Meet the Turkeys - Serena and Zarriah

I am Zarriah. Obey my commands!
In case you were curious how long turkeys could live, meet Serena and Zarriah. They turned 11 this year.

For two turkeys who spend most of their time together, I have no pictures of them doing just that.

Both turkeys came from the same farm (probably as Maya). They were being raised for Thanksgiving dinner. Most likely sisters, the two turkey poults escaped the farm and were saved by an individual.

Neither turkeys are particularly fond of people. And it's been like 11 years, so they really hold a grudge.

Unlike large production birds, Serena and Zarriah can fly. They can mate normally. They self-regulate their diet, so they can be free-fed. Their longevity stems from a strong tie physically to that of their wild cousins.

Speaking of wild turkeys. When settlers arrived in what would be the United States, they did what people do best and proceeded to nearly wipe out all wild turkeys (and everyone else who was a native). The great irony is that the reason numbers increased from 30,000 in 1900 to 5 million now is through the efforts of hunters who wanted to hunt the birds. Weird!

SerenaBack to Serena and Zarriah. Obviously they are not wild turkeys. Being black and white in woodland brush is not a highly survivable coloration.

Serena here is sporting a nifty thing called a beard. It's the hair hanging from her chest. You can guess how old a turkey is from their beard. Both males and females may sport a beard, although it's more commonly found in males as it is also a way for older tom turkeys to attract females (I'm alive and successful, yo).

Serena and Zarriah hang out with Maya. They don't care for Willow, ignore Margaret, and completely ignore the big white-breasted turkey hens and toms. Sometimes they snuggle with the chickens, although I think in this photo, Serena was just being lazy.
Dust-bathing buddies

Since Serena and Zarriah are sort of a mystery to me, I figure their recipes should be about casseroles, which are also a mystery to me (as in I'm befuddled by their popularity).
And well, that's all you are going to get from me. There is a Serena and a Zarriah, so there is a Green Bean Casserole and a Green Bean Casserole #2.


veganelder said...

Thanks Marji, for writing a bit about the turkey beings. I've not had the opportunity to get to know any of these excellent feathered people and your writing helps remedy that a little.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea they could fly and live so long...We are train to see them as marchandise (even me as a vegan), this re-wires up my mind.