Houdini the turkey’s plucky Christmas escape

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A plucky turkey who escaped three times from a farm in one week is definitely voting for Christmas after being saved from the chop.

The bold bird, who refused to get his feathers ruffled, managed to slip through fencing at Roaming Roosters in Higham and sneak past staff before heading to nearby Fence.



Now, the “free-range” turkey has been named Houdini by staff at Roaming Roosters who will keep him as a mascot.

Fence resident Michelle Pickup spotted the turkey wandering around outside her home when she returned from work.

The 42-year-old alerted neighbours who told her a farmer had been out searching for it earlier that day.

Michelle then rang owner who came to collect it. But just days later, the bird turned up again.

Our turkeys are all free range but this is ridiculous!

Geoff Mellin, Roaming Roosters

Mum-of-two Michelle said: “I had to do a double take. To have a turkey appear on your doorstep once is usual but twice is really bizarre. It didn’t appear at all fazed when I approached it.

“I’ve no idea why it made a beeline for us. I can only presume it was attracted to something here.”

The feathered fowl had only been back on the farm a day before it disappeared again.

The bird then hatched a third escape bid – only to be spotted by an employee as it hot-footed it away.

Farm manager Geoff Mellin (55) said he was stumped by how the turkey has managed to escape.

He said: “It really is a mystery. We’ve had turkeys escape it the past when someone has not fastened the pen properly but this time there’s no sign of how Houdini got out.

“He obviously knew what was going to happen and had other ideas. Some of the staff took pity on Houdini and asked for him to be saved and we agreed.

“Our turkeys are all free range but this is ridiculous!

“This must be Britain’s luckiest turkey.”

Houdini’s escape plan is similar to scenes in animator Nick Park’s classic film Chicken Run, where the hens decide to break out after discovering their days were numbered.

Michelle, who works for a garage, said she was relieved the bird had been saved.

She added: “It certainly is a determined little bird. He definitely didn’t want to end up as part of a family’s Christmas dinner.

“I’m glad that all his efforts have paid off.

“My children will be thrilled too. They were really upset when I told them what was going to happen to Houdini. So it’s a happy Christmas all round.”