Alpaca & Muscovy

Helen Kendall Smith

50 mph winds in uk – Event Marquees and Alpaca mothering instincts

I promise I will put up the blogs previously mentioned as soon as I get a minute to sort the photos. in the meantime you will recall our sturdy marquees for all events? here seen with one of my lovely old girls (in the background are the Marquees) who has just produced a super brown girl…


well with the winds yesterday we seriously thought the Marquees were going parachuting… but they have a “failsafe” mechanism of quick side removal and dropping to short levels…


so Mr Wind could blow all he liked (and he did) but he could not blow our short Marquees down!


Normal “tall service” will be resumed shortly now the weather has improved!

So where is the “mothering instincts” I hear you ask?

Well, for those of you expecting Alpaca mothers to love their cria and bring them out of the rain…

how is this for a spectacular example of why not to rely on them??!!


lucky I always coat the cria!!!!

Cria Drop 2015, breach birth in Alpaca and Romanesco

well, time has flown and this time it has been a challenge that could end with an unhappy ending.

closely following a retained placenta we have had 4 more cria in close succession and one of them breach.

Anyone in farming knows this is serious for both mother and cria and we are on permanent watch as always for the first signs of infection … the good news is that both are currently alive and well and BEA from the Vet practice was sterling in the rain last Friday. when I put the blog up please do not read it if you are squeamish – you have been warned.

Shearing went well this week end and with the weather now torrential and windy, June 1st is showing how climate change can seriously affect herd management. some task getting 50 plus Alpaca into the barns on Saturday and the lads were great, hubby helped up and down with hurdles but more on the shearing another day. Fab fleeces. Thanks to ShearCo for another great job.

Meantime, someone asked me what my favourite vegetable was the other day and although nothing to do with Alpaca whatsoever (all photos will follow shortly on the above) I thought I would share it with you…

Romanescu. Simples. Fantastic colour, nutty cabbage like taste, easy to cook in 2 minutes flat and looks great on a plate.

Romenescu 3 web

Romenescu 2 web

Romenescu 1 web

south cerney duck race 2015

Well, we have to say that this year we did not make it to the South Cerney Duck Race. Owing to critical birthing and Alpaca Walks here.

We met many folk headed that direction though and it looks like the 2015 South Cerney Duck Race had good weather too.

racing pigeon and racing time

well 5 am is the only time I have found to blog! I had an email asking if all was well because I had not blogged in such a long time – silence is not always bad news – we are just busy – crazy busy!

We have had births, husbandry, visitors and all getting ready for some exciting stuff happening at Kensmyth.

Getting the ground ready for new cria, paddock rotation – topping in fields not used and getting ready for shearing. few realise the preparation required in getting some 50 alpaca in separate age, sex and pregnancy groups in overnight to keep them dry for the shearers is a mammoth organizational task… and the weather does not look great so aftercare keeping them warm is critical.

Cria are doing well and clocked in at 23kg and 11kg respectively this week end so growing well – piccies to follow.

We had a crazy birth on Saturday with a female a fraction under 12 months gestation who has a heavy fleece and is a small girl so that was hectic too – bless. piccies to follow.

Meantime we have been adopted! yes, a racing pigeon again. I am not sure if it is the same one from our other farm it would be amazing if it is. stunning colouration and two tags.


Kudos on cue

Well I have been quiet as we have been busy. Our overdue females are … still overdue. Husbandry in full force, ditto land work and preparing for the inevitable “Big day on the Calendar” – Shearing Day. With the weather running riot including hailstones Barns are already in use big time.

However, just on Saturday afternoon one female decided to give birth at just under 11 months and steal the limelight. unfortunately she retained her placenta so the inevitable difficulties and intervention ensued.

Fingers crossed all well now and introducing “little Mr no name yet”


2014 Kensmyth Alpaca cria play

An update on the 2014 born male cria… Two are of stud quality, one will join the Walking Alpaca Team and one is just a hooligan with a career yet to be decided!

We had mainly girls in 2014 which was fantastic

see what you think – I took a quick iphone shot as I walked past their field and yes this is perfectly natural cria play!

2014 cria

Alpaca Walking is getting really busy now and must be booked in advance please as it says on the webpage please!

Webb Paton Swindon

Well I did say I would try to update stories past. I visited Webb Paton farm meeting some months ago on the new Farming BPS scheme updates. Most informative. However, excitingly I won a competition on the night and £300 worth of vouchers for the company APM supplies.

As I needed a new sprayer it was a delightful win for me and after surveying their site: chose a Wessex sprayer for the back of the RTV. Setting up is always a challenge with these things and those of us in farming know it is a whole different ballgame to knapsack spraying. here she is ready for action…


Thank you Webb Paton bye bye last remaining thistles and buttercups!



2015 Eclipse born cria Sliver Moon update

Well it has been a while again since I have had time to blog. It is crazy busy here and most landowners know that May is one of the busiest times of the year. Do not let the grass grow under your feet is an old saying but so true. one minute we are bewailing no rain as we need grass, the next minute like a mantle there is lush grass everywhere.

Regular blog readers have reminded me that I have not updated a few stories and given news on our 20th march born cria “sliver”…

here he is having outgrown his fourth coat. with temperatures still dropping here to less than 6 overnight his warmth is essential to his whole wellbeing and growth so Mary Roach stepped in. She kindly made us an XXL coat which if the weather improves will not get worn but is on standby if needed. it is so sad to hear of breeders losing their cria in the weather conditions we have had so far and sliver is by no means out of the woods yet.

please note the tail loop should have his tail in it but his back is now way too long even for an additional length loop! hence commissioning his new coat!

sliver blue coat

General Election 2015

well thee Election is nearly upon us. I think my overdue females are waiting to see if they are going to be Conservatives or Liberal Democrats – they are humungous. Most Alpaca farms are experiencing late deliveries this Spring.

At least we have had rain at last and the grass is growing.

Cria coats at the ready and more Nikiwax wash in and spray on… its a jolly hard work washing cria coats in mud/rain and dry to go back on again!

The Kubota is ready with the sprayer – next job – all buttercups and weeds beware once the ground is dry again!


Election? What Election – I’m the Boss!!


Kensmyth Sterling Silver Alpaca Pendant or Statue

Wow – for this Summer we are introducing the Kensmyth Sterling Silver Alpaca Pendant or Statue. Handcrafted in the Cotswolds from the image of our own stunning Huacaya Alpaca.
An absolute must for all discerning Alpaca lovers!
Please note these are only available from Kensmyth Stud, only a few are stocked and are otherwise made to order.