Alpaca & Muscovy

Sweet sixteen

wow – it seems so long ago now but here is the ever faithful Grandma cake maker cake… I guess the name gives whose 16th it was!

Mitchell currently works for a Film Production Company – his lifelong ambition and hence the cameras.


Alpaca fleece colour tips

It is raining as I type which is really rather odd as it is 9 pm, pitch black and no rain forecast. zip in fact for tonight.

Nights are still warm and plenty of sunshine hopefully ahead for the rest of August. Would we be lucky enough to get an Indian Summer after the heatwave of this one I wonder?

In a previous blog, I mentioned that the true colour of an Alpaca is at the skin. I was quizzed on this lately by someone who did not know anything about Alpaca and I realised that it is quite difficult to explain “tipping” to someone not even remotely “farmy”.. so here goes.

When an Alpaca is born, it is released from the amniotic fluid which has surrounded it as it grew inside its Mother. This stains the outside of what then becomes the Alpaca Cria (baby) fleece.

This can be a totally different colour once the fleece is opened and therefore the colour first seen by the eyes may not necessarily be the colour underneath which is its “true” colour.

Soooo, in the Alpaca world, we open the fleece up to skin level and take the colour of the fleece inside at the skin to be the Alpaca colour.

Hopefully the following photograph clearly demonstrates that the colour brown at the tip of this fleece belies the fact that the Alpaca is Black.

The super Alpaca this came from is solid black  and this was the cria fleece.



Kensmyth Silver Sponsors BAS National 2015

bas_national_show_sponsor_logo_2015 (1)

Well it has been a challenging week end for sure! Newborn cria requiring barning due to wet this time and somebody was Sweet Sixteen too!

I managed to sneak a few hours out with hubby in total control of the quadrupeds to attend an event with our Kensmyth Stand but more on that later.

Meantime we have taken the plunge to be Silver Sponsors for the British Alpaca Society National Show 2015. We have so much else afoot that we nearly didn’t but decided, as last year, it is such a worthy promotional event for the breed society it is a must!



Cria photos August 1st 2014

well we have been a bit busy have we not?  I cannot believe it is already August 2014!!

Bang on schedule our new website was launched and it really is different is it not!?

Mitchell has been working away on the videos after his daytime job with me, after farming late into the nights to get it all done and it was only three weeks late in the end!

I have to say in the rain and birthing lately as an Alpaca farmer, my “entrepreneurial” side seems a lifetime away… but we have TEN – yes TEN lovely healthy girls so far and TWO boys so far which is a fantastic result. As always, there were some that simply did not hold over the winter and some that are struggling to get pregnant in the weather conditions but that’s Alpaca for you. Many before dawn matings in this heat and I joke not!

There is not one single Alpaca farmer I have spoken to this year who has not had issues as a result of the weather – either pregnancy losses or mortality rates post birthing and of course grass conditions at the moment in the heat wave are dire.

Shearers have been challenging for some – we have always been lucky so far with extremely reliable shearers but then we do shear early here because we have always had barns since 2008 in case of inclement weather.

Anyway, much needed rain falling as I type and the cria when I finally remembered to take a camera out were less than obliging as you will see…thank goodness in this heatwave we left half of each field untopped this year!

only one poser…


two escapologists…


one secret squirrel…


one Grand National entrant…


one shady lady…


finally turning their backs…


and one at this point yet to make an entrance!


Hot blue sky Kensmyth Stud farm pictures July 2014

30 degree hot scorching weather, Pimms and a beach? nope, burnt grass patches and much water lugging afoot methinks!

We planned for the future when planting trees here at Clay Meadow and as the climate changes our livestock will be glad of the 1900 Hawthorn and Blackthorn growing, the 80 Field Maple trees, the 40 Willow and the 20 Scots pine for the shade and shielding of their fields and barns when they all grow!

Meantime, the orchard planted is growing nicely – just 90 fruit trees and some Walnut trees too…

view down the hill towards our entrance

view of the sign going up the hill towards the farmstead that we brought from the old farm…

and how the apples are growing just now…

and the plums too …

no walnuts yet though… will take a few years for those!

Alpaca new colours from BAS July 2014

I see BAS are introducing a range of greys now as new colours but still no Appaloosa!

Many folk own Appaloosas but few would know unless it is inserted into the Registration name because it is not a recognised colour yet – keep smiling Appy breeders.

Now then… what four colours might these be?

well now that is a Rose Grey, a fawn, a brown and…

the spot might give it away?!!!

dont forget it is the colour at the skin not the outside that dictates your real Alpaca colour!

Hot Fuzz Village Moment again!!

Hot Fuzz Village moment again!

wow   we have been so busy and had so many cria born, I cannot believe it has been so long since my last blog.

To finish that story off, well we never did find out what it was about …

but the very next day I passed through it again and there were more… they were breeding!

inspirational or freaky – you choose. back shortly with cria news.

Hott Fuzz Village moment

well with Mitchell a budding Film Director and me an improvised Production Manager

if only in name (read taxi and sandwich maker) he had to be out early to start filming…

we drove through a village I have not been through in many years indeed and it was quite a shock I can tell you.

It is a little village with a road narrowing and without warning we were suddenly passing these…

and we could see no explanation whatsoever for them… now take a closer look …

and this?

I am sure it is some wonderful village competition but it was quite “scary” for scarecrows!!

Eureka moment!!

In our last blog – sorry for the gaps but the Alpaca SCBU has been pretty active I said ” and watch this space for a photo of the first cria from our stunning Kensmyth Legend who is the son of a daughter of Peruvian Caesar …”

well here he is and I quote…

“one instinctively knows when something is right….”

our first cria from Legend…

Alpaca nursery

wow – this is just a quickie as the nursery of premmie cria is filling rather rapidly.

We had two born last monday and two more premmies yesterday – one at 310 days.

Again Emily was on hand to assist through it all, we nearly lost the mother to a long drawn out birth in the heat but I managed to save both for the time being.

not out of the woods by a long chalk on the smallest born monday and time will tell on yesterdays… but fingers crossed and this one who is simply gorgeous!

this is the first cria born to Kensmyth Bequest who is sired by EPC Cambridge Navigator, who sold for some mere £75,000.00.

This is a strong healthy boy with a fleece that is out of this world. Destined for a superb stud male.

“Navigator was the undefeated supreme champion of the UK 2009 show season winning Nationals,Royal Bath and West and the biggest show that year the SWAG show.

Navigators sire is EP Cambridge Spartacus, one of our most decorated Australian stud sires who’s progeny have dominated at shows through out the world including a number of National Australian Champions.” Cathy Lloyd, EPC

Kensmyth Bequest mated our girls last year and so far born – conformation, temperament and fleeces to match. wow!

the others are doing well but for those who understand Alpaca premmies, there’s bottle feeding, coating, uncoating, weather watching, milking the mother and a whole host of baby care additional tasks in just keeping them alive.

so sad to read on other Alpaca blogs of deaths of premmies –

the changing climate seems to be bringing more and more premature cria and dysmature cria as the months pass.

one has to look at the warm wet weather and flushes of spring grass that might encourage the females to birth early – only for the weather to change for the worse…

or the numerous other influences of climate change.

i have yet to speak to a single Alpaca stud who has not had a premature cria so far this year, if not several.

fingers crossed for them all

and watch this space for a photo of the first cria from our stunning Kensmyth Legend who is the son of a daughter of Peruvian Caesar