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Author Topic: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?  (Read 2383 times)

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« on: June 08, 2016, 09:09:33 pm »
I love keeping chickens and have always had them freeranging across the field, it was great for a few years but the last couple of years I feel I am just providing pick and mix for foxes. I currently have the remaining 6 with double height sheep netting, but it's only a matter of time until he gets them. I don't really like keeping them cooped up, and now I'm considering Alpaca, if they were to share a field with the chickens will they really keep them safe? It would also be for lambing time, only a small flock of 10 sheep.
Just interested to know how good their guarding really is? Any advice much appreciated.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 09:29:04 pm »
A friend bought a guardian alpaca and it kicked her dog nearly to death.  I don't have a clue about hens, but it's an interesting question  :llama:
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HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 10:46:05 pm »
I don't think I've heard of any used mainly for poultry protection, but they seem to work for sheep.
The smell of pigs seems to deter foxes (or mask the smell of chickens) Have you considered some weaners for the freezer?  ;)

dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 11:06:49 pm »
Ive already got pigs they live next door to the chickens!

Callia

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2016, 05:59:53 pm »
I have 8 alpacas and all the ducks, chickens and geese are let out into the paddocks everyday with them. They are extremely sweet natured with the birds and will even let them eat out of their feed buckets. I certainly haven't ever seen any aggression from the alpacas towards the birds and my big gander will actually chase them away if he doesn't feel like sharing his paddling pool.
I really don't know how good they would be at guarding them against foxes as I have never actually witnessed it but, there was a dead fox in their field shelter a few weeks ago and I know if they see anything suspicious they make an alarm sound and charge over to investigate. I haven't lost a bird since Ive had them but that could be a coincidence.
I have introduced my dogs to mine very slowly and still wouldn't ever let the dogs run loose in the same paddock but they are ok with me just walking through with them now even if they do make a bit of a racket.

Mrs Pea

  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 04:57:00 pm »
We've got 3 male alpacas who live in the field with our chickens/ducks/geese (which are contained by electric fencing).
We have lost geese, ducks and turkeys to the foxes/badgers while the alpacas were in situ so for us it isn't foolproof but I have twice seen them chase foxes out of the field and several times have seen them give chase to something but haven't seen what.
We have 3 dogs who all go into the field with me several times a day but my dogs have all been trained to behave with the alpacas and our sheep and pigs.
When we introduced 2 lambs to the field last year I had to intervene when one of the alpacas decided they were a threat ::) but it was sorted out very quickly.


dixie

  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: How protective of poultry are Alpaca?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2016, 04:22:52 pm »
Thank you for your replies, I'm not sure it's worth spending a few hundred £££'s to try and save 6 hens! Plus we have several youngish trees, hubby wouldn't be impressed if they got eaten. ;D

 

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