Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Rotokawa

Hanging out with the guys…

…three of our bulls doing their own version of intensive grazing.  On the left Guardian, a Rotokawa-bred animal, and then two of our English bulls, Essington and Highwayman. The last two are both sired by the great Ashott-Barton bull, Millenium Falcon. My guess is they’re all favoring the grass right there because an underground stream […]

This isn’t all that bad…

….one of the mainstays of our herd, T2, interrupts her grazing after the first snowstorm of the season. As you can tell by her nose, she had no difficulty burrowing though the snow to get at grass. (There’s hay nearby, if she wants it.) Officially we had six inches of snow overnight though not quite […]

Ma, our baby boy is all growed up!

His name is Augustine and he’s packed with Rotokawa 667 genetics.  He’s also the son of one of our favorite cows.  With all the attention we’ve been devoting to our English project, we didn’t want to give the impression we’ve been ignoring our breeding of Rotokawa offspring. At Thistle Hill, under the watchful eye of […]

A battery of bulls….

….actually, our bull inventory is pretty low right now.  Our two-year olds are all sold and the group of yearlings is sandwiched between Traditional Devon™ Wellington on the left and Thistle Hill Jackpot on the right. To the left of Jackpot is a particularly exciting young English bull—TDA Highwayman—and next to him is another excellent prospect, […]

Rotokawa is back….

….we were pleased to learn that our friend Henry Hauptman, is putting some of his two-year old bulls up for sale.  Henry has been quietly re-building the famed New Zealand herd in recent years but is now marketing 20 two-year olds. These are from Ken McDowall’s original herd and Ken took part in the breeding […]

Third stop….

….on our Devon summer tour: the famed Rotokawa herd in Hardwick, Massachusetts.  Few breeders could be under more pressure than Henry Hauptman.  For the past few years he has owned the famed Rotokawa…and his first big decision was to withdraw the animals from the marketplace while he worked to restore their luster. We think Henry’s […]

The Rotokawa 243 family….

….is beginning to make an impact on Devon herds in this country.  After a slow start due to the feud inside the Rotokawa partnership, things have settled down and now we expect a whole new shipment of 243 semen will be heading to Henry Hauptmann’s Rotokawa America. Regina and Tom Tesnow are justifiably proud of their […]

243…the formal portrait…

….well, actually we liked the one we ran the other day, 243 fresh from work, splattered with mud and head covered with hay. But Ken McDowell cleaned him up so here’s New Zealand’s finest: Rotokawa 243. Ken’s not saying but that fact that he went to all this trouble and gussied him up and put a […]

Ken’s best….

….a current picture of Rotokawa 243, the bull New Zealand’s Ken McDowell feels is the best he’s ever produced.  This is the one bull that was too young to make the trip when the Rotokawa herd was shipped to the United States. 243 is the sire of our herd bull, “Jackpot“, and we’re very impressed […]

Just like Dad….and Mom…

….one of two Rotokawa 688 line bred bulls remaining at Thistle Hill.  Click the picture to see both ends of him. This two-year old—Wooz named him “Oh My“—is extremely docile, even by Devon standards.  He’s in a pasture with five other young bulls and he’s the one who always comes up to the Gator to greet […]