Alpaca & Muscovy

Helen Kendall Smith

Wishing all our Clients and friends Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016

we have been busy halter training madly – so many to do and already many sold, due to go at the end of January. With this along with all normal chaos – not to mention downpours requiring daily hay replenishing – we are almost there.

Just time to say a Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2016 to all our Clients and friends

I wonder who this could be…

shamira card WEB

Alpaca castration under anaesthetic – graphic photographic content not for the sensitive

The following post contains extremely graphic photographs of a variety of differently aged male Alpaca under anaesthetic for castration. The purposes of this blog is to help new Alpaca owners understand the options of castrating when putting under anaesthetic or to “cut standing” (castrate without anaesthetic standing up) and what to expect. Whilst more expensive by the use of more drugs, it is our policy here at Kensmyth Stud to castrate only under anaesthetic.   I would like to thank George Vet Group not only for their skills but also for being happy for these photographs to be posted for educational purposes. * please note we have avoided excessive use of veterinary terminology so that all can understand the procedure easily… DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF SQUEAMISH.

once the Alpaca has been put under anaesthetic it will lie down and one vet will hold one hind leg out of the way for the duration of the operation…

the area will be sterilised and cloths used prior to the first incision…

first incision castration

the first incision will be made in order to access the testicles…

The testicle must then be removed and brought through the access hole…

the testicle then needs to be physically cut off…

the access hole must then be stitched…

with dissolvable stitches…

this leaves a very small area which must be sprayed with antibiotic spray and kept reasonably clean (no wet mud)

the age of the Alpaca dictates the size of the testicles although some males are naturally larger, we castrated several age groups at this time of year to avoid excessive flies which can cause infection. under anaesthetic the Alpaca are also given antibiotics.

recovery is just a couple of days with swelling decreasing within 24 – 48 hours.

the “attitude” of the male varies once castrated depending on if it has been used as a stud male or not.

most will settle within a few weeks after castration and never look back!


please note this is the opinion of the writer and Alpaca farmers vary in their methods of castration and opinions.






the testicle must then be cut off… the same procedure applies with the second testicle immediately afterwards…



Christmas Alpaca jumpers at the Corn Hall Cirencester

crazy busy here and manic last Saturday …  packing the car late Saturday and off at 7.30 am for the Corn Hall.

Corn Hall was crazy busy and folk are delighted with the new blue yarn and jumpers. Next blog will cover castrations of umpteen males performed under anaesthetic in the past weeks so if squeamish – advance warning to avoid!

corn hall 1 web        corn hall 2 web      corn hall 3 web

rain and wind in Cirencester

well we were forecast 6mm today of yet more rain but it did not come. unfortunately for those ooop North they had it bad so we spare a thought for those who are flooded once more for Christmas

weather 10th dec 15

so a happy summer thought instead:


Weaning cria 2015

well hectic is not the word and I don’t mean just the shops. We have been field sorting, paddock rotating, ADE jabbing, faeces testing (clear) and its all full on. Managed some Christmas Shopping and waved goodbye to numerous Alpaca to new homes too.

Weather? well time to experiment with that marvellous meat the YAK.

Yak Thai curry from remains of…. YAK silverside – Yum Yum

yak thai curry WEB                   yak silverside WEB

Promote Alpaca not just your herd…

fantastic turn out at the Corn Hall in Cirencester. Fantastic to be able to promote British Alpaca in the UK, not just my herd…

promote Alpaca not just your herd WEB  and to prove people do actually come on the stand…

corn hall bas sign WEB

and its amazing what you can buy and who you can meet on the day!

corn hall WEB umbrellas          corn hall WEB       muscovy mansion WEB


Christmas yarn 2015 at Kensmyth

so much to do and so little time. So pleased with our yarns from The Natural Fibre Company, the new dyed green is flying out of the door…


and the brown is super sheen shiny…


welcome to winter 2015

well first check round this morning in the dark was in howling winds, sleet and temperatures of 2 degrees. reminiscent of when we built the farm in 2012… I love having proper winters and seasons. this – although inconvenient and horrid for driving – is how winters should be.

21st nov weather

watch the pipes weather ahead for Christmas

crazy busy here as usual and the ground very wet in places. we left longer ground cover on some of the fields this year which has paid dividends as although wet grass, it has not churned up. Alpaca do not poach the ground due to their padded feet like horses/cloven hoofed livestock do but nevertheless they are heavy.

the storms winds have at least dried the fleeces and we are very impressed with the cria fleeces this year. year on year improvement has yielded some fantastic yarns.

with the weather set for “freeze” now is the time to eat that more solid food… yum yum..

sticky toffee pudding WEB