A Scottish farmer has beefed up his security to keep his turkeys safe from foxes in the run up to Christmas using ALPACAS.
Craig Michie, 33, was inspired by the farming techniques of his Colombian wife’s family when he decided to bring in the pair of South American animals.
He has even named them after Colombian football stars Carlos Valderrama and Rene Higuita, who were part of the country’s celebrated team in the early 1990s.
The burly alpacas protect his turkeys from predators such as foxes, badgers and birds of prey.
Craig, who runs the Barra Bronzes farm near Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, said: “The alpacas bring added security in warding off predators, allowing the turkeys to range further for a more varied diet.
“The birds are free to roam as animals such as foxes, badgers and birds of prey are put off by the presence and smell of the alpacas.
“My daughter calls them the ‘pacas’ and the whole family have become attached to them.
“They are here to stay. But the main benefit is to the turkeys.”
The guards are already performing above and beyond their duties.
He said: “A fox came into the range and next thing we know, we just watched as the alpacas chased it straight back out again.”
“I can sleep better at night knowing the alpacas are out there taking care of the turkeys.
“If something got in and killed them, I could lose my livelihood.”
Alpacas – who look similar to llamas – typically stamp their feet and lower their heads if a threat comes too close.
This is only the first year the farm has had the alpacas but Craig now has more turkeys as a result.
He said: “Obviously we are in competition with other turkey farmers but I would definitely recommend having alpacas.
“They are worth their weight in gold.”