Ashott Barton News
There is never a dull day on the farm.
I’ve heard it said that you can farm for years and still you will have days that show you something you’ve never seen before. A lot of what happens is interesting and I think worth sharing, so here you will find an assortment of articles about life on the farm.
Below are the most recent happenings. You can also read articles from the past in Old News and in Tales from the Field are some general stories about life here.
Jeremy & his black bull
Seven new unrelated cows and five calves came to Ashott Barton on August 4th 2018
Jeremy,my son and creator of this website, has returned to Ashott Barton.The newsgirls are his start up fund. The partial dispersal of the herd in 2015 was a tragedy that haunts me every day but at least I am still here and have the hope and expectation that Jeremy may be able to write the next chapter of the history of this wonderful farm.
There was interview on Radio Somerset earlier this month when he spoke of his hope that he can combine software design and farming. Both are demanding occupations with extremely unsocial hours but commitment and belief can over come much.
The death of Bywood Buttons is still a issue. The best Devon cows in the world, according to American cattleman in Virginia USA, are being put to an Angus bull! We are seeking a new bull but the breed has been infected by so much mixed blood lines from French cows (Saler). Finding pure Devon bloodlines is a slow business. I will persevere in my search for a good sire for Millennium’s daughters and hope that the last Son of Buttons will grow into a good bull for the new cows. The last traditionally pure Devon calves were born this year. Next year’s babies will be black, the offspring of pedigree Angus Colhayne Pristine, or Euan to his friends.
Ashott Barton Herd Sale
The Ashott Barton Herd is for sale.
A simple statement with enormous implications for me. I am parting with them with such sadness. I am selling them because of the consequences of serious illness over the last few years.
They will be at the Devon Cattle Show and Sale on the 1st of October 2015. Contact me for more information.
End of an era at Ashott Barton.
Cowslip and Millie died on the 16th of Jan.2014. Millie was 16 and Cowslip 14.Two memorable and very eccentric animals that were a major part of my education about the Devons’ breeding and genetics.Cowslip came as a 4 week old calf at foot from Kerr’s dispersal sale. Millie ,an unregistered wilding heifer off the bleakest part of the moor.I shall miss old coat hanger(cowslip)and silly Millie. Neither were traditional and did not fit my goals but I don’t get rid of cows easily. By keeping them I have learnt a great deal about Saler and Polled lines and why I don’t think they are the way forward for the breed.
In Memory of Millennium
Millennium died on Tuesday, 1st March 2011. He died, as he has lived, with our love and his dignity intact. He was in the main barn, as he always is at calving time, his first calf of the year, little Lillibet, running around with his first grandson of the year and his cows close by. Jeremy and I sat by him; he fell asleep with a sedative and then a final injection from Tom, our vet.
Millennium was born on December 18th 1998. He came here on the 9th of September 2000. The Millennium bull, who has left a legacy of cows and bulls and given me the joy of a friendship with a unique being. I see his daughters and see him reflected in them.
Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful, describes him to perfection
Ashott Barton to America
Ashott Barton Millennium Falcon’s semen has been collected for export to America by his owner, Ivan Rowe.
Millennium Falcon, son of Cutcombe Millennium and Champson Tulip S38 was bred and trained by me. He was bought by Ivan, at the show and sale in march 2009. Ivan said that as I was not going to sell Millennium to anyone he had better buy a son. I was delighted because an old hand at Devon cattle, who chose Millennium as Stock Bull of the year in 2004, had bought my bull!
The Bull Goes In
April 21st – Time to start the cycle again and put the Bull in with the Cows so they will calve again next winter.
This year it is rather different for us as it is not Millennium who is the main Bull but rather his grand-son Essington Best Man (we call him Boy because his still is a young-un). Maybe next year he will be the man!
Boy has gone in with 7 of our cows. He will have more shortly.
Its that time of the year again when we spend our days and nights keeping constant vigil as the cows get ready to birth. Our focus is to predict when they going to calve and be there to assist if needed, but as any Devon breeder will say this is non-trivial task.
It is not just us who feel the huge loss of Millennium from the herd. The cows are also clearly affected by his death. It is most noticeable in the cows who were particularly close to him. He always had a group of what we called his “favorites” and it is those who’s behaviour has altered.