Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Cows

Lest we forget…

…another pure English heifer…half sister to the two below…Ashott-Barton Tulip is the mother…and a line that stretches back as far as there have been Devon record books. The origination was in the famed Champson herd. The sire is Cutcombe Jaunty. Our current plan for Tulip is to let her calve at 3 and then decide […]

So Jim Gerrish knows….

…we practice what he preaches. The experts say the cows get about two-thirds of the best hay.  The rest is not wasted but trampled in creating organic matter and feeding the microbes. Add in the fertilizing the cows do as they roam around and our fertilizer bill is precisely “zero”. We do need a minimum […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

The joy of farming….

Grandson Church is taking a post graduate course in biology this winter…and a course on everything else here at the farm. It’s easy enough rolling out the hay and makes for a nice picture but…but… The trick is to get the tractor started in zero temps and the bale positioned with the plastic wrapping off […]

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 […]

A year end report….

….not from us, but from our English colleague and Cornwall correspondent, Juliet Cleave.  Juliet and husband Chris are partners in our Traditional Devon™ project and in recent years their hard work has vaulted their Kew herd to the very top of Devon farms…anywhere. This year-end video doesn’t begin to do Kew Devons justice….but will give […]

Good morning….

….is there anything finer than going out into the pasture in the morning and being greeting by a heifer with her brand new calf?  We don’t think so. The mom is descended from one of the first Devon we purchased years ago.  We liked the line but the females had bad udders and we’re also […]