Alpaca Guards

by Janet Ireland June 08, 2016

Alpaca Guards

Very often alpacas are advertised as alpaca guards. Well, contrary to popular belief, not all alpacas are great guards. I liken this to humans where you have followers and leaders. At present we have 5 boys and 3 of those are excellent guards, regularly chasing our cats out of the paddock and the other 2 don’t even notice if one of the cats is in the paddock! Therefore, if you are looking to purchase alpacas to protect your chickens or lambs, it is very important that you choose the right ones. Of course, from just looking at an alpaca you will not be able to tell so it is important that the seller knows their alpacas and knows which ones will do the job. We also always link personalities into a group so that we know you will be having a happy and friendly group of alpacas.

Generally if an alpaca sees a fox it will chase it (pretty quickly too for an animal that does not look built for speed)and try to corner it to then rear and jump on it with its front legs to try to break its spine. When we moved to our house, we had loads of foxes, in fact we used to see a lot during the day. Now though, I cannot remember when I last saw a fox as I think they have learnt that they get chased.

To protect your chickens the alpacas need to be able to surround them as they cannot protect them if the chickens are in a different field to them. Alpacas are very protective of their space and each other which makes them even more endearing. Gelded alpacas are used extensively in Australia to protect their lambs. It is very important that the males are gelded otherwise they can mount the ewes and they can hurt them.

So, the correct alpacas will guard for you and you will also have the bonus of their lovely fleece too.

 





Janet Ireland
Janet Ireland

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