The print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1977-1989, November 15, 1978, Image 1

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Birds pampered from birth
By Scott Starnes
BfThe Print
■The turkey which sits on the
Ling room table this coming
thanksgiving is no ordinary
Id. Every part of it, from the
least to the drumsticks, has
|en carefully nurtured from
lirth to the dinner table by the
|rkey farmer.
I Guy Wheatley of Molalla is­
le only turkey farmer in the
Bate who naturally breeds his
keys. “As far as I know, I’m
■e only one in the state who
Leeds his turkeys this way. I
Ind that this is the correct way
Braising these birds and ob-
aining the best quality bird,”
Iheatley said....
■Wheatley said he receives
lie turkey chicks on his farm
then they are about 12 weeks
Id. “Viewpoint Hatcheries,
rated in Salem, incubates the
irkey eggs and then sells them
|me,” he said. “We have to
do it this way because the
«rent birds do not know how
oproperly raise their young.”
lOnce receiving the turkey
licks, Wheatley said that the
Birds are distinguished for
reeding, laying and meat pur-
we clip their beaks is that they
contact diseases from the
ground by pecking.”
As the 32 weeks roll around
the birds are separated into dif­
ferent categories, Wheatley
said. The breeders denote the
¡Before, we have had problems with the
Burkey market plants in that they
preferred the big meaty birds over the
small bird, which we mostly have.”
Poses. “Out of 12,000 chicks
lout 5,000 are set aside as
Breeders,” Wheatley said.
(The birds must be at least 36
leeks old before they are even
Bnsidered for commercial
Irposes, Wheatley said.
[During this pre-commercial
|ge, the birds’ beaks are
lipped and one of their wings
lout off, Wheatley said. “I’ve
hn the birds take to running
|er being
Imething, start flapping their
lings and fly right out of the
jens. We only cut one wing so
I to off-balance them,”
Wheatley said.
I "The reason why we clip
R beaks is that they naturally
[nd instinctively peck at each
Rr and in so doing draw
Rd. I don’t know what
Res this but when a bird is
Rding the others will kill it.
fcy’re sort of like cannibals,”
Wheatley said.
■After 24 weeks the birds are
ren shots for a variety of
Rases. “The birds take a lot
Ishots,’’Wheatley said.“They
re so susceptible to diseases in
fair and from the ground,”
fsaid. “This is another reason
choite birds and are used solely
for this purpose. “For the first
six months, 110 percent of all
the hens are laying, the next
five only 85 percent and then
the next four and a half, 70
percent of the hens are laying,”
Wheatley said. As the laying
percentage slowly decreases,
many of the birds are but­
chered, he said.
Wheatley has had to pay
careful attention tothebreeding
birds so that they cannot brood
over their eggs. “We receive
money for each egg we ship to
Viewpoint Hatcheries. Since
the birds don’t know how to
take care of their young after
being hatched, we are losing
money by the inevitability of
the chicks’ death,” he said.
To contain this problem,
Wheatley said that they have
had to install 260 one hundred
watt lightbulbs around the pens
so that the birds will not brood
over the eggs. “The birds won’t
brood in the daylight so we’ve
installed these lights for this
purpose. This acts as a shock
treatment on the birds and for­
ces them away from brooding,
and outside to where it’s cold.
The body temperature of the
brooding hens increases as
they brood over their eggs and
thereby forcing them out of the
breeding pens,” Wheatley said.
When many of the turkeys
become no longer useful as
breeders or layers, they are
shipped to Norbest Inc., for
butchering, Wheatley said.
“Many turkeys besides the
layers and breeders have been
raised solely for meat pur-1
poses,” he added.
Wheatley said that the
breeder ¡birds are a little
tougher eating but are fat,
which creates a juicier bird. The
birds are on an average of two-
and-a-half years old before
they are sent away for but­
chering, he said.
“Before, we have had
problems with the turkey
market plants in that they
preferred the big meaty birds
over the small birds which we
mostly have. But many times
the consumer only wants to eat
turkey for a couple of days and
therefore the small bird
becomes more practical,”
Wheatley said.
Wheatley said that the
market for turkeys is currently
quite good. “A little while back,
when beef prices rose con­
siderable, the turkey plants felt
obligated to increase their
prices in comparison to the
escallating beef prices. This was
really stupid on their part,”
Wheatley said. “As soon as
beef prices receded, the market
for turkey at that high cost shot
the bottom right out of our
“We could have still sold
turkey during this time at the
same price per pound, met our
expenses and lived comfor­
tably,” he said.
Wheatley said there is more
to that turkey on your table
than meets the eye, and that it
has been' a carefully raised and
looked after bird.
Tidy tax system needed
By Kelly Laughlin
Of The Print
When the legislature con­
venes in January, property tax
relief is expected to head the
lawmakers’ list of concerns. But
what any potential tax relief
package would mean to the
College budget remains in
Whether great or small tax
changes are drafted, the
college’s financial status will be
affected. Ideally, according to
President John Hakanson, “if a
system was worked out in
February, we might have some
indication as to how much
money we’ll have to work with
for the next year.”
“There is no question that
the legislature will be ad­
dressing the tax problem
early,” said Edward Linquist,
state representative for District
26. “The problem we’ll be
faced with is getting an effective
system going much earlier than
“A tidy, or at least more ap­
pealing, tax relief system is
needed,” Lindquist added.
“We will be looking at systems
from other states and locales to
get a program that best suits
Oregonians. If we didn’t act on
it immediately, the people may
put a measure together that’s
even more damaging than
others previous.”
If a tax proposal were drafted
just before the College budget
time arrived, “It would be dif­
ficult to finalize a budget,” said
Hakanson. “We would just
have to get as close as possible
to what we think we would
recieve in revenue. It’s been
done before, but never with a
tax issue pending.
What are the possibilities,
then, of overspending? Not
likely, according to Hakanson.
“We would simply not spend,
or at least reduce any ad­
ditional spending.”
Linquist said, however, it’s
very likely, that “we’ll give
some lead time, in order for
local governments to work out
their finances, before the effec­
tive date occurs. We’re not
about to let schools and com­
munity colleges go. They’re
our main responsibility,” he
Although the property tax
issue rests high on the
legislative agenda, it appears
that putting a measure into ef­
fect too close to the budgetary
process would cause great un­
certainty, and possibly ad­
ditional problems could arise as
a result.