Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Calves

Our Christmas child…

..on the home page is descended from the historic Cutcombe line in England. In fact, his sire was Thistle Hill Cutcombe…an embryo import. Cutcombe genetics bred by Margaret Elliott played a key role developing our pure traditional English Devon line which now numbers 16 females and 7 males. Ten years ago, after being impressed by […]

Send me in coach…

…our pure traditional English bull Essington is ready for his assignment as this year’s cover bull for the main herd. We’ve AI-ed 26 of 40 cows and it will be up to Essington to cover the rest and any of the AI-s that didn’t take. It’s the first time we’ve tested him. His dam was […]

Breeding…part three…

…and now it gets really interesting…starting in the pre-dawn darkness… and a pasture alive with blinking red lights. It’s the heat detectors…right on schedule at 48 hours. When a cow goes into heat, another mounts it, crushing the chemical patch on its rump. One of Carolyn’s jobs is thawing the semen straws. That’s what that […]

Parade of bulls…G101…

…is a pure traditional English calf just 10 months old. Again note the deep ruby red coat..a distinguishing feature of a pure Devon. G101 is a grandson of Ashott Barton Millenium Falcon who we spotted in Cornwall and is the bull that got us started in importing English genetics. His dam is TDA 4…a cow […]

Post graduate work…

As if grandson Church didn’t have enough to do running the farm and studying for an advance degree in biology…he recently took a week to attend the Frank B. Graham Cattleman’s School in Kansas. The week-long program covered every aspect of herd fertility and calving, including artificial insemination, preg checking and delivering a calf. Church, […]

A lovely young maiden at Cathy Cochran’s Oak Hill Farm.

She’s just two days old but seems older. Her sire is Thistle Hill’s King David. He spent the last breeding season at Oak Hill and contributed new genetics to Cathy’s award winning herd. Meanwhile King David is back home awaiting his next assignment. David

A spring morn update….

….and the grass is a long time coming. We’re keeping the main herd in this sacrifice pasture and continuing to feed hay. Just because we miscalculated we can’t ask the cows to pay for our mistake! Not only isn’t there enough yet, but this early the grass is “washy”…not as nutrient rich. On the other […]

Bribery update…

A few years ago, on an introductory trip to meet our partners in England, Church was given a wonderful gift by his grandmother: the right to select any heifer he wanted from the Ashott-Barton herd. The young cow he selected—-without any prompting from me—was from the Bribery line which I had long coveted. Because of […]

Surprise…

The oldest cow in our herd at 16, M180, greeted us with a bull calf. Baby is an 82 pound bull calf by an English bull, TDA Highwayman. M180 was purchased from Lakota ranch years ago and has produced a string of nice calves. She preg checked open and gave no sign she was expecting. […]

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 […]