Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: England

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 lucky stroke…

By grandson Church who bred this two-month old heifer.  The semen tested poorly but we liked the son Church produced last year so we tried again. She’s the daughter of Defender, the most recent star of the famous Champson herd.  Her brother will have the chance to breed for the first time this year. We […]

The one that got away…

…almost.  Some years ago we were very pleased with our Sunset bulls from Gavin Hunter ‘s Tilbrook Herd in England.  So were others and one day we realized we had sold the last of the blood line. Thanks to AI tanks we have just solved the problem.  Church found some Sunset semen in an old […]

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 […]

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 […]

Time flies…

It’s hard to believe but it was 10 years ago when we saw the first results of our traditional English Devon project. TDA 7 was the first calf we selected from our first English flush and she remains today one of the mainstays of our herd. “7” is the daughter of the great English cow […]

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 […]

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. […]

Just a quick tour…

…this past weekend.  (Warning: no pigs; they’re off at freezer camp) First stop the shipping pen where this four-year old bull is waiting for his ride to a commercial operation in southwest Virginia.  Clark Family farms have been good friends and customers for a number of years. The Clarks also selected one of our young […]