Alpaca & Muscovy

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

Well that is a funny title from William Shakespeare I hear you say? Nay, it is a reminder of this time of year to our friends who have booked Alpaca experiences with us that “the boys are back in town”… but what on earth does that mean? It simply means that the boys have finished on our Summer paddocks and are moved back closer to the farmstead for their time for fun with people which they love.

well, it is also a reminder hence “lend me your ears” that I am not going to “bury Caesar” but to remind Alpaca owners that with ground conditions wet underfoot and minus temperatures that the boys testicles can literally stick to the ground in such freezing conditions and well, when they stand up does not bear thinking about!

Time to change fields, rotate and rest the paddocks …

So for the sake of the boys, Alpaca padded feet and your backs carrying water any great distance (down long acres to fill buckets) – get them in at night during this cold snap and in wet conditions this winter!

So why the first part – as you choke on your Gin and Tonic and your eyes pop out on stalks – because we use the stud boys in the later parts of the year for Alpaca handling with friends and family – and the odd promised walk for those wishing to brave the elements!

Alpaca stud boys can weigh up to 17 stone depending on size and so are not often used for walking unless by Adults or those used to handling livestock due to their sheer size – ours are and – they love it – whose next?


Everything is GREEN at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

Well we are very Eco friendly here and most of my readers have met my  onsite resident Frog- Toad by now – here he is again… very GREEN and very BIG when he jumps about…

and its THAT time of year again – very GREEN – is it not?

don’t even get me started on why poor hubby with all our land here is unable to grow our own Vegetables now – how long have you got!!!!


Christmas presents from Kensmyth Clay Meadow, Cirencester

“That ” time  is once more upon us and I am asked for ideas for Animal and Alpaca crazy friends – my response is always the same – give a gift to last. Handmade Alpaca garments if washed carefully last years and years – after all they are “straight off the back”…


for the lover of silver – we have our own specially designed Alpaca pendants made in the Cotswolds…

and a whole range of stunning handmade from British Alpaca – boutique garments in all sizes and colours…


Think Christmas – Think Kensmyth

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

Sometimes you look at something but you cannot “see” it. Alpaca are like that and they hide their illness. This Alpaca is not ill but she was “carrying” her ear on occasion…

Further investigation showed that the ear tag was slightly digging into her ear. This was not visible to the naked eye and would probably not have been noticed by an inexperienced owner… removal of the ear tag was a necessity and she will be retagged in due course when the slightly sensitive skin has settled down.

Can you see the impression above the hole that has been made into the skin making it darker – bruised ? This would, if left probably cause a haematoma in the skin leading to a pussy infection – better out when spotted by the vigilant!

Ear tagging is compulsory for registration of Alpaca in the British Alpaca Society Register of all Alpaca BUT they must also be microchipped too.

So she is young I hear you say – absolutely not – this can happen at any time – Ears do not all grow at the same rate and in the same size or shape – there is no “once tagged fits all” with Alpaca!

A Tag and a Microchip per Alpaca is part of your farming regime – its just that no one tells you that frequently they have to be removed and retagged and that microchips too can get lost and need redoing!


Jungle boob at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

well I have been taking some flack lately for being late on my Blogs – and all I can say is “its a Boob job” hahah – no seriously amongst rushing round farm work and husbandry for the Alpaca, we all have the inevitable “call” for that boob squashing elbow mangling pinching horrible – you guessed it mammary check up. Not a job I would like but they do literally thousands from the mobile Boob testing container in Cirencester Hospital car park – job done!

Meantime, I caught a glimpse of I am a celebrity get me out of here with a lady (!) who didn’t like snakes – really – I love them! those of you who regularly follow my blog know I regularly have to handle a few Pythons and slippery snakes!

meantime – back to work, it is the season for selling Alpaca woolies – even if it is a bit mild right now… winter is a coming!

Genetics 10 years later in the fleece at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

We all know that the Show Ring requires a different “look” in every breed than that in the paddock and Alpaca breeding is no different. The fleece remains everything however because it is key to the continuation of the Alpaca industry and all the product you make yourselves or send to factories to be made.

Genetics have to be “right” at the outset and Australian Genetics brought into the UK varied tremendously when Alpaca were first introduced back just before the Millenium. Yes, they have been here for nearly 20 years now so no “flash in the pan” there for those who thought such thoughts.

Alpaca have become incredibly popular all over the world now and Alpaca is now for sale in shops blended with polyester even in Tesco, Asda, M&S etc. However, true Alpaca handmade garments continue to go from strength to strength and are in high demand.

Commercially farmed now across the UK, Alpaca fleeces vary tremendously and it is not just Genetics. it is how you feed them, where you are in the world (sparse grass, lush grass) and affects from the weather. But you have to start with good genetics and you have to “have a plan and make it work”. Whilst new stud boys bring in new genetics I despair when I see folk rush off to buy the “latest show winner” for their herd without a thought to Biosecurity or the fact it may never have reproduced yet and so you have no idea what the progeny will be like. Two stunning models in humans do not always produce a stunning child and Alpaca are just the same!

Old fashioned principles stand at Kensmyth… “if it aint broke – why fix it?”

The Alpaca we produce here year on year have superb fleeces and are good sized Alpaca with fantastic temperaments and conformation – what more can we ask?

A quick squiz (look) at the “old boys” fleeces when doing ADE jabs this week showed that on their 7th fleece – our boys still have it…

what is more important is that these were taken with an iPhone, in the barn, on a ropey weather day and are just as seen on the Alpaca – no false lighting, no false framing, no doctored or photoshopping to make them stand out… they are just genuinely fantastic old boy fleeces and the reason that our progeny from them is also outstanding.

Iphone pictures of the fleeces of some of our young stock from these two sires also taken recently…

Hotting up and drooling at Kensmyth – farming life and dogs

People always ask me “when do you get your Christmas dinner?” and my answer is always the same – late in the evening when all livestock have been seen to. It has been that way for farmers forever and certainly for over 30 years in this family!

Farm dogs get fed in the evening after working in the fields – but that doesn’t mean they cannot smell the roasts cooking…. they do make me laugh…