Alpaca & Muscovy

Hedge cutting time at Clay Meadow alpaca at Kensmyth

Hedge cutting is great if you have your own equipment but if you are reliant on a Contractor then you are booking in advance and fitted in when they can.

This means you need longer grass – previous blog – or your ground will be churned up by the heavy machines required to do many passes up and down your hedges. Longer grass left prevents this.

You will – with alpaca – also need to (either by your own machines or by hand)  – pick up all the twigs and branches that fall or they will be caught up in the alpaca fleece. This is a labour of love.

We are lucky enough to have had our hedges done before the inevitable downpours and a cracking job done!

Longer grass at Kensmyth alpacas in the Cotswolds, Clay Meadow

I am often asked why we keep the grass longer at Clay Meadow for our alpacas whereas folk have seen shorter grass elsewhere. Well, there are a number of reasons for this and you can look at the pros and cons for yourself.

Worm burden – always be aware that the larvae for worms is always at the tip of the grass to be ingested but if the grass is left longer, whilst the grass itself is less sweet/tasty, the larvae die if left on long grass.

We do not overgraze our paddocks so we never have short grass in any paddock at all.

When in the drier months when the weather gets unusually hot and dries the ground out, the moisture is retained if the grass is left a little longer. At this point we would strip top approximately half a field at a time which ensures that the grass left moist stays that way even if the shorter grass dries out – we cannot rely on the UK weather anymore.

As you hit Autumn/Winter, then you have to make a judgement call as to when you last top your fields. Wet weather will then prevent (or should) you going onto the grass as it will churn it up to mud.


There are always reasons a tractor has to go onto the field, hedge cutting is one of them which must be done between September and the end of February so again a judgement call is required as to when this is done, alongside availability of contractors if not doing it yourself.

Longer grass is stopped from being churned up when we have days or weeks of rain as the alpaca should always live out albeit spend time in their shelters – they should always have shelters with dry floors to let their pads dry out.

I cannot deny that the fleece on the legs of the alpaca get wet by walking through longer grass but provided you always give them a shelter in which to dry out their feet and keep the rain off their back, it has worked for us from 2007 and “if it ain’t broke, why fix it”.


Welcome October at Kensmyth, Clay Meadow and ADE jabs start for the alpaca

As we say goodbye to the very busy September 2023 and welcome October, a few happy thoughts for this month..

A lady walked into The Griffin at Dale and told the Barman that the sign said “no dogs” so her Parrot must be allowed.. I am NOT joking..

St David’s in all its glory on a sunny day in Pembrokeshire – here is to sunny days in October – time to start the ADE jabs on the alpaca folks!

and a tree propped up with love at Picton Point – wishing you all love for October folks!

Autumn appears at Kensmyth Alpaca Clay Meadow 2023

We have seen some very beautiful beaches on our Pembrokeshire road trip for sure and Whitesands are just that, totally unspoilt beaches in Wales but on a misty morning there is nothing like the view we have at Clay Meadow from the top of the hill in the early morning..

Pembrokeshire road trip by Kensmyth continues: Narbeth, Tenby, St Davids..

Round and round and up and down the Pembrokeshire Coast we went.. from Cirencester to St Davids, all round the coast and visiting the coves and beaches..


Narberth was pretty with quaint shops and an interesting parking system by some which rather annoyed the lorry driver..

Tenby was beautiful but very busy and not an Ice Cream stall open at the time..


and Saundersfoot and Laugharne Castle.. Amroth and Solva all muddled for you to find..

I have to say I think the fishing boat at Laugharne has not moved since I visited in 2020 and the amount of caravans going from here to Amroth is a scary number going up the hillside looking at the beaches now.

Judging cria fleeces from the outside colour is the wrong way – Kensmyth Alpaca

When you look at an alpaca it is easy to think it is the colour of the fleece you see on the exterior but that is not the case. Cria often catch breeders out in this way because the amniotic fluid colours the external fleece creating a tipping look and then the growth from the skin itself can change dramatically too.. see how you get on..

  the outside colour..


The inside colours and then different at the skin..

easy when you know how..

Alpaca spotting Pembrokeshire Road trip – Kensmyth Alpaca

Well we had to go to Pembrokeshire and with all the advertising, it was a trip down memory lane for my Mother. Not sure she realised it would be 750 miles in 3 days though.. LOL.. definitely took its toll on the Landcruiser with those hills..

First stop Broad Haven and on to Dale and Picton Point and Newgale and so on and on.. see where you recognise?


Picton Point below then onto Dale where The Griffin charged £60 for an interesting lobster and £30 for half – not quite the Lobster Thermadour Mum was looking for!


Really odd to drive that far and be served water from Harrogate too!