Bio-security here at Patou Alpacas.
BADGER PROOF RING OF STEEL.
We take bio-security and herd health here very seriously.
When we moved to Budleigh House Farm in 2018 we made the decision to make the farm as bio-secure as was possible.
We had 12 acres of grazing land to tackle, all surrounded by 15ft thick hedges. The only thing we could do was to put a 'ring of steel' around the whole farm.
As a result we spent three months cutting through hedges, erecting fences and installing eleven new farm gates, all at some considerable cost. A cost that we feel is very much worth it.
The whole farm is now surounded by a brand new stock fence set in 12 ft from the original established hedgeline. Attached to the bottom of this stock fence is a single strand of electric wire. This in turn is connected to a mains powered energiser in the stable. The electric wire is 4 inches off the ground and sticks out 10 inches from the new fenceline. This prevents badgers from getting close enough to climb the fence or dig under. All gates have electric coil closures ensuring the electric fenceline has no weak points.
The fence is switched on every evening and switched off every morning. It is designed specifically to prevent badgers coming onto the farm. Since the fence went 'live' we have had no badgers on the land and they have now stopped using the laneways (proven by the use of wildlife cameras).
ANNUAL BTB TESTING.
Several years ago we made the decision to voluntarily test our herd annually for TB. We use the Enferplex blood test for this and to date we have never had a positive test.
This again has a cost implication with the testing itself and the vets time taking the blood contributing to a cost of around £18 a head. For us this is money well spent.
We also test all alpacas that we sell prior to delivery (if this falls outside the timing of the annual herd test).
We will continue to test annually and will continue to have a close relationship with our vets at Synergy Farm Health to ensure that we maintain a high health status within the herd.