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Eastern Wild Turkeys.jpg
These are four Eastern Wild Turkey chicks hatched this a.m., 7/21/20. The incubator is an antique cabinet incubator I use as a first twelve hour brooder.
 

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It's striking how babies like turkeys and Guinea keets look so similar. Although the Guinea keets have bright orange legs.

Do you have to have a permit to raise them?

Yep, some of that old stuff is so much more reliable than what we can buy new today.
 

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Hello Robin, no there is not a permitting process for domestically hatched and raised EWTs in Ohio. The other breed I like that is similar is the Spanish Black Turkey. My farm, Fossil Ledges Animal Education Center, is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) multi-species animal sanctuary and Equine Therapy center. We are also an Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitator. The birds are my hobby and now that I am retired, I can devote more time to them. Hopefully, we can also get back to some poultry shows and judging when the Covid pandemic is over. I like to raise threatened species and antique chicken breeds. A dozen years ago, I started with two off the track thoroughbreds and two juvenile Emu rescues. The cabinet incubator belonged to my Grandmother and has been reliable, although it has always maintained two temps, an egg temp for the top and a brooder temp for the bottom. I don't know if it was designed like this or not. I have updated heating elements twice over the years and I have a solid state thermostat on it now with sensors and it still does the two temp zones for better or worse. I really like my Rite Farm one from Texas though, it's totally automatic and you don't have to fuss with it!
 

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I did know about your rescue/rehab part of this.

Are you really thinking about getting back into judging? Miss that part of the poultry world?

I didn't even think about the shows being on hold during the pandemic. I've removed myself so far from that part of my old life it just never occurred to me.

I actually like that idea of it being a two in one. A brooder on the bottom makes sense since heat rises. How in the heck does it do that anyway?
 

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Yes, the pandemic is so surreal, I feel removed from everything. I didn't used to mind judging the 4H and FFA shows for the kids, here in the U.S. I don't know if I will re-up my APA memberships. I got into it thirty-five years ago when I was in college in Ireland. I had several excellent mentors and learned about the antique breeds from a European perspective. Most of the EU countries have their own poultry associations and licensure and then there is an EU license. My favorite breed of chicken is now incredibly rare. It is the Knowlsley stock Earl of Derby Old English, which had white beaks and feet.
 

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The old cabinet incubator is a mystery. The original heating element is in the top. The second electric element is in the top and the 75 watt ceramic bulb is near the top. I did add an old computer fan to attempt to even out the temp but it still maintains those few degrees of difference from top to bottom. Maybe it's just haunted LOL, it's had a lot of birds go through it over the years!
 

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Since I got out of raising the birds I've stayed closer to home so the pandemic isn't really affecting me much. Doc visits are a bit more of a challenge but that's about it. Oh and it's hotter than blue blazes down here so the mask wearing can be uncomfortable.

Having good mentors goes a long way to making the whole idea of keeping the birds so much more pleasant. They help understand the needs of the birds and how to breed for the right traits. You were fortunate to have that early association.

I didn't venture into the unique or threatened breeds. I saw my first Silkie and that was it. I did have a few other breeds, loved the personality of my little d'Uccles but it was always the Silkies.

Somehow they figured out how to make that incubator dual purpose from the sounds of it.
 
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