berkshire.

"It’s not as strange as it sounds," Mr Copas told. "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."

The grass-eating alpacas are perfectly suited to the job because, while they will drive away foxes, they get on fine with turkeys.

Native to South America, alpacas react aggressively to foxes because in the wild foxes will try to kill unguarded baby alpacas.

"Alpacas are very territorial and although they seem standoffish, they’re docile and co-exist pretty happily with the turkeys," said Mr Copas.