Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Calves

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 […]

Let the calving begin…

…and we start with our first-calf heifers. F21 is a Bribery embryo daughter and this is first born…a little heifer by a young Thistle Hill bull out of Goldings Norah. In fact this is a combination of the herds of many of our great English partners…Cutcombe, Ashott Barton and Goldings.  It’s great fun now that […]

The future…

…is in good hands!  Two yearling bulls we have high hopes for. In the background is one of the first calves from our herd bull Essington.  He’s from a premier English herd that was the work for many decades of Brian Drake…a herd that now sadly belongs to history. In the foreground is the first […]

Ladies in waiting…

…have been moved to the pasture closest to the house where we can keep an eye on them. It’s interesting that none of the cows in this picture is actually grazing…they’ve all adopted that far-off stare of cows waiting for birth.  That event begins in just a few days! Keeping an eye on them has […]

Upgrading some pastures…

…and using a no-till drill. In addition to clover, which we often spread, this year we’re mixing in perennial rye, cereal rye, turnips, radishes and cow peas. We’re doing several pastures hoping to extend the natural grazing season.  Not only should it mean extra nourishment for mama and calf in the winter slump but some […]

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 […]

Closing the circle…

Bribery is her name and we spotted her grand dam on our first visit to Ashott Barton farm in England 10 years ago.  The breeder, Shiamala Comer, didn’t want to submit her best cow to the rigors of flushing. Fast forward 5 years and on our last trip to England , Wooz and Church convinced […]

Waiting for the jury…

…well actually TDA35 is waiting for his first Thistle Hill calves…due in a few months.  We’ve loaned him out to neighbors in the past who had just a few cows. 35 is the result of a mating between two great traditional Devon herds…Goldings in Cornwall and Ashott Barton in Sometset.  Church was pleased with 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 […]

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. […]