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Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Mayberry Chicken Shack, Feb 7, 2013.
Does anyone know what turkey breeds are considered to be wild and which are considered domestic.
By definition a breed cannot be wild. Any species which has been developed to the point where it occurs in distinct breeds is domesticated. For a list of recognized breeds, see the Standard of Perfection. There are other domesticated varieties, but most are in dubious states of purity or perfection. Few of those can be considered to be pure breeds. For a list of wild turkey subspecies do a google search. They are Eastern, Rio Grande, Merriams, etc. These are subspecies of the wild turkey species. They are not breeds.
What I am trying to find out is what breeds require a permit from your state wildlife department in order to keep them.
Tough one. You need to call your DNR and drill down (your State allows for `private hunting preserves' but licensing? - don't know from the info on web if this would include turkeys). Your State's population of `Wild' turkeys is the Eastern variety (Meleagris Gallopavo Silvestris). You can't go grab the eggs from a nest (you can but that's running `with afowl' from both Fed/State law). Check to see if you can import domesticated Easterns to your location.
I don't know if I'd waste my time with one of the `Wild' varieties (as defined by the Fed/States) as the authorities are sometimes a bit less than cognizant of what-is-what. A member had to fight Wyoming DNR to make sure Narragansett variety (never a `wild' turkey) wasn't designated as `Wild' (and therefore couldn't be transported into state or bred if they were). I'd go with one (or more) of the heritage varieties to be on the safe side.
Did find this in NC Regs: http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_113/Article_22.pdf
It is important to note that the only difference between a `Wild' and `domesticated' turkey is whether a poult imprints on a turkey hen in the wild, or on a human providing the victuals.
Again, no breeds require a permit from any state wildlife department, because breeds by definition are domesticated animals and do not fall under their jurisdiction. Now, many states require a permit to keep the one wild turkey species, which has several subspecies. I've never known any state to differentiate down to the subspecific level in regulating wild turkeys. They either allow all subspecies to be kept, or all require a permit. Anyway, this is not the the place to ask. Just check with your state wildlife department. They have the info that you need if you want to raise wild turkeys.
BTW Ivan, that Narragansett fiasco in Wyoming was in no way a fight. That joker caused the rucus by trying to make a point with some uninformed DNR employees by telling them that Narragansetts were partly wild. As their rules state that no wild or wild hybrids are allowed, they of course told him that they were not allowed. This joker is considered a laughing stock among serious breeders who know better. What he neglected to tell the DNR folks is that the Narragansett contains no more wild blood than does the Royal Palm, Bronze or any of the other breeds. Narragansetts were created by crossing Bronze with wilds............ several hundred years ago. Mr joker created this fight just to have a battle that he knew that he would win. He has nothing better to do with his time.
Quote: Completely false. You are confusing being tame with domestication. A wild animal can become tame, but can never be considered domesticated. A domesticated animal is not necessarily always tame.
`Tame' is not the limiting condition, the ability to survive in the wild (no human intervention) is. This has been exhibited on numerous occasions, over many decades, in several States. Attempts to repopulate 'wild' populations of turkeys (not just Silvestris) from game farmed birds end in failure. Missouri DNR tried before and after WWII without success. `Wild' flocks were netted in other States and introduced. This method worked (last year's census was ~550,000). Complete `domestication', e.g., changes to coloration, morphology, etc. take several generations to accomplish (link to an excellent experiment with foxes): http://www.eebweb.arizona.edu/Courses/Ecol487/readings/Early Canid Domestication, AmSci.pdf However, if a poult, of any subspecies/variety. hatches out and imprints on a human, and is maintained by humans, it might be `legally' considered `Wild' but its chances of surviving in the Wild are as likely as fish surviving out of water. And, for all intents and purposes is. indeed, `domestic'. In order to prevent, undue dependence on humans, we NEVER do more than overplant seed grasses for the Wild Easterns, here. Sure, I'd like to dump plenty of BOSS in the clearings, but I don't need any more domestic turkeys and, in order for these guys to maintain a behavioral repertoire that allows their survival in the Wild, `us humans' just watch and don't interfere (predators are preemptively removed from acreage, we do take care of that).
(bolded by me for emphasis). Thank you for your take on the background, and for reinforcing the point I was making in my post. One can never be too sure that the authority of the State isn't being exercised by idiots. I'm interested in ethology and so I focus on behaviors (particularly interested in the differences in `intergradiations' in vocal signaling, between populations - Collias' work with Red Jungle Fowl and our observations of differences in signaling between individuals keeps the notebooks filling up); hunting down the variations in vocalizations, not using ersatz vocalizations to hunt down the birds. Captive populations of adult Wild Turkeys do not do well. However, as has been observed by myself and others (vet had several just hatched Silvestris delivered to office and observed high degree of successful imprinting - calm, eating from hands - from one day - to two weeks - DNR came in and took them), Hutto's experience with Osceola's: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/my-life-as-a-turkey/full-episode/7378/ is also informative in this regard - the first, `hand raised' generation from a `Wild' hen, do not always (as is frequently reported) `beat themselves to death' against fences. Domestication begins to occur as a `state' of `mind', i.e., alterations, epigenetically, in stress hormone levels (if Belyaev, et al, have it right) after which more `static' tools provided by evolution proceed at a rapid pace when given direction, resulting in more `formal' demonstrations of `domestic'.
Minnesota differentiates between "wild" eastern wilds and domesticated heritage "varieties." I need a license to shoot an eastern wild turkey, but if someone's escaped standard bronze comes up to my pen, I'm free to shoot it. Of course, i have to be able to demonstrate the difference, but domesticated strains are not considered wild turkeys in Minnesota.
I do agree with Narragansett on the imprinting thing. A wild turkey hatched by a human doesn't make it a not-wild turkey.
I certainly, hope, for legal reasons, that certain `subspecies' continue to be considered `Wild'. However, it makes little sense from an operational/functional perspective. Could increasingly efficient feed conversion observed in a certain line of Silvestris result in one deeming that line of Silvestris `improved' and no longer `Wild'? Would a line that was more amenable to captivity be considered `improved'?
Also, turkeys have been under intermittent domestication regimes on this continent for ~ 2300 years. If the healed leg bones of juvenile Silvestris, found in association with a Woodland period settlement, in this State, indicate turkeys being raised/cared for then the date can be pushed back an additional 700 years. The much later Mississippian Culture (Cahokia) kept/bred two domestic animals: dogs and turkeys (Silvestris). The Aztecs maintained flocks of Ocellated turkeys (a multiple generation zoo exhibit, or a domestic turkey farm?).
Though I understand the need for the `Wild' `tag', any turkey that follows me around like a dog and could no more survive without the feed & fence than a feather in a hurricane - is an `improved' turkey (see Belyaev-link in previous post). Strange how hanging out with, and being manipulated by, a human translates as `improvement' - odd conceit, that. The Standard of Perfection is where you find it...
`Wild'? (from: The Art of Improving the Breeds of Domestic Animals – in a letter addressed to the right hon. Sir Joseph Banks, K.B. – by Sir John Saunders Sebright, bart., M.P.
reprinted in the American Farmer, 1825 (pg. 369))
Quote: Exactly my point.
We seem to be splitting hairs over semantics. I recognize that it is refreshing, and rare, to have an intelligent discussion here.