Alpaca & Muscovy

Monthly Archives: September 2018

Time and Tide wait for no man nor spits offs or scanning, Kensmyth Alpaca

I often read that folk rely on Spit Offs for pregnancies or seeing the females lie down when the growing cria orgle… I shudder at the thought of all those cria that arrive unexpectedly as a result of this misconception that a Spit Off is a genuine judge as to if an Alpaca female is pregnant or not.

The only way to know if a female is pregnant and even then it can be wrong – is to scan.

Now is the time to consider weaning and all the differing groups of ages requiring barning this winter… with the Beast from the East already threatened by the Weather forecasters and a long cold winter ahead, make sure that older, younger and pregnant Alpaca are well covered and warm at all times.

Newly weaned cria might look strong and ready for anything they try but they are just babies and weaning is the most stressful time for both the cria and their mothers… see how they grow so quickly

a long suffering female will tolerate the cria practising how to mount for the first time by lying down known as cushing but it does not mean she is not pregnant – just like most mums VERY TOLERANT


and other Mums often step in to give one Mum a break – just like a Coffee morning really !


apples and gammon at Clay Meadow yum yum

Salt intake is critical but you can also have too much. I was quite shocked that the Gammon purchased at Tesco recently did not remotely suggest soaking the gammon first before boiling or roasting.

Traditionally in our home we soak for 24 hours then boil to remove excess salt – see below

then enjoy!

with apples cooked with saltanas or in a pie or crumble – yum yum

Ollie brings in the berries at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

I cant help but praise Ollie who before the wind came in spent a few hours in the orchard picking the enourmous pears for me and then went out and picked pounds and pounds of yummy blackberries… well done Ollie

yeah – I know he has an ulterior motive in the form of Crumbles and pies LOL

A sense of an ending… but who has the last laugh?

Today I have a sense of an ending. So very many things are coming to an end. The sunshine did not shake off my feeling of despair at the injustice, despite the 23 degrees we had here today.

I always feel invigorated with crisp frosts and crunchy leaves underfoot and lengthened Summers seem to make the “if onlys” of Life itself so much sadder.

However, ever an optimist, there is always a bright side to life and you should always count your blessings…

Laughter (and Karma) is the best medicine


When does a courgette become a marrow – size matters at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

Right then. All visitors to Kensmyth know that we like a Big Coffee here to start our farming days. whilst visitors are given a choice of small, regular, medium, large or extra large, it got me thinking about Courgettes.

We all love fresh veg here, especially Courgettes and I love Courgettes and can eat them pretty much anyway including raw but I recently got told off by hubby who grows them for me, for not eating them or picking them quickly enough LOL. Apparently the one in the photo is now classed as a Marrow.

So – Size matters right – at what length precisely does a Courgette become a Marrow please?? LOL !!! you judge…

Fleece breeding at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

Everybody knows at Kensmyth we breed for natural fleece. this means that pure natural fleece can be handmade into garments. But for us, the bigger Alpaca, the more the fleece and often, the more the trimming of the head is required.

Many readers will recall my stitches in my leg blog a while back and it is healing, slowly, but may thanks to Kirsty (our Shearer) for stepping in with the lads (mine) to assist on our second “head” shear of the year recently. We do this because otherwise, if left, these particular Alpaca will not be able to see anything at all – remember they see sideways having peripheral vision – long before official shearing time next year.

Peas in a pod, so proud of our breeding and fleece producing Alpaca… Kirsty can vouch for them LOL

oh – my heel is healing, thanks to all of those who ask, just taking a very long time as it was very deep… yes ouch and i walk very oddly – but you will never keep a proper farmer from working!