Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Bulls

An inspection tour…

…the new management took me around to check on our cows the other day.  With my usual impeccable timing, we were right in the middle of a blizzard. Carolyn and Church got a close look but I stayed in the car, which promptly got stuck in the snow.  But the main herd looked great…featuring a […]

English update….

The bull calf on the left is out of a Tulip dam, a line that goes back as far as there have been herd books in Britain…about 170 years. He’s definitely a “comer”; love his head and muzzle! The heifer on the right is out of Bribery. Church spotted her dam on his first trip […]

Did someone mention Valentines Day….

Our young bull Cutcombe must have gotten the idea somewhere because he took off overnight looking for love. Fortunately a neighbor spotted him early in his search and helped Church herd the young lothario back into the bull pasture. Fortunate too that his eight mates didn’t follow him on his quest. So no harm done…oh […]

Young cattleman of the year….

…if you’ll permit a proud Grandpa to brag. Grandson Church has just been named one of the 12 outstanding young cattlemen of the year by the leading grass fed organization in the country. The Grass Fed Exchange will salute the 12 young men and women at their annual meeting in Santa Rosa, California in April. […]

Lord of the manor…

TDA Churchill was the first bull we developed in our pure English Devon project and we now have about a dozen of his progeny in our herd. Churchill’s dam was the best Devon cow we ever saw.  She was national grand champion three years running until her breeder, Gavin Hunter of Tilbrook  Grange, took pity […]

Let the real test begin…

…in the final analysis it’s not the bull…nor the pedigree…but the calves. Cutcombe represents one of the first second generation all English animals born in America. Sired by Ashott Barton Millennium falcon and out of TDA 4. We hope to see his deep ruby red coat show up in his upcoming calves. And Cutcombe’s first […]

The cost of confinement….

….is generally discussed in terms of cost/benefit ratios.  What is it worth to keep an animal confined to a pen, indoors…sometimes even immobilized…in order to put cheap meat on your table?  (Forget, for the moment, that it is mostly unhealthy meat.) In the abstract, a few may understand that the animal is paying a terrible price […]

Probably ready to wean….

….the oldest of this year’s crop of Thistle Hill bull calves….THF 163…at 10 months.  He’s by Traditional Devon’s™ Highwayman.  The dam is one of our smaller American cows but from a top-producing line, X2a. The experts say you should expect a good cow to wean a calf half her weight.  Please don’t tell X2a!

Thistle Hill Alumni Club….

….when a Thistle Hill cow and Thistle Hill bull get together on “foreign soil”…good things happen! In this case, Elim Springs Rojo.  Owner Rich Hamilton sends us this picture of  Rojo, the son of our Watson and Izzie.  Izzie left here bred and delivered at the Hamilston’s Elim Springs farm in southern Virginia.  Rojo is […]

The Thistle Hill Alumni Club….

….celebrates the 13th birthday of its charter member!  Thistle Hill Goldie celebrated the day at his home in Bugtussle, Kentucky.  Eric Smith reports Goldie is still going strong after all these years. We’re often asked what’s the useful life of a bull and we normally say 10 to 12 years.  Looks like we’re going to […]