Our community in the mid and late 1960s - Page 6C

1963 Thoreson Turkey Hatchery
(This article is from September 18, 1963)

Ellsworth Turkey Hatchery In Business 10 Years

    Don (Chick) Thoreson is a busy man running a hatchery and two farms totaling 280 acres.  One of his two farms is located at Milford, Iowa and the other southwest of Ellsworth.   At this Milford farm, Thoreson keeps white breeding hens.  Turkeys are also kept at the Ellsworth farm, however these are market birds.  He annually raises 50,000 of the broadbreasted bronze variety.  Thoreson likes the Bronze turkeys better than most white varieties because they indicate more favorable feed conversion.  Chick states that his Williams white hybrids nearly match the Bronze in feed conversion, however. 

    Other than his white breeding stock, Thoreson keeps none in the bronze line.  All his eggs come from experienced growers living on the west coast, where climate facilitates higher production.  In his hatchery operations, Chick has capacity for 160,000 eggs. These are placed in Incubators for 28 days.  After incubation is completed, the hatched poults are snooted and sexed.  Thoreson's Ellsworth Hatchery hatches approximately 350,000 poults yearly.  Last year was his best with nearly 400,000 poults hatched.  "To get an estimate on how many eggs we will need from our west coast growers, we take orders in the fall previous to the growing season," Chick said.   The hatching season starts in February and lasts through Jane. 

    In addition to hatching birds, Chick is called on to vaccinate flocks for Cholera and other deadly diseases.   He handles a complete line of veterinary remedies and bagged feed.  Although he has not raised poults on wire, he believes it is the correct method of keeping feet dry and lesion free.  "Even if wire is placed around waterers, the cost is three times paid for in the course of agrowing season."   Chick feels that a grower should examine his turkey program season by season, especially from a sanitation standpoint.  Brooder bouses are the main problem, Chick states.  They should be cleaned, disinfected, and dried out before any litter is put down.  Chick feels any type of litter may be used, but he feels it must be free of fine particles.  Turkeys eat the particles instead of feed.  Starve outs are possible.  To make sure stoves in the brooder houses are working properly, Thoreson states they should be heated up several days before poults arrive from the hatchery.   Everything will be assured of working properly in this manner.  In raising his poults, Thoreson places his feeders in a fan around the stoves.  This allows the poults to be close without being bunched up behind them.  Waterers are placed between feeders.   Lights are placed four to five feet above the feeders so the poults can find the feed easily.   Brooder guards are used to keep off drafts coming from the floor boards.  They are also used to keep the poults confined until they are used to finding the beat.  Brooding temperature varies with different stove types.   A 95 degree reading from two inches off the floor under the stove is often recommended, Chick states. 

1964 Girl Scout Week - Published March 11, 1964:

1965 - Interstate 35 may be extended north to Minnesota

News article from November 11, 1965:    A 25 miles segment of Interstate 35 linking Des Moines and Ames will be opened to travic Thurday afternoon, November 11.


In 1966, the Rachel Circle of Trinity Lutheran Church made their Parish Pantry cookbook

1967 - Interstate 35 is constructed through our area

click for full size
(You may click on this map to view a larger map of the whole town.)

Interstate 35 puts Ellsworth on a route of long-distance travel.

This aerial view of Ellsworth was taken on December 6, 1967, when the new Interstate 35 was opened to traffic. It shows the I-35 and Iowa 175 interchange at the east edge of Ellsworth looking towards the northwest.   The half clover-leaf provides for traffice from the four points of the compass.

Ellsworth in the 1970s - Page 7

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