Alpaca & Muscovy

Helen Kendall Smith

Kubota first choice for Cotswolds alpaca farm

We have been busy filming here and the video will be released shortly. Meantime we are delighted to announce that Kubota sponsors Kensmyth Alpaca Farm for their Disabled visitors. See article under Kubota News

http://www.kubota.co.uk/kubota-first-choice-for-cotswolds-alpaca-farm/

Also visible on Farming UK website under Machinery and Equipment news.

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The many benefits of choosing compact and versatile groundcare machinery over larger models is becoming more commonplace in small estates, farms and smallholdings, as the sophistication and capabilities of these smaller machines, such as utility vehicles and compact turf machinery, grows.

Kensmyth Alpaca Stud, situated just outside the Cotswold village of South Cerney, is one such example, with Kubota’s four-seater utility vehicle – the RTV1140 – now an indispensible part of daily operations for the rapidly developing alpaca farm.

The daily running of the farm involves a wide and varied range of duties, so the need for equipment that is both nimble and powerful, and that can cope with the undulating terrain of the estate (chosen to replicate the landscape found in the alpaca’s native Peru) is vital.

“I have always used Kubota since I first started breeding Alpaca in 2008,” explains Helen Kendall Smith, Owner of the Kensmyth Alpaca Stud. “Our previous farm had flat land and the paddocks were smaller, but when we relocated the alpaca business to Clay Meadow, the land was chosen for being uphill and down dale, as alpaca are inquisitive, far seeing quadrupeds and they love the hills.”

Despite the RTV1140 being the most used kit day-to-day, it was the Kubota’s G23 high dump commercial mower that was first purchased, and as savvy and money conscious agricultural farmers, a number of competitive machines were demonstrated prior to purchase. But, following tests, it was proven that rival machines didn’t match the Kubota on ability, aftersales support or price.

“Whilst the G23 isn’t your conventional machine for an alpaca farmer, it is perfect for topping the grass in the smaller paddocks and collecting it pre shearing. The fleece is critical to our natural alpaca handmade clothing, so the least amount of grass, straw, hay or burrs in it, the easier it is to prepare for being made into yarn. It can also be used to hoover up leaves on a low setting, which ultimately protects the grass.

Alongside the G23, the farm’s two RTV1140s have proven equally as invaluable to the successful running of the site, in part for the day-to-day farm work, but also to assist in the programs that Helen and her team run for visitors with physical and mental illnesses; as well as those with more minor physical afflictions, such as broken legs.

“The cognitive and therapeutic benefits of ‘hands on’ experience with alpaca is understood worldwide, and we’ve seen a high demand from visitors with physical and mental illnesses eager to spend time here. The RTV1140s have been instrumental in our ability to facilitate this, so we are hugely grateful to Dave Roberts (Kubota UK MD) in helping us financially with a kind donation on Kubota’s behalf.”

Alongside the will to meet the needs of all the farm’s visitors, the Kubota comes into its own on a daily basis for a raft of on-site duties, with Helen often using the vehicle in preference to their tractor.

“Transporting hay to all of our paddocks and moving straw to the field shelters in the winter months is simple and straightforward with the RTV1140, but less so with our tractor. In the drier months, I can attach a spring tine harrow and scarify the fields, this wouldn’t be possible with a heavier machine.

“The RTV is easy to manoeuvre round corners thanks to its excellent steering, and the hydrostatic braking system is especially useful when tackling the many hills and slopes across the site. I also save myself the back breaking and time-consuming task of manual spraying, by adding a sprayer attachment to the tipping bed, allowing us to keep on top of Scotch Thistle and weeds.

“In spring, I attach a fertiliser spreader, which means I can get out much earlier than I could if I was using the tractor. Working with the weather is critical, and it’s often the case that the ground is too wet for a heavy tractor, which makes the 1140 invaluable to our work here. The tippable flatbed has an excellent load capacity, too, so perfect for materials transportation, be it poles for fencing or for collecting alpaca waste.

 

Kubota first choice for Cotswolds alpaca farm

We have been busy filming here and the video will be released shortly. Meantime we are delighted to announce that Kubota sponsors Kensmyth Alpaca Farm for their Disabled visitors. See article under Kubota News or enjoy the video here with kind permission from Kubota to use it on our site

 

kubota1

The many benefits of choosing compact and versatile groundcare machinery over larger models is becoming more commonplace in small estates, farms and smallholdings, as the sophistication and capabilities of these smaller machines, such as utility vehicles and compact turf machinery, grows.

Kensmyth Alpaca Stud, situated just outside the Cotswold village of South Cerney, is one such example, with Kubota’s four-seater utility vehicle – the RTV1140 – now an indispensible part of daily operations for the rapidly developing alpaca farm.

The daily running of the farm involves a wide and varied range of duties, so the need for equipment that is both nimble and powerful, and that can cope with the undulating terrain of the estate (chosen to replicate the landscape found in the alpaca’s native Peru) is vital.

“I have always used Kubota since I first started breeding Alpaca in 2008,” explains Helen Kendall Smith, Owner of the Kensmyth Alpaca Stud. “Our previous farm had flat land and the paddocks were smaller, but when we relocated the alpaca business to Clay Meadow, the land was chosen for being uphill and down dale, as alpaca are inquisitive, far seeing quadrupeds and they love the hills.”

Despite the RTV1140 being the most used kit day-to-day, it was the Kubota’s G23 high dump commercial mower that was first purchased, and as savvy and money conscious agricultural farmers, a number of competitive machines were demonstrated prior to purchase. But, following tests, it was proven that rival machines didn’t match the Kubota on ability, aftersales support or price.

“Whilst the G23 isn’t your conventional machine for an alpaca farmer, it is perfect for topping the grass in the smaller paddocks and collecting it pre shearing. The fleece is critical to our natural alpaca handmade clothing, so the least amount of grass, straw, hay or burrs in it, the easier it is to prepare for being made into yarn. It can also be used to hoover up leaves on a low setting, which ultimately protects the grass.

Alongside the G23, the farm’s two RTV1140s have proven equally as invaluable to the successful running of the site, in part for the day-to-day farm work, but also to assist in the programs that Helen and her team run for visitors with physical and mental illnesses; as well as those with more minor physical afflictions, such as broken legs.

“The cognitive and therapeutic benefits of ‘hands on’ experience with alpaca is understood worldwide, and we’ve seen a high demand from visitors with physical and mental illnesses eager to spend time here. The RTV1140s have been instrumental in our ability to facilitate this, so we are hugely grateful to Dave Roberts (Kubota UK MD) in helping us financially with a kind donation on Kubota’s behalf.”

Alongside the will to meet the needs of all the farm’s visitors, the Kubota comes into its own on a daily basis for a raft of on-site duties, with Helen often using the vehicle in preference to their tractor.

“Transporting hay to all of our paddocks and moving straw to the field shelters in the winter months is simple and straightforward with the RTV1140, but less so with our tractor. In the drier months, I can attach a spring tine harrow and scarify the fields, this wouldn’t be possible with a heavier machine.

“The RTV is easy to manoeuvre round corners thanks to its excellent steering, and the hydrostatic braking system is especially useful when tackling the many hills and slopes across the site. I also save myself the back breaking and time-consuming task of manual spraying, by adding a sprayer attachment to the tipping bed, allowing us to keep on top of Scotch Thistle and weeds.

“In spring, I attach a fertiliser spreader, which means I can get out much earlier than I could if I was using the tractor. Working with the weather is critical, and it’s often the case that the ground is too wet for a heavy tractor, which makes the 1140 invaluable to our work here. The tippable flatbed has an excellent load capacity, too, so perfect for materials transportation, be it poles for fencing or for collecting alpaca waste.

 

Beautiful weather and beauty all around end of July and August catch up

Well July was hectic – yes I know we are in August but I am still catching up. Despite best endeavours it was a traumatic month but we believe we are “out of the woods now” and with our Breach cria now walking on four legs (serious damage to hinds during birth) and our last cria born being a leg back but now on three weeks, we can breathe a sigh of relief. It was a season not without sadness but that is farming and where there is livestock there is always dead stock and if you cannot keep that in mind at all times, do not take up farming.

More on that another time but for now a request to see the massive South Cerney Beavers sunflowers and a morning glory photo…

early morning sunrise lovely browns and blacks group of five

beavers sunflower

South Cerney Steam Fair August 2nd 2015

Yeah, I am going backwards I know but I had to share these with you before I forgot… August 2nd Steam Fair in South Cerney

… with a CRIA formation ha ha – YES those are my humungous well grown cria!

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… view from the Hot Tub

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and going sideways…

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29 degrees and Alpaca Shady Ladies in South Cerney August 8th 2015

I have so much to catch up on I am a month behind on blogging if not more. However, with the Accu Weather forecast today saying rain and 23 degrees, the reality being no rain and 29 degrees, I had to take these shots of some of the girls and some of the cria in varying fields, getting into the shade!

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the shade of the field shelter and the shelters themselves are critical in all weathers for young and old Alpaca alike.

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some will, some will not but they must have the facility and also water!

 

moving house and paddocks!

I cannot believe that August has snook in and it has been so long since I blogged. so much has been happening, so many changes in the weather, the last of the cria born and Alpaca gone to new homes too!

We have been moving paddocks onto fresh new grass and then flail topping the vacant fields after poovering. now they will be rested until they have new occupants. Weaning is not too far away. so that means Field Shelters moving too…

moving field shelters aug

and finally our reticent stud boy has come into his own with “looove all around”

… only taken this boy two years to get going and now he wants to use the hot tub for his canoodling – no way!

legacy and daisy hot tub web

so far behind on blogging with the Steam Fair last week end and so much news and so much to do!

rainy days and 30 degrees with South Cerney Beavers

Well my last post hinted at some rather bizarre things and I guess I found it rather bizarre that Beavers can have girls in them but Brownies cannot have boys – how does that work or is it Girl Power at last? Hmmm.

Right then, we welcomed the South Cerney Beavers groups here for the past two weeks in separate groups for their long awaited Alpaca visit. Very polite and energetic they were too. See for yourself…

BEAVERS FIRST WEB

their blue hats were donned and water and apples went down well on the hot evenings…

BEAVERS CRIA WEB

now mind you take note of the photo of this little chap because his story comes next…

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and I had a lovely thank you card, box of chocolates and Sunflowers too.

please note – full permission received for photos to be on this blog.

portable hot tub from Canadian Spa 2015

it has been ages since I blogged and loads has happened. some good, some bad, some bizarre but that’s Alpaca farming for you. Where do I start?

I guess with the hot weather we have been having and my last blog on keeping cria watered it should be on the Hot Tub we bought at the Cotswold Show. Very little money for so much fun – why should the Alpaca have all the water fights and spraying? Totally portable, light and easy to move with low cost heating it seriously is fun. We enjoyed a couple of hours in it last week end watching the Fairford Air Tattoo Red Arrows fly by!

hot tub 2

The boys (why do they always wear T shirts?) have had fun too…

hot tub 1

well you didn’t really think I would put one of myself up there – too scary! Don’t worry, planning not required and super fun in super weather and easily stored for winter!

So much to catch up on am about a month behind… will have to cherry pick best bits, speaking of which our Fruit trees are really fruiting now and these really are Morello cherries from our own trees…

cherries on tree

cherries

only small amounts but Rome was not built in a day.

Plenty of Alpaca visits – photos soonest – and Alpaca clients – halter training madly and a difficult birth with a leg back… gory photos next time!