Alpaca & Muscovy

winter wonderland… down to earth

Too busy as usual and loads to report on but no time to do it. Alpaca Walks are booking up fast and we even have one on Valentines Day – perhaps we shall wear red for a change and be all gooey. hmmm. hope the weather is at least dry.

well the recent cold brought some lovely photos – especially when the water pipe dripped all night…

frosty waterpipe jan 2015

and the Alpaca decided their shelters were just close enough to the hay troughs to venture out…

alpaca frosty morning

but enough of that romantic stuff – remember the cold?

Well its great for killing off some of those worms but not all of them so off to the Vet last week with the second lot of herd poo samples. Trusty car mine, don’t take passengers often…

poo in car

back soon

Weaning Alpaca – the invasion of the baby snatchers

Well, silence meant only one thing – busy busy busy. This time it was weaning. The snow of the week end merely meant resolve had to be hardened and getting the job done.

It is always a tricky situation to “get it right” when the birthing window is so varied. wean too young and the cria suffer, wean too late and the mother suffers. Never let it be forgotten that the Alpaca female carries for 11.5 months plus which covers the Winter harsh months AND will have a cria at foot for 6 months of that time too.  So she is feeding herself in winter, her cria at foot and the unborn… Triple care and attention for all.

Anyway, I have been doing this all my life and in the dim recesses of my brain, I just recall the “milk letting down” feeling as a Mother… so my sympathy is with the Mothers who can hear (sound carries a long way in snow) the pitiful cries of the newly weaned cria… one always has to be careful that the Mothers do not get mastitis when their cria are weaned.

Onto new green paddocks and adventures with life off they go and in this particular case, investigating a clients scarf…


Winter yarns in Alpaca

wow, time flies and busy busy busy. The weathermen have not got it right for the past three nights and that is a lot of mucking out for sure!

meantime – visitors, making friends, husbandry days, more scanning and yarn sales


everyone’s knitting now for sure!

yarn 2


Alpaca choke – feeding in winter – a word to the wise of caution

As the sensible amongst us increase feed ratios by need rather than greed in Alpaca, I am often shocked at the suggestions some make as to sugar content and sizing of pellets in some of major Alpaca manufactured feeds.

So I had a look for myself and was quite shocked to see that on several bags containing high sugar content and very large variants – there was zero warning for cria feeding.

whilst many feed soaked sugar beet in winter, especially to “poor doers” or aged Alpaca, one should be aware of choking hazards.


Alpaca can easily choke if fed too large a pellet. This is Adults let alone cria. Furthermore, large grain feeding can also cause abscess where it can get stuck in teeth/against jaw linings. it sounds bizarre but can, does and will happen.

you need to be diligent when looking at the size of the feed pellets you use.  check on the bag, if in doubt check with the person you bought the Alpaca from, your vet or another Alpaca breeder. Too many heads are never enough when it comes to feeding.

if in doubt – leave it out!

the small pellet shown in the top right of the  photo below is the size we feed to our Alpaca – the grains and larger pelleted food is a well known mix which I would never use.

see what you think…

feed regimes

Twelfth night and back to reality

well where did the first week in January disappear off to?

Was it the field maintenance or the poovering? Was it the toenail cutting or the ADE? Was it the back to school haircuts and dash out for geometry sets? Was it the tidying of the house and the taking down of the small Christmas trees?… and I do mean small…

christmas tree 2

twelfth night means everything Christmassy down and gone for another year…


Unfortunately the large white lighted tree that was in the garden is currently drying out in the barn so I hope that counts as down…

2015 fun recommendations from Kensmyth Alpaca farm

Back to reality with a bump and school on Monday for the lads.  in the meantime as farming life continues temperatures have plummeted again and zero degrees right now with rain on the way at midnight… not sure how that works without snow but it seems to!

2015 a great year for us with zillions of things going on but I was asked for a few “best things” today from 2014 so I thought I would share them…

Best film I watched this year, suitable for all and a really good story with great humour…

“once more” I know it did not come out in 2014 but then I never was up to date with films!

once more dvd

best CDs – Sam Smith “in the lonely hour” and wait for it…

X factors 3 x CD medley Songbook. This is not X factor finalists but songs throughout the year and is all the ones I might have chosen off everyone else’s Albums! Ellie Goulding’s version of “your song” is outstanding.

Favourite photo – well it has to be one of my RDA friends coming onto the stand at the Corn Hall with my favourite Black lab!!

dog on stand

or though its pretty close with Mitch Corner…

our best achievement this year?

Has to be sharing the experience of the lad shown in the video under “Disabled welcome” on this site.

The story behind that is that his mother died a few months earlier, having always intended to come to visit our Alpaca family together…

we were delighted to be able to show them the Alpaca and for them to have that life changing experience.

More on our plans for that in 2015 another time.






Happy New Year 2015 to all our family, friends, clients and everyone

Happy New Year 2015 – Give someone you don’t know a kiss tonight!


So at last it is the eve of the New Year.

And a busy day it has been too. Breaking ice in the morning, followed by toenail trimming and ADE followed by hay rack filling. Sounds like a good recipe for a new type of cocktail?

The Walking boys have been busy this week with events booked for Christmas Pressies and the New Year is getting pretty interesting with Alpaca Walk bookings already.

We do love sharing our passion for Alpaca with our visitors.

 So onwards to those dreaded New Year resolutions

I decided that as no one else kept to the “going to stop drinking wine for New Year” resolution, I was not going to even make it one of mine!

I decided that my extra fat keeps me warm and helps the carrying of 20kg twice a day – so I was not going to even attempt the “I will go to the gym and lose weight for New Year” resolution either. Not that this was ever likely to happen!

I decided that this year my Resolution was to work harder – simples.

Whilst all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or Jill a dull girl) if I was not going to be starving myself dieting or resisting the vino – then play would happen naturally so “to work harder” that was the only possible Resolution left to make!

Enjoy the humour behind that one gals!

Right then, the renowned look back on 2014 – enjoy…












help for heroes newbury stand










have a good one everybody!

Frozen, Mr Blue Sky and cold as ice!

I am showing my age with those sentences I know but here are some shots taken recently:



mr Blue sky…

mr blue sky

tucking in on a frosty day…



tucking in

cold as ice…

spirit in the river


the inevitable New Year Resolutions to follow shortly…

amazing cria fleeces and alpaca cria weaning pending and the biggest mug!

Been having a rummage amongst some fleeces whilst doing ADE jabs today and really wished I had been a showing person and entered that BAS National Show next year…

dec cria fleece

My hubby likes a big cuppa as we all do here. His usual mug takes a pint of tea but in Dobbies this year my Mum and I found one even bigger…

biggest mug

with flower and garden written on it we were actually not quite sure but if not a mug then why the handle?

and meantime onwards and upwards in the frost for poovering…


Cria weaning is next on the agenda then halter training and our first cria is due VERY early this year.

2014 Boxing Day surprise revelation

Well did you have a fab time? We met loads of new faces yesterday and crazy busy. For the first time I did Christmas lunch at lunchtime instead of dinner time. Farming does not allow time out so once organised, back out I went. Everyone else totally satiated and replete, had the afternoon off. hubby much better thanks but alas unable to assist until better. three sons did well though and all hay out.

With heavy rains due here today, much Field Shelter work was required and extra water out. Amazing how you can have solid frost and frozen pipes at 6 am and running water and rain a few hours later.

So did you guess what the nuclear warhead is? no?

Can you see it now?



A fire pit

pictured here complete with its maker!

This gives heat and cooks. Our BBQ after 15 good years gave up earlier this summer so what a great idea.

hubby loved it.  Now we can burn all that spare wood and get free heat and toasted marshmallows for our visitors!!

handmade from ANDREW FINDLAY of the Grainstore in Gloucestershire.