Thistle Hill Farm – Blog

…doing what comes naturally

Category: Thistle Hill Farm

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 […]

A winning combination…

…of the outstanding Rotokawa 982 and our awesome X2a! 4 is a healthy 65-pound bull calf…an ai son of 982.  This sire was an unsung member of Ken McDowalls battery of great bulls.  Church came up with some of his hard to find semen not long ago. We chose X2a whose pedigree goes way back […]

Let the calving begin…

…and we start with our first-calf heifers. F21 is a Bribery embryo daughter and this is first born…a little heifer by a young Thistle Hill bull out of Goldings Norah. In fact this is a combination of the herds of many of our great English partners…Cutcombe, Ashott Barton and Goldings.  It’s great fun now that […]

Proud guard dogs…

…watching over our enlarged asset base. It’s a new For-most head gate, squeeze chute and a-i cage rolled into one transportable unit.  With four remote pastures now this mobile chute makes life a lot easier.  No more coaxing a sick animal into a trailer to get it home for doctoring. This thing has all 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 […]

Updating upgrading…

…our pastures.  Four days after seeding with a mix of cover crops we see the first sign of success!!  Young cow peas are the first to germinate…can the turnips and radishes be far behind? David

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 […]

A great leap forward…

…for grandson Church as he departs Thistle Hill for veterinary school. For the past two years Church as stepped up in my absence to handle our Red Devon herd.  All the while he also completed an advanced degree in biology. Now it’s on to Cornell University and one of the leading veterinary programs in the […]

Sad to report…

…the passing of legendary Devon breeder Ken McDowall of New Zealand.  Ken’s Rotokawa bulls were at the center of the great Devon resurgence at the turn of the century.  While there is some dispute over just who “discovered” Ken, there is no doubt it was Gearld Fry and Ridge Shinn who popularized the great Rotokawa […]

The class of ‘21…

…welcomed to the Perrine’s nearby Slainte farm by the year around dog in charge, Molly.  This group of 14 includes both heifers and steers. The Perrines and their neighbors, the Ferro’s, have been taking our young calves for a number of years.  That larger calf to the right is a Devon-Senepol cross…a testimony to the […]