Monthly Archives: January 2022
Sometimes an Alpaca touches your heart and you want to keep it forever but sometimes letting go however painful is the best for the Alpaca and not your own feelings.
She is an old fashioned alpaca and overweight and dips her feet in the water troughs and reverses when you want to catch her just to make sure you really do want just her – a truly great character.
Daisy has been with us for ten years and after birthing a breach many years ago which left her unable to have any more cria, she has been here at Kensmyth looking after the cria year on year when they were weaned.. here are some of her “wards” of previous years..
It did not matter how many, how few, if males or females, Daisy kept them all in line and letting her go was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made in my Alpaca life; what I will do without her next year for the 2023 weanlings I simply do not know and she will be greatly missed.
“bring them in Daisy” was often heard across the farm and slow but sure she brought them into the barns from whichever field she was in and in a true Camelid line!
Each year however, as she became a little more “mature” I felt guilty taking her weanlings from her when the time was right until the next years ones came to her. She IS in this picture but head down on the grass!
This year a client fell in love with Daisy (who would not) as well as the girls she was looking after and begged me to let her go with them and after much soul searching ( I even phoned a friend to check I should ) we felt it was the right thing for Daisy who will spend the rest of her life with a group of girls, two of whom she looked after from weaning in 2021 and one from 2020 so a lovely group of four female alpaca and to a cracking home. In all our time with her Daisy never spat at anyone, such a gentle soul.
We had been asked to let her go before but this year we felt Daisy loved these girls more than previous years bossing them about and fussing them over just as if she had given birth to them.
Two whites, a fawn and a black, a lovely group of girls who all get on really well with Daisy as the Boss – go girl.
Miss her like crazy and the farm does not feel the same knowing she is not there but she is absolutely loving her new home and new routine and is “bringing them in Daisy” for her new owner – what a trouper of an Alpaca!
No time to waste as these boys are growing quickly, chip off the old block literally, well done to our Stud Males for their efforts in 2021.. Halter training is slow and gentle and kind..
Well we decided on a day out recently to see some of the sights in the Cotswolds and boy did we but more on that in later blogs. Travelling through Bibury with its tiny cottages and quaint scenes, on the way there we had passed an Apple van broken down.. well yes you guessed it, we met it on the way back too!
Towed behind a Tractor it was very slow
and the second van behind it ensured everyone kept their distance,
we did not mind because Bibury and Barnsley are just beautiful..
well I know where to get my Bramleys wholesale now too!
I do laugh when people ask what our ground is like when our property is called Clay Meadow.. I never say it out loud but I do think the name gives a clue?
Solid, holds the wet but luckily on a hill so rarely any surface water.. except in the gateways straw binds it together and prevents the need for gravel.
Beautiful all around and can see for miles.. all the livestock love moving up and down the hills as it is a whole new world the other side of the hill for them!
Fat boy or should I say Mud Monster is no different.. great to be able to lead a big strong colt in just a thin leather foal slip at 8.5 months.. testament to his temperament
I never tire of seeing the beauty in the “Great outdoors” even when it is really, really cold.. the sky and the ground so far apart and what makes us humans cold just never touches the Alpaca when it is cold (well not unless it rains of course) ..
Alpaca are bred for the show ring with more fleece coverage on their face which is fantastic to see but they also need to see out too. Alpaca have peripheral vision which means they see sideways so it is very important to give a little trim between shearings to ensure your Alpaca can physically see where they are going.. the Alpaca above and immediately below could not until she had a little trim as you can see from the after below – she can see now!
Every little helps – she can see us now!
Well we have started January wet and cold which means the groups all have to come in to let their feet dry out. Alpaca have pads on their feet which get soggy – a bit like your feet if you stay too long in the bath – so they need to be kept firm and dry in all weathers. Frost thaws and turns to wet even though it is cold and wet ground can cause problems for Alpaca feet.
Why? All ground has flints and stones and softened pads walking across non bowling green terrain can get little cuts which you would not see and so an infection could occur making the alpaca unwell from a source you could not see, likewise wet feet create soggy inside the toes and is just not nice for them.
Ranging across the plains on dry sparse soils is a long cry from wet soggy fields and endless rain with the long grasses in the UK – so look after your Alpaca feet and in turn they will look after you by staying fit and healthy!
our boys love “dry nights” as we call it – how could they not with on tap meals, hay and fresh water all day and night??
I have been extolling the virtues of Alpaca Nannies now since 2007. Not all barren or older retired Alpaca females make good Nannies but sometimes you get that one in a million who is worth their weight in gold to your herd.. the one who takes the youngsters into the shelters and plants themselves in front of the doorway to stop them going out into the cold, the one who rounds them up and shows them where the feeders are and where the shelters are in the first place.. you know the one who does all the babysitting so the Mums can have a rest.
Well this lady has looked after her own cria and then when she had a breach and could have no more cria, she has looked after the cria here at Kensmyth year on year since. Seen above here leading them into the barn and below enjoying the grass with her trio of girls to look after..
This year instead of taking her group away when the next lot of cria due are weaned, she will be staying with her chosen three and it is time for another Nanny to step in. Bless her.
Wow – only born in May 2021 and Fly is nearly level with his Mum who stands at 16hh to the wither. Alpaca followers may not know a horse is measured from the level ground without shoes (horse steel plates) to the highest point of the shoulder known as the “Wither”.
just look at how big her beautiful weaned colt is now at just 8 months old – wow!
Happy New Year 2022
Enjoy the mild weather and your first day of the New Year – who else could bring such a smile to our faces?