Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Month: February, 2012

Tie breaking vote…

Ever since he calved two years ago, Blizzard here has been one of our leading candidates for Thistle Hill herd bull.  He’s the son of Watson and what is probably our best cost and visitors generally singled him out.  But we wavered between Blizzard (technically U180) and U2.  Also a Watson son but by another […]

Going, going….

….our latest offering of Pork Paks is just about sold out.  We’re down to our last two boxes and, when they’re gone, we’ll have only a few individual packages of sausage and ham steaks left. Each box contains: Pork chops   6 Ham steaks  4 Bacon   2 Sausages (bratwurst, sweet Italian, breakfast links)   2 packages each […]

On our home page….

We wanted to alert those who skip our Home Page and come direct to this blog that we’ve posted some pictures of our 688 line-bred calves there. We’re not entirely convinced that breeding a sire (even one as good as Rotokawa 688) to his daughter is a good idea.  But in these matters, at least, […]

About those gestation cages….

…here’s a picture of your McDonald’s breakfast Sausage McMuffin I ran across on a political blog today.  The company is asking its producers to stop the practice…sometime in the future.  But their recommendation is to put the sows in the same kind of crowded housing they use for their piglets and continue pumping them full […]

Better living through chemistry…

More and more, I find myself wondering how long man can continue playing with Nature before we pay the ultimate price.  Experiments with that ultra-flu virus make me think that way.  So does reading that scientists in the Netherlands have developed a glob they think is artificial beef.  The first hamburger will be ready to […]

A bull’s life…

…ain’t bad at Thistle Hill.  First, there are fences so the women can’t run too far.  We’re using two very young bulls this year and each has a very limited work load.  (You call this work?)  But with all the AI and embryo transplants, they should have no more than about 10 cows each to […]

Devon cattle in England…

Continuing the dialogue from the previous post…. The four cattle-judging events in England each year are very formal events.  The judges, as you can see, wear bowlers and black suits.  All the animal handlers and owners dress in white smocks.  Wouldn’t want a judge looking at my cow that way! This judge is Gavin Hunter, […]

First, let’s be clear…..

…Prince Charles is not one of my favorite characters on the international scene.  But he is a farmer and raises Devon.  He and I attended the Royal Cornwall show a few years back.  (Full disclosure:  he arrived by helicopter; I came in a bus.  BUT THAT IS NOT ME IN THE COW HAT!) I digress.  The […]

You should know….

….that all the big producers are patting themselves on the back for their humane treatment of animals.  McDonald’s has joined Chipotle in campaigns to get their suppliers of pork to stop keeping their pigs in gestation pens.  They’re crates really, about two feet wide, so the sows can’t even turn around.  From the Wall Street Journal: […]

Two old cowboys “chew the fat”…..

While I can be hard on government ag agents, it was one of those critters (since reformed) who set us on the path to grass fed cattle and, indirectly, Devon. His name is Jim Gerrish, a consultant now, who lives and works out of Idaho.  Jim visited Thistle Hill almost 10 years ago, when we […]