Alpaca & Muscovy

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Christmas is coming – yikes I had better do something about it

with all that is going on with family and friends, livestock preparations for Christmas were underway yonks ago in expectation of ice and snow lock down here at Clay Meadow. So all Hay, Straw and feed deliveries were long ago scheduled and stored safely in the dry. however, I have not done a single thing about Christmas here in terms of pressies etc yet … best get on it BUT I did see some beautiful trees and we did get the colt foal a horse ball – does that count – coincidentally it was Christmas red?

and we did go to M & S and see the copious amounts of mince pies for sale…

and to Dobbies and see some Christmas trees…

but I like this one best of all…

Cria fleeces Wintertime at Kensmyth Alpaca Clay Meadow – wowser!

Well many of you will recall that I was kicked earlier this year by someone elses Draught Colt requiring stitches and a cast on my ankle – net result a friend of mine helped out with essential Alpaca work until the leg recovered. Well, I have to say I was delighted with her comments when visiting Kensmyth recently about the livestock superb condition and most importantly the stunning fleeces, here are a few shots we took last week…

humble apologies for them being totally natural, no diamond rings and painted nails OR photoshopping LOL

Does my Bum look big in this – Draught horse growing at Kensmyth

Everything is still growing here at Kensmyth despite the inclement weather – by this I mean the youngstock weaned or due for weaning and the expectant mums to be in 2019 of which there are rather a lot I must say – all species!

However, I was asked the other day what “croup high” and “bum high” meant in the horse world and to be honest, it is quite difficult to explain that an equine grows up one side then the other and levels out then does it all over again at the same time as lengthening in the body and maturing in the mind – so as I am forever with a camera of one description or another – here is one of Kensmyths rapidly growing Draught horse fillies who if you look closely has a raised rear end then levels out then raises again… and this is just over this past year AND they are not the fastest of growers. Don’t be fooled, she is 16.2hh now and will make a good 17.1hh plus. Bring them in for food – great time to get them used to noise etc even in the Summer.

so above in Summer – we have a clear height distinction between the wither and rump (if you like) despite lowered head eating…

and in the Autumn the rump is even higher clearly seen with head lowered and rug on it…

and here above just a few weeks ago you can see although resting a leg, levelled out again… ready for another growth spurt shortly – rug sizes also a great indicator as they go up in size too!

and if your youngsters don’t stand as quietly as this with their entire rugs on their heads  for a photo moment – they haven’t been trained by me BUT please don’t try it yourself as most youngstock would not necessarily be so calm as mine are – it took time to get them like this!

Feeding carefully at Kensmyth in Winter Time – give them space!!

Regular readers will know that I am a stickler for ensuring that all livestock are fed the right amount of food regularly and that each individual has “space” to feed.  If you do not give space then the weaker will suffer at the hands of the stronger in line – whilst this might be appropriate in the wild as survival of the fittest, it is not acceptable at Kensmyth and everyone is fed regularly and overseen to ensure they all eat well!

of course it does help having a super hubby who makes portable troughs for me LOL

Must See Films recommended by Kensmyth LOL

I have been absent and I apologise but its crazy times here and unfortunately several friends and close persons are extremely unwell at the moment so bear with us as we catch up on Kensmyth. Meantime, I have been asked “what happened to your film recommendations you used to do?” well – I haven’t watched or read much lately other than biological or veterinary BUT I can tell you that :

The Little Drummer Girl was a good watch on BBC 1

The Informer was clever but you have to concentrate

Mamma Mia 2 – was not what I expected and you definitely need to concentrate…

Les Miserables – yes I finally got round to seeing it – is marvellous and wish I had seen it long ago when told to!

Jurassic World was totally different to how I expected and…

Mowgli on Netflix – my opinion but DO NOT let younger children watch it even though it says you can – nightmare!


I STILL haven’t been brave enough to watch War Horse.

back to you on that one!

Trafalger Paddock Hoover uses at Kensmyth Alpaca, Clay Meadow

I am often asked for Christmas present ideas for Farming friends. My first suggestion is always a Massey Tractor or a Kubota G23 High Dump LOL… but if you are looking at a machine for your farm, you cannot do much better for your paddocks than a Trafalgar Paddock Hoover.

Nicknamed the Poover amongst Alpaca friends it is a universal piece of kit with a removable dumper truck barrow which being motorised is an absolute boon for when leaf or mini/crab apple removal off the ground… funny how we just never seem to remember to put it on though LOL

The Animal Welfare Licensing – DEFRA Regulations 2018

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

As torrential rain and howling gale force winds cross the West, Our Livestock, Clients, friends, family all know how seriously we take our Animal Welfare at all times.

Kensmyth are delighted to announce that we are the first Alpaca farm to have been inspected within the 3 Councils and granted a licence under the new laws coming into force on October 1st under Defra ruling.

The summary below says it all and we are very proud that in all of our decades of breeding, we have never and never will permit our livestock Welfare standards to slip.

It is quite a thing to be inspected by someone responsible for three Councils but I am so pleased with the comments and proud to achieve this.  Thank you to Alison Gardner and Kevin Dunford for permission to use the photos below.

The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

 Premises name: Kensmyth – Helen Kendall Smith

Address: Clay Meadow, Cirencester Road, South Cerney, Gloucestershire GL7 6HU

Date of Inspection: 7th November 2018

Inspection Form – Keeping or Training of Animals for Exhibition (new Defra Law 1st October 2018)

Licence No – C/18/01388/AEXHIB

Inspecting Officers: Alison Gardner Officer for Forest of Dean Council, Cotswold District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council & Kevin Dunford, Inspector

Licence: first granted to Alpaca Farm

Duration on site for inspection: just under 4 hours

Comments made:

Excellent practice and set up with a very in depth knowledge of the species. Licence is only being obtained due to persons coming on site for husbandry training etc


Care of expectant livestock in winter at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow

with a gestation of 11.5 months plus and not weaning to at least 6 months, the female Alpaca is pregnant all the time with the new one due and the one at foot so great care is needed in feeding to ensure that all cope with changing temperatures as we approach winter.

sadly, few remember this applies to the equines too – most folk get sheep ready for tupping and flush them in preparation but not everyone remembers that the “lane munchers” and “paddock fertilisers” also require extra TLC when they are pregnant too. Even if in at night and out in the day, the gestation for equines is 11 months with them equably arriving early or going over too…

it doesn’t matter how big – feed according to size but make sure you feed your pregnant mares this winter

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