Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Cows

Off to summer camp…

…go eight Thistle Hill yearling heifers.  Once again Mary Perrine and Don Ferro have volunteered their adjoining pastures. It’s a lovely setting at the base of Cobbler mountain and the girls and we appreciate the hospitality. The two farms get lawnmowers and entertainment for the grandchildren and the heifers get loving care and civilizing and […]

Hi-tech preg check…

…Dr Kiel Hausler of Rose Hill Vets using ultrasound to preg check one of our young cows. It’s a little more reliable predicting calving days and it has the added benefit of revealing the sex of the embryo. The wranglers are son Church to the left and son-in-law Curt to the right. Putting more than […]

Just friends…

…we hope.  Our cover bull Prince…who is causing something of a stir in Devon circles…and is our cover bull this year. Prince is on the left…sharing some unrolled hay with a cow we hope he doesn’t get to friendly with.  WMD2 is the female…a cow we hope is carrying a Potheridge President embryo. The job […]

Ready to start…

…the main herd reporting for their preg check. The calves have been separated to be worked separately…vaccinations, dehorning, steering. Curt is the chief wrangler today…waiting for the signal to start bringing them in. David

Our cows…

…are built around the great English cow Tilbrook Cashtiller.  She won three consecutive national grand championships and a host of ribbons and silver.  And to top it off three of her sons were the top selling bulls in the annual Devon breeders sale.  We’re indebted to Tibrook’s Gavin Hunter…who again today is serving as president […]

After the storm…

…a mother and son relax on the comparative warmth of an unrolled bale of hay. It provides some insulation against the frozen ground below. David

Winter feeding…

…takes several forms at Thistle Hill.  This is my personal favorite because we’re feeding the soil as well. The cows follow behind the tractor as it unrolls the bale of hay.  They’ll eat up to 60%..the rest becomes organic matter enriching the soil…feeding the microbes and, in turn, the plants. Oh and tonight the new […]

Making history…

…is something of a habit at Thistle Hill.  We’re always trying new ideas…ways to improve the quality of our operation and the cows we produce. In that pursuit we were particularly excited when Church was able to negotiate the purchase of a canister of scores of straws of semen from longtime Devon breeders Don and […]

A good omen…

…as a rainbow finds daughter Carolyn inspecting one of our newly-seeded pastures.  It’s been 10 days since we seeded a cover crop of ryes, clovers, turnips, radishes and cow peas. It’s the cow peas clearly winning the germination race but if you look closely you can see the ryes breaking the surface. We let the […]

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 […]