Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Poultry 2009: Turkeys and the such.

The heritage turkeys are coming along nicely with the toms learning to "puff up" and strut at the same time, the males are fighting for dominance and seem to have their "favorite" hens that they already have paired up with and "claimed". The off color guinea types are coming along nicely as well, picking their partners now and learning to bark rather proficiently. The chickens as always are coming along nicely. The amarcauna flock is laying terrifically at the moment, they haven't stopped laying as of yet....ever, I've got a banty setting a next of eggs for a friend at the moment.

The younger chickens, mostly polish, buff orpingtons, cuckoo marans, and some Rhode Island Reds haven't started laying yet, but the roosters have mastered won't be long 'till the first eggs come along.

I thought now would be a good time to post some photo updates and elaborate a bit on future plans.

As you can see we have developed a new coop for the birds, it's working out well in the warm weather and I will put some roll down flaps of tarp or plastic on there for this winter for added insulation from the cold due to the chicken mesh only lower sides, this is actually my original greenhouse which then evolved into the first worm house and now finds itself at use as a bird house.

Kim and I have been considering buying another section or two to add to this coop for the adoption of a further and larger turkey breeding operation...of course they will still be free range as they are now, coming and going as they please, really the coop is just there for protection from night predators and the turkeys and guineas really don't care for it much, prefering to try and roost in trees and the currently empty compost bins at the back of the coop, they have to be reminded to enter the coop nightly, hopefully they will eventually learn.

In the long run I would like to look into the regulations for how many and how you would be able to slaughter/sell turkeys in the state of Indiana for the holidays, this season everything is breeding stock minus two extra toms which we will enjoy come Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anybody know how to find out the regulations?

We also now have two high quality incubators in our posession and plan to breed and sell chicks, keets, and poults in the coming years, we plan to work towards breeding some new colors of turkeys and selecting for the sizes historically depicted in the varieties we already have. We finally picked up a high quality hygrometor for the incubators today on our bi-monthly trip to town, I'm going to be firing up the incubators in a couple weeks in time for fall hatching although chickens will be all that's on the menu for this season due to turkeys and guineas not breeding/laying until they are a year old. Our current breeding stock of turkeys includes: Black Spanish, Slate Blue, Bourbon Red, Naragansette, and standard bronze, plenty of genetics to go around but we plan to add the genetics of royal palms and eastern wild as well as Rio Grande wild types in the future.....much like my plant breeding we enjoy diversity in our birds.

If you live locally and need some chicks this fall please give us a call at 812-967-2073, just ask for Alan.

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