Monthly Archives: August 2015
much excitement for the Alpaca this week end as they finished their training for “crowds” and preparation for the Cirencester Rugby Club visit. much preparation this end as you can imagine…
1. first of all visiting the site to check what Biosecurity measures need to be put in place on the day then…
2. preparing the flat loader the night before in order to set up the pens…
3. setting up the Marquee to provide protection from rain and sun, then the pens, clearing and spraying the ground area and ensuring hay and water are in plentiful supply…
4. having returned to Kensmyth Stud with the flat loader, unhitched, caught the Alpaca, hitched the trailer loaded the Alpaca, then unload safely at the venue…
5. checking and working with the trained Alpaca… not forgetting the marketing of course…
6. The Alpaca watch bemused as the Bouncy Castles are erected – see how chilled they are…
7. entertaining the Rugby players…
8. doing the whole thing in reverse once the Alpaca are safely back home…
Busy days previously and ahead, more catching up soon!
you know the old cliché “rainy days and Mondays?” well the Carpenters had a point did they not! Today is Bank Holiday Monday and it is torrential rain. All our herd are in their shelters eating hay from well stocked racks with all cria groups tucked up in the barns. massive muck out ahead but with this sort of weather the younger cria are safer there to give them some respite from the torrents.
I feel so sorry for the Events that are on today, we have had to cancel one ourselves booked for today but managed to take four boys to Cirencester Rugby Club yesterday as promised… wet but nothing like today!
I know we do not have anything like the rain experienced in the North but… we are in the South … watch out for Liver Fluke this year!
Crazy busy here as usual and soo much to say! Currently torrential rain on Sunday at noon so I thought I would play “catch up”. We have the new seasons collection underway, hay stored for winter, Events going crazy still, cria doing well, fleece skirted and gone to the Mill to be made into yarn for next Years Boutique garments, filming for Kubota, soil sampling, faeces testing and intense field management – you name it we are doing it all!
Really pleased with the quality of Fleeces on our existing females producing both themselves and in their cria. Legacy managed to produce just one cria from last year which is stunning, really pleased with him. We never push our Stud Boys to work and let them “come to it” and this year we hope to pregnancy test positive 5 to him based on the quality of cria he produced this year. Legends cria continue to be outstanding and here are just a few mouth watering examples…
We have been busy filming here and the video will be released shortly. Meantime we are delighted to announce that Kubota sponsors Kensmyth Alpaca Farm for their Disabled visitors. See article under Kubota News
Also visible on Farming UK website under Machinery and Equipment news.
The many benefits of choosing compact and versatile groundcare machinery over larger models is becoming more commonplace in small estates, farms and smallholdings, as the sophistication and capabilities of these smaller machines, such as utility vehicles and compact turf machinery, grows.
Kensmyth Alpaca Stud, situated just outside the Cotswold village of South Cerney, is one such example, with Kubota’s four-seater utility vehicle – the RTV1140 – now an indispensible part of daily operations for the rapidly developing alpaca farm.
The daily running of the farm involves a wide and varied range of duties, so the need for equipment that is both nimble and powerful, and that can cope with the undulating terrain of the estate (chosen to replicate the landscape found in the alpaca’s native Peru) is vital.
“I have always used Kubota since I first started breeding Alpaca in 2008,” explains Helen Kendall Smith, Owner of the Kensmyth Alpaca Stud. “Our previous farm had flat land and the paddocks were smaller, but when we relocated the alpaca business to Clay Meadow, the land was chosen for being uphill and down dale, as alpaca are inquisitive, far seeing quadrupeds and they love the hills.”
Despite the RTV1140 being the most used kit day-to-day, it was the Kubota’s G23 high dump commercial mower that was first purchased, and as savvy and money conscious agricultural farmers, a number of competitive machines were demonstrated prior to purchase. But, following tests, it was proven that rival machines didn’t match the Kubota on ability, aftersales support or price.
“Whilst the G23 isn’t your conventional machine for an alpaca farmer, it is perfect for topping the grass in the smaller paddocks and collecting it pre shearing. The fleece is critical to our natural alpaca handmade clothing, so the least amount of grass, straw, hay or burrs in it, the easier it is to prepare for being made into yarn. It can also be used to hoover up leaves on a low setting, which ultimately protects the grass.
Alongside the G23, the farm’s two RTV1140s have proven equally as invaluable to the successful running of the site, in part for the day-to-day farm work, but also to assist in the programs that Helen and her team run for visitors with physical and mental illnesses; as well as those with more minor physical afflictions, such as broken legs.
“The cognitive and therapeutic benefits of ‘hands on’ experience with alpaca is understood worldwide, and we’ve seen a high demand from visitors with physical and mental illnesses eager to spend time here. The RTV1140s have been instrumental in our ability to facilitate this, so we are hugely grateful to Dave Roberts (Kubota UK MD) in helping us financially with a kind donation on Kubota’s behalf.”
Alongside the will to meet the needs of all the farm’s visitors, the Kubota comes into its own on a daily basis for a raft of on-site duties, with Helen often using the vehicle in preference to their tractor.
“Transporting hay to all of our paddocks and moving straw to the field shelters in the winter months is simple and straightforward with the RTV1140, but less so with our tractor. In the drier months, I can attach a spring tine harrow and scarify the fields, this wouldn’t be possible with a heavier machine.
“The RTV is easy to manoeuvre round corners thanks to its excellent steering, and the hydrostatic braking system is especially useful when tackling the many hills and slopes across the site. I also save myself the back breaking and time-consuming task of manual spraying, by adding a sprayer attachment to the tipping bed, allowing us to keep on top of Scotch Thistle and weeds.
“In spring, I attach a fertiliser spreader, which means I can get out much earlier than I could if I was using the tractor. Working with the weather is critical, and it’s often the case that the ground is too wet for a heavy tractor, which makes the 1140 invaluable to our work here. The tippable flatbed has an excellent load capacity, too, so perfect for materials transportation, be it poles for fencing or for collecting alpaca waste.
Well July was hectic – yes I know we are in August but I am still catching up. Despite best endeavours it was a traumatic month but we believe we are “out of the woods now” and with our Breach cria now walking on four legs (serious damage to hinds during birth) and our last cria born being a leg back but now on three weeks, we can breathe a sigh of relief. It was a season not without sadness but that is farming and where there is livestock there is always dead stock and if you cannot keep that in mind at all times, do not take up farming.
More on that another time but for now a request to see the massive South Cerney Beavers sunflowers and a morning glory photo…
I have so much to catch up on I am a month behind on blogging if not more. However, with the Accu Weather forecast today saying rain and 23 degrees, the reality being no rain and 29 degrees, I had to take these shots of some of the girls and some of the cria in varying fields, getting into the shade!
the shade of the field shelter and the shelters themselves are critical in all weathers for young and old Alpaca alike.
some will, some will not but they must have the facility and also water!
I cannot believe that August has snook in and it has been so long since I blogged. so much has been happening, so many changes in the weather, the last of the cria born and Alpaca gone to new homes too!
We have been moving paddocks onto fresh new grass and then flail topping the vacant fields after poovering. now they will be rested until they have new occupants. Weaning is not too far away. so that means Field Shelters moving too…
and finally our reticent stud boy has come into his own with “looove all around”
… only taken this boy two years to get going and now he wants to use the hot tub for his canoodling – no way!
so far behind on blogging with the Steam Fair last week end and so much news and so much to do!