Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Bulls

A winning combination…

…of the outstanding Rotokawa 982 and our awesome X2a! 4 is a healthy 65-pound bull calf…an ai son of 982.  This sire was an unsung member of Ken McDowalls battery of great bulls.  Church came up with some of his hard to find semen not long ago. We chose X2a whose pedigree goes way back […]

The first bull calf…

…of the year weighs exactly 70 pounds.  And though mom is a heifer she has him well-disciplined.  No easy task with a rambunctious little bull calf! The sire of these early calves is TDA 35…an all English bull by Falcon out of Norah. Mom is a good example of crossing our American herd with an […]

Back in the bull pen…

…and oblivious to his achievements in the pasture…is TDA35.  This young bull has sired this year’s heifer candidates. The son of Goldings Norah by Ashott Barton Falcon..TDA 35 has an outstanding background on paper. This is his first real test. David

Sad to report…

…the passing of legendary Devon breeder Ken McDowall of New Zealand.  Ken’s Rotokawa bulls were at the center of the great Devon resurgence at the turn of the century.  While there is some dispute over just who “discovered” Ken, there is no doubt it was Gearld Fry and Ridge Shinn who popularized the great Rotokawa […]

The class of ‘21…

…welcomed to the Perrine’s nearby Slainte farm by the year around dog in charge, Molly.  This group of 14 includes both heifers and steers. The Perrines and their neighbors, the Ferro’s, have been taking our young calves for a number of years.  That larger calf to the right is a Devon-Senepol cross…a testimony to the […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]