Alpaca & Muscovy

Monthly Archives: February 2019

Spring births ahead at Kensmyth Alpaca Clay Meadow

well the sun has been shining for a little while and the Kubota has been moving more “things” around in preparation… the clue is in what they are as to what they are for LOL. Sheep hurdles in case you didn’t guess – nearly lambing time folks.


Celebration of life and sad goodbyes at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

I found myself winding to Church for the Remembrance service of my friend who I realised I had known nearly 50 years and she would have been proud of the full Church that day…


she adored her Bichon Frise – don’t we all love dogs in our life…

such a lovely lady, so kind, such a good friend to have known almost all of my life… she lived in the moment and was always hopeful… I thought she would appreciate these words too…

Kensmyth Alpaca Clay Meadow onsite husbandry ongoing – graphic

well, I was going to leave the testicle issue alone but I think it is sooo important for new Alpaca owners to understand that ongoing care onsite observation and Veterinary experience is so key to a successful Alpaca farm.

the boys (3) castrated a while ago, at a typical age (2+) reacted differently as we all do. one perfect example healed almost immediately, second a few minor issues but nothing major, the third required constant supervision and barn stay until out of the woods for potential infection. Starting in perfect castration weather (cold, ice, snow, low temperatures so less risk of mud/fly strike etc) but ending in muddy warm (14 degrees) conditions it is key to know EXACTLY what is going on with your Alpaca – 24/7

as the right testicle area had swollen requiring antibiotics and pain relief, the next issue was the underneath of the Alpacas tail – referred to as the DOCK – was rubbing on the enlarged swollen area where the testicle had been and incision had been made and would not normally be in close proximity.

this time with the fleece from underneath the dock trimmed back and the aid of sudocreme applied carefully to the wound in sterile conditions and ongoing jabs administered… you can see the difference and eventual full recovery.

so please, don’t tell me Castration in Alpaca is routine and they can just be thrown out in a field to recover LOL



Castrates update – Kensmyth, Clay Meadow GRAPHIC PHOTO WARNING

Sooo many people seem to think Alpaca are easy to keep and Castrating is a breeze of a Vet in, out, snip, snip and back in the field – I wish!

Each Alpaca like each human will recover at a different pace and if you throw them out into wet, muddy fields where they may over exercise, is it surprising that FB sites are full of newbie owners wondering why their recently castrated alpaca are then ill?

The castrated boys recently done here at Kensmyth were kept in for 48 hours in near sterile conditions, monitored for temperature and/or potential infection and then slowly let out for a short period at a time so no issues here in that respect…

however, one healed almost immediately, one took a while longer and one blew up like a balloon – all sorted obviously but needing careful ongoing aftercare just as any “operation” would to avoid infection.

I get the greatest jobs taking photos don’t I? good job our boys have such fab temperaments




wet, wet, wet at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

well it has been wet lately and the “Clay” of Clay Meadow gives a clue as to our ground make up LOL. Being on a hill helps a little but it doesn’t stop the Farmer getting wet… such a great look isn’t it?

but hubby always comes up with the goods – bless – warming food pre Valentines to share!

Wonky carrots – such a missed trick for the supermarkets

well after the phone calls re the castration photos I have been asked if they are for sale a zillion times and the answer is still “jurys out” they are undergoing halter retraining whilst convalescing but as one cuts over 3.5 kg and the other 4kg and both are white, I really would prefer they join the Walking Team and I get to keep their fleeces for our products – best bloodlines produce best fleeces and castrates produce superb fleeces.

meantime (sorry Mum) Ollie and I found these amongst the carrot bags and it started me off again on the fact that the Supermarkets are missing such a marketing bonanza by not using genuinely wonky carrots – you couldn’t make these up if you tried LOL…


WARNING – Graphic Castration photos follow, Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

WARNING – Graphic Castration photos follow – you have been warned 

Well for those of you who think of Alpaca and farming them as “cute and fluffy” creatures, this year I will enlighten you as to the hard life farming Alpaca (any livestock) is and the amount of dedication required.

Harsh weather is one thing but soon goes and you are left with mud and gloop in our clay pastures unless carefully maintained (as we do) … this means any livestock operated on needs barning to prevent infection. Tekplas partitions in our barns are moved around and are used continually here as easy wipe down.

The following photographs show different Alpaca being castrated in order to demonstrate how it is done and how they are not “lamb ringed” at birth, requiring an operation and sensitive care and handling by experienced owners at all times. afterwards the genital area will swell often giving the impression that the testicles are still in there but this swelling soon abates. what to watch for closely are signs of temperature, anaemia, not eating etc when antibiotics might then be needed – rear view of swelling shown below not graphic…

as photographer on standby on this occasion – my personal thanks to my son Ollie for holding the “cut standing” Alpaca and to Vets Chris Warren and Jonathan Cranston for a superb clean castration of these Alpaca.

WARNING – Graphic Castration photos follow  

Please note Kensmyth do not and will not castrate under 2 years old as this can prevent growth and maturity of Alpaca including bone development – so do not expect tiny testicles when you get to that part.

Cut standing:

the first incision is made carefully to remove the first testicle…

which is then dropped out in order to be cut off with clamping to prevent blood flow… then the second testicle is removed…

then the Alpaca is stitched up (the observant amongst you will notice different Alpaca each photo!)

and then the finished article – job done!


perfectly matched testicles taken from adult males.


Now if you want to see the difference between “cut standing” where the Alpaca is sedated with local anaesthetic and “dropped” see below. The cost is higher for “dropped” and as always a slight risk to the Alpaca for being “put under” so it is a matter of preference and facilities available really as the risk is so minimal. There can be complications in each case and recovery and aftercare to avoid infection is exactly the same “cut standing” or “dropped”

two Vets attend on each occasion and sterile conditions are required.



Jasmine Thompson – Like I’m gonna lose you Kensmyth, Cirencester

Due to the snow my husband was stuck away and couldn’t get back last week end but enjoyed minus 5 degrees where he was. During the week end I spoke to many clients, family and friends and I realised that whilst mine was safe where he was, for many their “special person” was never going to be with them again – so many accidents

with Sundown tonight I realised yet again that losing someone can be partners, lovers, friends, anyone, anytime, anyplace and as I weaned yet more livestock taking them from their Mothers today unforewarned I felt for them too remember Tomorrow is never promised – not for anyone.

I have a favourite, beautiful and haunting song by Jasmine Thompson called “Like I’m gonna lose you” – read the words and try to follow it every day and you wont go far wrong…

I found myself dreaming in silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie
That every broken heart knows
We were walking on moonlight
When you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared
And I was all alone
I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we’re not promised tomorrow

So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye
Wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted
Cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time
So I’m gonna love you

[Verse 2]
In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is, you never know
So I’ll kiss you longer, baby
Any chance that I get

I’ll make the most of the minutes
And love with no regret
Let’s take our time to say what we want
Use what we got before it’s all gone
No, we’re not promised tomorrow


So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye
Wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted
Cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time
So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna love you
Like we’re saying goodbye
So I’m gonna love you
Like I’m gonna lose you
I’m gonna hold you
Like I’m saying goodbye
Wherever we’re standing
I won’t take you for granted
Cause we’ll never know when
When we’ll run out of time
So I’m gonna love you