Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Breeding

It’s been almost a year…

…since the birth of what we hope will be another line of pure, traditional English Devon at Thistle Hill. H364 was sired by Champson Defender via AI ten months ago and is now ready to be weaned.  He was an early success story for Church, who is now waiting for Defender #2 to calve in […]

The time capsule…

…F212 carries genetics from many of the milestones in the 20-year history of Thistle Hill Devon. 212 is the daughter of Lakota 180…a natural daughter who until she died recently at the age of 19, had produced some of our best bull calves. So when 212 came along we grabbed her and now have great […]

The happy marriage…

…of two great English herds at Thistle Hill.  TDA 31 is an embryo heifer from Goldings Farm in Cornwall and Ashott Barton Farm in Somerset. 31 is Exhibit A in what we hoped to achieve with our pursuit of pure traditional English Devon genetics.  We would be hard-pressed to find some way to improve her. […]

The butcher’s breed…

…was the name the English gave to the Devon.  That was because of the quality of Devon meat.  It was about that time that the leading English agriculturalist Robert Bakewell pronounced Devon the perfect cow…in no further need of refinement by crossing with other breeds. At Thistle Hill we have devoted our time and resources […]

Thistle Hill alumni club…

…features our Equinox at home at Spring Pastures farm near Middletown, Maryland. Equinox is packed with our best pure English Devon genetics…Churchill on one side…Buttercup on the other.  It’s the second bull Thistle Hill has supplied to Brooke Henley and Tom Garnett. Brooke is excited by his first calves…eight so far, all vigorous and thick. […]

The family that works cattle together…

…well gets dirty together if nothing else.  Pregnancy checking is a kind of tense moment in the year.  Not only do you hope for a high rate of pregnancy…but for matings you’ve invested in embryo transplants and artificial insemination. This year we’re checking a total of 32 cows…a mix of regular Devon plus our pure […]

Free at last…

…with everyone in the family safely vaccinated, I was finally able to escape my senior residence for the first time in almost exactly a year. Naturally it was this year’s calf crop that interested me most.  They’re five months old now and a rewarding bunch of prospects. Church’s favorite is THF 3…the daughter of TDA […]

A bunch of hams…

…is what we’re raising…not baby beeves! I’d swear whenever Church unlimbers his iPhone our calves “assume the position” and proud mama poses in the background! THF 3 is a young heifer combining four of our pure traditional English Devon bloodlines: Tilbrook Cashtiller, Cutcombe Jaunty, Essington Buttercup and Ashott Barton Falcon. I’ve said before that I […]

Breakfast at Thistle Hill…

…and Churchill qualifies as an “eager eater”! He’s also the senior bull in our herd…still active in his 10th year.  Churchill is descended from the great Tilbrook Cashtiller who along with Cutcombe Jaunty were the first building blocks of our traditional pure English Devon herd. And here’s another good-looking herdmate, Essington, from Brian Drake’s former […]

DNA confirms it…

THF 1 is indeed an off-spring of the great English bull Champson Defender. He’s the second bull in partially obscured by an American herdmate.  Again note the difference in coloring of a pure traditional English animal versus the American variety! This was Church’s first try at artificial insemination and it’s a great success for the […]