Meet the Turkeys - Maya

From now until Thanksgiving, it's all about the turkeys who call Animal Place sanctuary home. As you meet the turkeys, I hope you will reconsider the main course for the upcoming holiday. To help you, I'll be adding recipes and purchase suggestions at the end of each post. All of these entries are in honor of the turkeys not lucky enough to end up at a sanctuary...spare them a thought this holiday.
Yesterday, I received an email update from an organization that accredits farms with less cruel treatment of animals. It was announced, proudly, that just in time for Thanksgiving, several farms that killed turkeys for a living had just received high marks.

There is no doubt that the life of a turkey on pasture is far different in degree of enjoyment and treatment than the life of a turkey on a large industrialized farm. You will not get that argument from me.

However, I cannot help but think of Maya. She is from one of those "really awesome" farms. I think she is one of the prettiest turkeys (next to Margaret who has an inner beauty that shines) I've ever met. Because the farm she lived on had poor fencing, she was able to wander off it as a young poult.

A wildlife rehabber found her, near death, along with a young wild turkey. Both found a safe haven with this person...someone who saw two young birds in need of compassion and respect. She could not bear the thought of either being felled by a hunter's arrow or butcher's knife.

Because both turkeys were so malnourished and dehydrated, they needed a lot of extra TLC. Which meant the turkeys imprinted on people instead of other turkeys. Releasing the wild turkey was out of the question and obviously Maya, with her white and black feathers, would fare poorly in the great unknown. So they came to Animal Place.

When Maya started doing this:
We had to rethink the whole keeping a wild turkey business. It was bad enough the wild turkey (Quinn) kept flying on the roof, refused to sleep in the barns at night, and routinely flew out of his enclosure and then complained about he was teaching Maya his "bad" behaviors!

Despite wing clippings, both turkeys managed to get into places they should not have. The decision to rehome Quinn was made, and he ended up at a nice 40-acre home with other wild turkeys.

Maya immediately stopped leaping over tall buildings. She stopped being faster than a speeding bullet. Oh wait. Anyways, she started to hang out with the other turkeys, finding solidarity with two other turkey hens we suspect came from the same farm years ago.

Maya is called a Royal Palm, a breed of turkey smaller than traditional production breeds. She is the smallest turkey at the sanctuary...even the best littlest turkey baby, Miwok the Ewok, is close to weighing more than her!
Fun fact, those "dots" on her head are called caruncles!

Maya likes to get her sharp beak full of side dishes for Thanksgiving!

She recommends tasty sides like Mac 'n Cheeze, hoity-toity Maple and Tarragon Sweet Potatoes, MASHED POTATOES FOR YOUR FACE, gravy for your mashed potatoes face, even more mouthwatering mashed potatoes and gravy. Maya is totally channeling me there - mashed potatoes are the best!

Previous Turkey-Friendly Entries include Morris and the Main Course (of which he is not it), Willow of the French accent and cranberry side