Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: David

I’m confused…

…and understandably! About four inches of snow sandwiched between 60- and 70-degree days. One of Thistle Hill’s fine young American bulls trying to figure out the recent change-able weather. He’s a combination of excellent bloodlines from Rotokawa and Lakota. And he’s one we not only use ourselves but loan to small farms who can’t manage […]

A gift to us…

…from us. What Santa left under our tree. A new 24-foot Wilson cattle trailer! Needed with Church increasing our bull leasing and seed stock sales.  Oh, not to mention more frequent trips to the butcher. Our old trailer…16-feet and bumper mounted…had been driven into the ground. A goose-neck with excellent tracking was clearly called for…particularly […]

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 […]

What were the odds…

…with four daughters what were the odds they would all marry men who love to cook? I’m a lucky guy and am particularly blessed when Thistle Hill can supply the entree! Son-in-law Curt Humphreys demonstrates what a pork loin should look like: perfectly pink. You won’t find flavor like this at a supermarket. Curt did […]

An alternative view…

Joel Saladin has been in the forefront of the battle for natural food…particularly pastured meats. His Polyface farm down the nearby Shenandoah Valley is a kind of Mecca for farmers and foodies alike. In a recent blog, Joel opens another controversial topic: why the explosion in Alzheimer’s in our society? The real villain may be: […]

Parade of (baby) bulls…

…features three of the yearling bulls we’re holding back to see how they develop. The first is the final pairing Wooz selected on her last trip to England. His dam comes from the famous Tulip line. The breeder resisted collecting her and after some to and fro, we bought her outright! Then we had to […]

King David on assignment…

…we’re fortunate to have some cooperative farmers to handle our heifers (and keep them away from the bulls)! But this is NOT that time of year. Here is the King (2nd from right), a half English Devon bull from the old Essington Park herd, and his harem of eight English and American heifers. Between munches […]

An ah-ha moment…

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 […]