Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: England

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 […]

The butcher’s breed…

…was the name the English gave to the Devon.  That was because of the quality of Devon meat.  It was about that time that the leading English agriculturalist Robert Bakewell pronounced Devon the perfect cow…in no further need of refinement by crossing with other breeds. At Thistle Hill we have devoted our time and resources […]

The family that works cattle together…

…well gets dirty together if nothing else.  Pregnancy checking is a kind of tense moment in the year.  Not only do you hope for a high rate of pregnancy…but for matings you’ve invested in embryo transplants and artificial insemination. This year we’re checking a total of 32 cows…a mix of regular Devon plus our pure […]

The three latest…