Alpaca & Muscovy

Helen Kendall Smith

Feeding is critical in winter months – checking bodyscores

Body scoring Alpaca is essential in winter months. Alpaca quickly lose weight and take a long time to recover.

All Alpaca are fed small rations twice a day off ground here at Kensmyth and we have a few that need to enrol in a Gym this month too!

cold and frosty morning 2

isn’t it great when your Fleece Samples come back with really low micron and you know that your Alpaca are really fat so the real “score” is even lower!!

Micron count in Alpaca varies at the time of year, age and weight of the Alpaca. It is also affected from country to country by ground and heat conditions. For example Australian Alpaca in dry hot conditions ranging over plains will have a lower Micron count than New Zealand Alpaca in lusher less hot conditions… bring them to the UK and even more lush grass and you have different again!

there is no “one size fits all” in Alpaca fleece and keeping our Alpaca in good body condition is priority !

cold and frosty mornings

there are age old sayings… beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

early mornings  and this certainly applies to cold and frosty mornings…

cold and frosty morning 1  and another saying?

you can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink…

even if you have Field shelters in every single field for them … they do not always use them!

IMG_7303  but they do love fresh crispy breathy frosty walks!

 

Alpaca for sale 2016

well the weather might not at the moment be replicated in these photos but they have grown up somewhat too!

Alpaca with fantastic cria fleeces and genetics from a genuinely closed herd – FOR SALE

males only for sale in 2016 and some superb genetics including Valley Alpacas The Diplomat lines as well as EP Cambridge Arias son Sire lines – check out these fleeces and get in touch fast!

            fleece shots 6       winter catalogue end

shearing    fleece shots 1

web closing picture  Contact Helen@kensmyth.com or 07799700587 for more information.

Export quarantine facilities available

gloop and poop and puppies… with sticky toffee pudding

I thought that was a fantastically immature title for an old timer like me… however it is entirely fitting. the mud underfoot is gloop and its difficult to pick up the poop! normal machines are getting stuck so best do by hand – marvellous. the wonders of paddock management take no heed of rain… and Alpaca continue to eat copious amounts of hay and twice daily feed which maintains their poop levels.

onwards and upwards to introduce our new little number (well this was taken weeks ago so not so little now)…

SONY DSC

and to extol the virtues of the superb Sticky Toffee Pudding at the Greyhound Pub in Siddington which I totally recommend…

sticky toffee pudding greyhound siddington

New Year resolutions…

Well I started with a few New Year resolutions but Moet Chandon Champagne at my brothers new house to celebrate put paid to that idea – well it was rude not to ! So lets move on. Before we start with the rain and the gloop and Alpaca muddy footed husbandry, just a little thank you to a friend of mine Lisa who runs a successful business making memories of your cherished pets last forever. Her company has a joint website of hand painted china and silver jewellery: http://www.animalprintsinsilver.co.uk/

the reason that I am promoting Lisa here is that her efforts go beyond all belief when we tragically lost our beloved dog Spirit. We had no paw print to cherish… or so we thought. Some time after she was put to sleep we found a paw print in the concrete by our barns. Lisa came out and took a cast print and from that we now have beautiful memories of Spirit forever. Some may find this a little sentimental but a dog is a part of a family and farm… we all have something of her now… see what you think…

spirit mug web

SONY DSC

spirit end

SONY DSC

Great Birthday and all occasion gifts for anyone, anytime. Bless.

 

 

 

Kensmyth Alpaca Farm looking back at 2015 part 2

As usual in the farming world, there were issues with both land and livestock amongst other things and of course friends and family. We lost several of our dear friends over the course of the year to a variety of things and we remember them with love, cherishing the memories.

We had the inevitable in Alpaca breach birth and a leg back with an extremely premature cria in two dramatic evening births, luckily in both cases saving the mothers and cria…

breach 6        breach 8 in this case a strong girl cria…

and for the leg back a male cria who born so prematurely took a long time to catch up…

SONY DSC

few understand the “round the clock” care premature cria need. Both females were remated later in the year amongst the many others so fingers crossed for those two females having a better time birthing in 2016…

LEGEND CUDDLE 1

as we wander through the years memories – with 80 mph winds as I type today – I recall the winds of the Autumn before we received the inevitable rain. The weather has not been too bad this year but with such a mild December I wonder if we will pay for it with snow in April as previous years… meantime guying down the marquees in SUMMER in preparation for storms…

MARQUEE 2 OLIVER

We have castrated umpteen males (you can look back for that one) with many non stud quality going for Flock Guards and we have improved the herd quality no end – along with the land really coming to its own this year. Being part of the BPS scheme has given us the opportunity to meet so many new friends and Alpaca customers we really would recommend it.

In the family, Mitchell won an award for his film making going from strength to strength with his passion…

mitchell award

he looks so different now and all the lads exceed 6ft three plus with size 14 plus shoes its crazy…

we had a difficult time with some purchases over a very sad period in our lives with the discovery of our Flat Coated Retriever having a nasal tumour. We had just weeks with her before she was put to sleep on farm with her friends round her… we do have a new dog which we will introduce in the New Year but a few memories of Spirit over her very brief not even 8 years with us …

SPIRIT WET HEAD       ducks on grass 2

spirit winner

SONY DSC

????????????????????????????????????            spirit river

tears were shed for weeks as only those who have dogs can know how they “get you”… but that’s life with livestock…

one time consuming issue with a piece of hay ended in an ulcerated eye which luckily made a full recovery and the female went on to give a superb cria to no ill effect but it was pretty gruesome at the time…

eye laceration web

web flail with the inevitable land work, our flail has done us proud and the shearers this year were amazed at how the fleeces had improved so much since we moved here three years ago…

shearing

Really – is it three years, yes it is over that now, thank you to those in the nearest villages who have welcomed us and joined us too in our celebrations of 2015 this year…

Goodbyes are always difficult and the first month of the New Year will see many Alpaca leave for their new homes sold this year but either awaiting collection, recovery from castration or halter training!!!

so that just leaves a little goodbye to be said from a few of the Alpaca who modelled for the catalogues this year…

winter catalogue end

and to wish all our Clients, Friends and family a fantastic New Year 2016 – with love from the Alpaca

web closing picture

 

Kensmyth Alpaca farm in 2015 – a look back at the year Part 1

looking back at 2015…

Well 2015 has been a hectic one for sure. With our Alpaca producing some outstanding cria and fleeces,

                         fleece shots 5a

 

fleece shots 6

these went off inevitably to the Natural Fibre Company to be turned into yarn.

corn hall bas sign WEB

SONY DSC

This was a “new break out” for us into dyed Alpaca yarn and what a success it has been. With our new bright blue, matt black and racing green colours, in addition to all our natural colours, we have gone from strength to strength in our product range. With the addition of a machine crafted range, the Alpaca Fashion world is our oyster…

it was exciting filming for Kubota and their advertisement of the machines we use here along with their support for our disabled visitors in the form of the all terrain vehicles… also useful for apple picking for Kensmyth homemade chutneys…

kubota1   fruit picking 1

and our first cherries from trees we planted in 2012…

cherries

and for fun watching Fairford Air Tattoo in the all too short summer from the Hot tub.   hot tub 1

SONY DSC

and so many husbandry courses and waving goodbye to Alpaca off to their new homes in the first half of the year … and farming the land…

happy sweet 17 most like owner   early morning sunrise lovely browns and blacks group of five       moving field shelters aug

with visitors from many different groups including the South Cerney Beavers…

SONY DSC

BEAVERS FIRST WEB

and a quick trip out to support Cirencester Rugby Club of whom Kensmyth are also sponsors…

rugby club

 

these are just a few of the highlights of the year – it was not without its normal farming pitfalls…

 

 

 

Christmas 2015 at Kensmyth

Well Christmas is always busy with livestock and as we approach the New Year 2016 and in the next few days look back at what we have and have not achieved over the year… before we do this a few thanks are always in order…

thank you to our friends, family and clients for your support throughout the year… you know who you are and thank you to all of you sending wishes, cards and gifts and –

mum – for a great Christmas Pudding…

christmas pudding

and a great Christmas cake

christmas cake

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