Kensmyth http://www.kensmyth.com Alpaca & Muscovy Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:28:26 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Alpaca for sale at Kensmyth – 2016 release of outstanding genetics http://www.kensmyth.com/alpaca-for-sale-at-kensmyth-2016-release-of-outstanding-genetics/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:28:26 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2646 For those of you with “champagne taste” but Beer money, Alpaca prices can be very off putting as they vary tremendously due to age, quality and progeny not to mention critical genetics.

Folk talk about Phenotype and Genotype but at the end of the day it boils down to simply – “what do you want the Alpaca for?” Are they for Pets, the Show Ring or commercial fleece production?

If you are looking for a PET and pay PET prices, do not expect it to win at the British Alpaca Society National Show!

YOU are the one who has to see to the every day needs and requirements in the wet muddy paddock in freezing temperatures and attend to water etc in the hot burning temperatures – so buy what you like and everything else will follow.

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What are you looking for? Do you want to breed for the Show ring, in which case the “look” of the Alpaca is key, along with the fineness of the fleece which must have crimp to please the judges.

KALI FLEECE WEB 2

Heads with full coverage are key for the Show Ring.

cria haircut WEB

 

Are you looking to breed for fleece to produce for garments? in which case you need not worry so much about the “look” of the Alpaca or indeed its crimp but need to look at its size and staple length for fleece production. Small bodied alpaca do not produce as much fleece as bigger Alpaca but if the fleece is no good at all, then you will not get very far producing scratchy itchy fleece from poor quality Alpaca.

Big IS really beautiful, IF the fleece matches and is good quality.

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Fleece stats (statistics) are helpful but they are only like an “MOT on a car” as they only cover that time for that Alpaca, it does give some indication but only at that time of year at that moment on that particular years fleece.  All too often folk use the “cria” or First fleece statistics which are bound to be the best. FEELING the fleece softness on the Alpaca is far better than reading statistics on paper without seeing the Alpaca it came from.

glennies cria Web

Ultimately HOW you feed your Alpaca and the weather conditions will change the fleece anyway. For example, it is widely known that the Alpaca in Australia lose several micron if moved to New Zealand – obvious really as the climate and grasses change dramatically.

So put Alpaca in a lush grassy field, overfeed it and you will get a higher micron and poorer quality fleece statistic than the Alpaca is genuinely capable of. simples.

look at the parents, do you like what you see?

legacy shorn WEB

Is the breeder keeping back females in their own herd… always a good sign and just selling older females which could thus be a bargain starter herd?

look at the males – are they correct behind?

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“Bite” does not mean they physically bite but, like sheep means the teeth meeting the palate in a sensible manner. not too overshot or undershot. if you are looking for a fleece producing Alpaca, this matters less than if you want a “show one”. If bad though, it is not something we would breed from regardless of the quality of the fleece. Likewise temperament, if the Alpaca is unmanageable in its temperament then chances are, its progeny will carry some if not all of that trait.

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When you send your fleece to be made into yarn, you get out what you put in but it is still not as soft as natural fleece. make sure you know what you are buying, how to look after it, the fact they must live in herds of at least three (not singly), they can live 20 years plus and you buy from someone who is willing to help and advise!

Nothing is set in stone in the Alpaca world and this is only my opinion based on nearly ten years of breeding Alpaca, without issue and with a longstanding very successful fleece production business!

Kensmyth Stud has Alpaca of most colours to suit all types and all budgets, some are available now, please enquire.

We will tell you honestly what “type” of Alpaca they are and what they are best suited for!

 

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Eating out in the Cotswolds http://www.kensmyth.com/eating-out-in-the-cotswolds/ Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16:10:32 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2639 With Chas and Dave on next week end – yes the real ones and I am showing my age, the Tunnel Inn at Coates has already been recommended by us… great pub grub at sensible prices with great service…

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BUT I have to say that the Green Park Restaurant near Costco in Reading has the most SHAMAZING puddings and you would not believe this is an “Eton Mess” – nope, my friend eating not me!

eton-mess

 

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Cirencester Rare Breed Market – how well do you know your Breeds? http://www.kensmyth.com/cirencester-rare-breed-market-how-well-do-you-know-your-breeds/ Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:34:50 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2621 I am always behind with blogs because we are so busy with livestock care, field care and Visitors that I always do a massive update rather than daily – so some news items are a little while ago… this is one of them.

Many know that Cirencester has its own Agricultural Market at Driffield where livestock and poultry as well as farming equipment are sold on a regular basis. This is adjacent to the Countrywide store which is similar to the Mole Valley Farmer chain of stores, supplying most animal and farming items required for routine work. It is a very friendly clean, tidy well penned market with great Auction rings.

The Rare Breed sale is always exciting to attend (if no cria due) as one can see livestock of many breeds and types brought together in one place which is not often seen. I apologise but I do not look at the cattle as I have no interest in those (other than my friends Yaks and another friends Dexters of course) but the rest was fun – see how many different types of Sheep you can guess…

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how are you doing so far?

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and we must not forget the endearing Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs…

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preparing Cria for winter – what a good idea http://www.kensmyth.com/preparing-cria-for-winter-what-a-good-idea/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:33:19 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2616 all too often I hear “why are your cria so much bigger than mine?” Many express incredulity at the size of our Alpaca cria compared to their own but the answer is very simple. We keep the feed regime strict but continuous. that way the cria learn that the “trough” contains something every single night of the year and that the quicker they get to it, the better before Mum steals it. Hence the cria eat hard food at an early age – usually from 2 weeks here – which helps them grow and aides their safe Weaning at a later stage.

see for yourself…

cria-feeding-web yearlings-at-troughs

note to the left of the photo it also shows lowered water refillable troughs which means cria can drink water at all times. This is critical in hot months as, although Mothers milk is essential food and fluids, cria also need to hydrate with water and should have it accessible at all times.

The right hand photo shows yearlings and two year olds using the same feed “off the ground” method but still at cria height!

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Harry Hamster Down by the Riverside http://www.kensmyth.com/harry-hamster-down-by-the-riverside/ Sun, 11 Sep 2016 15:14:11 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2612 No, really there are no Hamsters that I am aware of at Kensmyth Alpaca farm but the little stretch of River we have at the very end of the farm is really beautiful at this time of year…

just see for yourself, great for Picnics for our Visitors and just take a look at the intricate detail of Mother Natures designs…

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somebody is 85 today – Happy Birthday Dad! http://www.kensmyth.com/somebody-is-85-today-happy-birthday-dad/ Fri, 09 Sep 2016 18:03:36 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2607 well we had a Birthday Boy today, my Father. An exceptionally talented, generous, kind and intelligent man who has seen an awful lot in his 85 years I can tell you!

Mum put onto the cake everything a “Dad” is from part time help to brother, you name it!

Then a fantastic 85 for Dad to blow out with candles and then…

pictures of the grandchildren etc all around the cake – what a fab idea!

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The cake Mum, as always, just stunning!

Dad loves visiting the Alpacas and seeing the newborn cria with Mum too.

Happy Birthday Dad!

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Mother Nature feeding us for Winter http://www.kensmyth.com/mother-nature-feeding-us-for-winter/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 08:59:58 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2603 Well the Blackberries on farm are fabulous and we have been enjoying Apple and Blackberry delights for a little while now. Why are the best ones always the highest though?

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and although WE will NOT be eating these, Mother Nature provides readily for the birds too…

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The Tunnel Inn at Coates gets our vote as fab Pub http://www.kensmyth.com/the-tunnel-inn-at-coates-gets-our-vote-as-fab-pub/ Mon, 05 Sep 2016 17:47:42 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2597 it is not very often I will write about Pubs because everyone has their own opinion on what is great food these days. With lads all topping between 6ft 2 and 6ft 6 inches – yes I did say 6ft 6″, we are not really into teeny weeny portions at very high prices. In addition, as a farming family we also like the food to be cooked naturally and not the “microwave mass” type of restaurants that sadly so many Pubs have become.

To this end, although we do not go out often, we have really enjoyed three “Pubs” this year for food with great service, the Green Dragon (mentioned on a previous blog), our local The Greyhound at Siddington and just recently we have rediscovered The Tunnel Inn at Coates.

The Pubs in South Cerney are great and are all very different but we like to travel just a little further and our favourite this year for the best service we have experienced to date has to be…

the Tunnel Inn at Coates.

You need to check what is on as they have different events and it is a windy road off the beaten track but it is a rare treat and to see horse riders dismounting outside and sitting at the tables, dog walkers having a pint and lunch is a step back in time and savoured.

portions are great and prices are good, better still they have an excellent Chardonnay…

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amazing skies and golden sunsets as nights draw in http://www.kensmyth.com/amazing-skies-and-golden-sunsets-as-nights-draw-in/ Sat, 03 Sep 2016 18:38:19 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2593 well the Summer is fading but the year is not growing cold yet, unfortunately nights are drawing in though. Alpaca walks are ending in the daytime earlier and there is definitely a chill in the early evening…

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but still fantastic blue skies and spectacular Cotswolds scenery… and pubs too…

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September sneaks in like a lamb for 2016 with warm showers http://www.kensmyth.com/september-sneaks-in-like-a-lamb-for-2016-with-warm-showers/ Thu, 01 Sep 2016 11:33:40 +0000 http://www.kensmyth.com/?p=2589 what better way to celebrate September but with warm weather and short rain showers making everything grow…

and I mean everything…

already weighing a cute 40kg, and as tall as a Ridgeback, our little pup has two more years of growing to do – apparently!

SHAMIRA NOT WEB

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