Alpaca & Muscovy

Helen Kendall Smith

Alpaca Spit offs, matings and cria chat

Well we are crazy busy as usual and so many cria it is really great to see them all talking to each other or racing round the paddocks…

CRIA MORNING DISCUSSIONS

it is also great when they can reach the water refillable drinkers! Testament to their mothers Jungle Juice.

speaking of which – they really do seize every opportunity no matter what Mum is doing!

CRIA LINE UP

and we have been busy mating and doing spit offs… introducing the “cuddle”

LEGEND CUDDLE 1

and we have only mated one black this year because with the success of our Handmade products, we are looking to dye some exciting colours next year so need more white fleeces. Some of our browns and black girls will be up for sale shortly!

NOTCHIE MATING

so watch this space at weaning!

 

Ironman South Cerney and The Royal Oak South Cerney

Well not quite so long this time but still hectic here. What with the IronMan going through South Cerney village today and a visit with “just the two of us” to the Gastro Pub The Royal Oak in South Cerney… what more can I say?

More cria on the ground with a hectic Friday as one girl in each field started pretty much at the same time, no problem I hear you say… but the fields were some 6 acres distant from each other so it was pretty hair raising I can tell you. with the weather on my side, two lovely male cria born respectively one in each field at 8.5kg and 10.5kg respectively… photos another time.

Exciting clients all week and a break with a Local Group visit last Thursday. More and more this week with the Walking Boys earning their keep for sure.

Back with photos soonest. no really I will…

Cotswold Show Sunday 5th July 2015, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Well, with Mitchell on birth watch armed with the birthing box, mobile phone and strict instructions – remember he has held an Alpaca for a breach birth now and is pretty good at spraying navels too… after a military procedure check round and organisation, we managed to visit Cotswold Show on Sunday last. Just 15 minutes up the road for us if we needed to dash back if anything started to happen (don’t forget labour takes many hours) and one we always try to support if we can – such a great feeling to support your local show.

And what a great event it is with something for everyone for every age…

the old steam engines and wood working…

the wooden shute with logs took me right back to my childhood studies in French  of my A level book by Andre Gide “La Porte Étroite” – showing my age already!

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 STEAM ENGINE 11

The British Woodworking Association had a Gloucestershire Carving Tuition stand which was amazing…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 WOOD 10

and the falconry display in the ring is always a crowd puller…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 FALCON DISPLAY 12

and a big Fat Bull with horns is always superb …

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 BULL 8

but the machinery section always excels for those with farming interests…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 HI MATT 6

and plenty for the children to do… in addition to the masses of Fairground attractions, rides and water boat bobbing or inside balls which looked fun…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 DONKEY RIDE 4

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 SHIRE 9

and there is the critical blood bank and search and rescue dogs on display, alongside many Charity Stalls which was pocket relieving!

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 RESCUE DOGS 3

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 BLOOD BIKE 2

and the Red Arrows simulator for those aiming high…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015RED ARROWS 5

and if the thought of that made you feel old well – here’s a thought…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 COFFINS 7

and if all this is a bit too much well you could…. cool down…

COTS SHOW JULY 2015 SPA 1

or get yourself a cuppa…

TEAPOT web

or even have a lie down in one of these….

SHEPHERDS HUT WEB

well, you didn’t really  think I would be wearing a dress did you???

Kensmyth budding Film Producer achieves his first major award 2015 at Cirencester College

NEWS that is very exciting, if a little behind the times. Many of our regular readers know that Mitchell our youngest (16) is highly creative and a budding Film Producer. He is studying Media at Cirencester College, worked in many different areas and local companies gaining experience and has also created the Suri Film DVD which we sell on our website here.

Well, not only has Mitchell achieved the highest grades attainable this year for his first year AS Level Media Studies but also he was overwhelmed and delighted to receive the Cirencester Sixth Form College Andy Freedman Creative & Technical Award 2015 a short while ago at their Media Screening evening.

Well done to all presenting there that evening I was truly amazed at the high standard of the short films produced.

Here he is, Kensmyths very own Film Producer with his camera trophy!

mitchell award

Well done Mitchell and I know that everyone will want to wish him every success for the future.

 

Cirencester Sixth Form College Andy Freedman Creative & Technical Award 2015

A quick post with some NEWS that is very exciting, if a little behind the times. Many of our regular readers know that Mitchell our youngest (16) is highly creative and a budding Film Producer. He is studying Media at Cirencester College, worked in many different areas and local companies gaining experience and has also created the Suri Film DVD which we sell on our website here.

Well, not only has Mitchell achieved the highest grades attainable this year for his first year AS Level Media Studies but also he was overwhelmed and delighted to receive the Cirencester Sixth Form College Andy Freedman Creative & Technical Award 2015 a short while ago at their Media Screening evening.

Well done to all presenting there that evening I was truly amazed at the high standard of the short films produced.

Here he is, Kensmyths very own Film Producer with his camera trophy!

mitchell award

 

4th July American Independence Day and Cotswold Show in Cirencester

Wow – I cannot believe it is the Cotswold Show again already. I always think of that as being Midsummer – I hear you say it IS Midsummer Helen but in my mind it has still only just started not half way through!

I love the Cotswold Show with the variety of things to do and see and the food sections. Sadly with cria due in different fields and only one of me it will not happen this year. Have fun if you are going and do not forget the sun hat and sun cream!

Temps have been soaring here but with our Field Shelters having windows at the back the breeze has kept them cooler and the Alpaca have enjoyed the respite from the heat.

With all water troughs raised, it is important that the Cria who cannot yet reach the troughs can drink. Milk provides food but does not necessarily rehydrate so the cria must have access to fresh water. Some of my adults like a hosing down in a sprinkler too but it can be very time consuming and one can become a “personal slave” to that group – I learnt long ago … so those that like it have one and those that don’t do not!

cria drinking WEB

oh and if you do use this method – don’t pull the bucket from under the trough or they will all use it as foot baths!

Bring it on

Hernia Truss for Alpaca or Hernia Belt for Alpaca

I have not disappeared – honest Injun! I am here and its frenetic. I have been finishing so late – and it is really noticeably getting darker earlier – that I have simply crashed out with no time to Blog. Sorry but I am here now – Da Da!

Right then. We all know that Alpaca births can be challenging and an essential piece of kit in your “birthing Box” should always be a Hernia Truss. Hernias appear at the umbilical on the cria anytime from birth right up to 4 weeks old, depending on how crazy hooley the cria is. sometimes it is caused by straining for the first poo but often it is just a bright bubbly energetic cria bounding around before all their “bits are fixed” as someone put it the other day!

Could I find mine? Nope. 14 cria down with varying excellent of challenging births and one hernia. small but there. I phoned Graham who runs Alpaca and LLama Care from whom I purchased mine in 2008 but they do not sell them anymore. Loads of other great stuff though: www.alpacacare.co.uk

Sooo, Alpaca friends (always need these to share thoughts) to the ready! one posted to me and a quick mish mash of paper patterns and one made!

looks like a Spider I know but essential just to hold things tight for a few days/week and then fixed – simples!

TRUSS  the original truss lying flat to show all straps

how it fits on the cria – my hand would be the neck with the strap below going around the chest – you can google this I am sure

hernia truss 4

truss showing pad which is positioned over the hernia – do not forget this must be checked for slipping several times per day and they wriggle madly!

 hernia truss 3

 

A paper template using Velcro laid out to show the straps over the original one … don’t forget which way the Velcro hooks and loops go (sides up)

hernia truss 2

Then make sure you have enough at the front for adjustment as all cria are shaped differently and “one size” does NOT fit all!

hernia truss 1

and Bingo – a makeshift Hernia Truss or Hernia Belt for Alpaca Cria.

Meantime – sent the template to Mary Roach who is now supplying them too!

Check your cria tummies – you will all get a cria with a Hernia at some point

 

Fifty shades of Grey – Crazy right now

Crazy right now

crazy right now

are definitely the words for here – its manic. We are being invited with the Alpaca everywhere and we simply cannot please everybody all of the time – especially if its short notice. Alpaca walks and visits here are busy and with the Summer holidays a few weeks away, we are pleased that we have 14 cria down already with more to come.

girl cria

Ratio 8 girls to 6 boys at the moment so we will see what the final tally is.

caption “that looks nasty!”

thats nasty

and another girl, only this time “morphed” – they do like their bald ground patches for rolling!

gravitas and cria

Alpaca worsted chocolate brown yarn back from the Natural Fibre Company

No point saying crazy busy – it just is! Cria being born all the time now and lambivac for those old enough, husbandry to keep on top off as well as farm visits!

Our new Testimonials on the homepage is just a small selection of visitors to Kensmyth who have been inspired by our Alpaca!

We have some gorgeous colours this year and our second lot of Alpaca Yarn is back from the mill which once again we are delighted with. Two down, two to go and we have some exciting news ahead with that. We have used The Natural Fibre company since 2008 and are always delighted with the end result.  Few realise that if you do not do the work at the outset then what you get back is rubbish. You need to first be producing decent fleece, then once shorn you need to remove all the legs, neck, belly, tail etc and only send to the mill the best of the blanket for yarn you want to represent the quality of your home produced products.  So not worry, the other parts can be used for other homemade Alpaca products but NOT for your best yarn.

Our latest black/brown mix is outstanding and we already have orders for 5 mens jumpers in it!

SONY DSC