Alpaca & Muscovy

Monthly Archives: February 2018

SAVING FACE and FAST FOOD at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow Farmers advice

with the forecast for Snow, Freeze and ice to follow – a word to the wise from us seasoned Farmers… the “Baboon look is not great and lasts a long time, often leading to skin cancer when the skin is badly damaged over a period of time”…

The wind/sun/snow/ is worse than being on the ski slopes so protect your face…

put strong “block” on if going out without facial protection and even if with…

and prepare yourself “fast food” in advance as you will be doing a lot of Water runs… when it freezes…


Hard Frost and Snow – great for killing larvae not great for laminitis

As an experienced horse rider, trainer and breeder, I am often being asked varying questions about land management where horses / ponies and Alpaca are concerned.

My answer is always the same – deep frosts kill worm larvae in the UK it is true – BUT how many deep frosts do we really have per annum? not that many – so poover madly, rotate regularly and used mixed species to vary the worm burden in fields.

Equine worm burden and Alpaca worm burden vary but Alpaca cannot get laminitis whereas ponies often do – answer is always to keep ponies on “non lush” ground.

NOW is the time that equines will gorge on frozen grass with the tips sugar laden and cold often causing colic and laminitis to the unwary.

regular trimming of hooves – not growing madly over the winter months but like grass still growing – will show you if there is any cause for concern … or not.  Alpaca toes on the other hand never seem to take a break and need doing more regularly to avoid any broken toes at the ends on hard ground at this time of year.


our Blacksmith of over 15 years and I were discussing this just last week

SNOW BLINDNESS – in Cirencester and all over the UK

As the UK prepares once more for the “deep freeze” the subject of Alpaca fleece has come up several times in conversations recently – especially regarding Show Alpaca who have much more round headed fleeces with facial fleece all over.

Alpaca have peripheral vision – that means they see sideways like a bird. so it is essential to trim the area to let the Alpaca physically see out.

Where the fleece is left and not trimmed it can cause something called “snow Blindness”. this was taught to me many moons ago by a friend Dominic. I have been shown how to trim around the eyes avoiding the lashes which can sometimes grow inwards for show purposes but for more practical purposes the exterior needs trimming.

Alpaca with their long necks reach into trees and hedges so it is better to leave fleece on the head to protect them from poking themselves in the eye.

For the purposes of DEMONSTRATION – the Alpaca below has had his fleece brushed forward to show how it can – at times – totally cover the eyes. Always an attention seeker, this Alpaca had great fun demonstrating this to potential clients recently from abroad.

Alpaca popularity goes from strength to strength – Countryfile this week end

As the popularity of Alpaca in the UK goes from strength to strength, more and more TV coverage is being given to their needs and care on Vet programs live  – as Alpaca are so different from other species due to their high values.

Countryfile this week end is covering the Plasma spinning which can help save young cria from death due to lack of transfer of precious antibodies from their mothers at birth.

Whilst colostrum in powdered form can be made up and bottle fed, the Plasma transfer is from the same herd into which the cria is born. Plasma is stored frozen on site – ready for action.

Soooo proud to be an Alpaca Farmer in our 11th year now!!!!

Valentines lovers get their walk at last in stunning sunshine

With Valentines day bringing weather no sensible Alpaca would want to be seen outside in, our walkers came finally on Saturday – what a lovely couple of newly weds and hilarious time we had.

The size of our yearlings and two year olds, let alone the adults,  took them totally by surprise as did our stunning fleeces and depth of staple and uniformity of our Alpaca. Crimp was just the icing on the cake to someone who has never seen inside an Alpaca fleece – taking them totally by surprise.

We explored the farm together and a great time was had by all but showing visitors how to find the secret hidden under the fleece still brings a smile of delight even to me after all this time… see for yourself…

Even the Alpaca wanted to see the brightness and fineness in this one !


no bad eggs at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow, just innovation

most people know that I do not like the smell of boiled eggs or peeling them, so I was really pleased to see the up market version of this on the internet and bought the Farmers sensibly priced ones…

what I forgot though, was the smidgen of oil to stop them sticking…

however, so long as you are not in a hurry as they take longer than conventional boiling, fab idea and no more burnt fingers peeling them. AND you can add ingredients to make them into mini Spanish Omelettes in egg shapes!

Congratulations on the news at Kensmyth

Well we have had good days and bad days recently, I had a car crash (no one hurt) so that was not good but I passed my Exams so that was good!

and a long awaited baby arrived… nope not mine, a friends daughters and

our Valentines Walkers went ahead on Saturday – what a beautiful day that was.

so its birthing boxes ready, Vet meds all in date, towels dry and pristine… let Kensmyth birthing commence shortly – bring it on!

Everybody loves Alpaca cria and we cannot wait!


Thames Head for Valentines – great food great value

As Farmers we go “out” when the opportunity arises and for Valentines 2018 found ourselves trying a Pub recommended to us by a friend… the Thames Head just outside of Cirencester on the road to Bath, just under the Tunnel and on the Right shortly afterwards.

Wow – the Pub has a great atmosphere with little nooky places to snuggle up to your loved ones rather than open plan “all eat together” like Wagamamas – ok in Wagamamas but not for a rare romantic night out.

Log fires gently burning without the smoke inhalation of “too small pubs” who try to put everything into the room to get the feel of a bigger pub and fail because you want to leave early as you can feel an asthma attack coming on!

Nope this place is the right size, the right balance, friendly staff, great food and great prices. We went for good old fashioned Pub Grub but you can opt for much higher level haute cuisine if you want!

Absolutely recommend it to everyone and the Sticky Toffee Pudding is just to burst for!