A TURKEY has been spared the Christmas chop – after falling for a strutting peacock.
The unlikely relationship between Pendragon the peacock and Miss McFeathers the turkey has touched staff at the Hopetoun Estate country farm shop, near Linlithgow, where they live.
And it’s a heart-warming union that proves the age-old adage – birds of a feather flock together.
Pendragon, who has been a resident at Hopetoun for four years was struck by Cupid’s arrow when Miss McFeathers arrived in July as part of the large intake of Christmas turkeys – all destined for the farm shop.
Farm manager Mike Eagers, 45, said: “She was being bullied by the other turkeys so we pulled her from the flock. Pendragon immediately took a shine to her and they’ve been pretty much together ever since.
“He roosts outdoors at night while we lock her back up so that the foxes don’t get her but each day they return to each other’s side.
“We have all enjoyed watching the love story unfold as they undertake their courtship. The two are inseparable and Miss McFeathers has even rejected her fellow turkeys in favour of Pendragon’s company.”
However despite all this the big question that everybody wants answered though is, “What happens at Christmas?”
Mr Eagers, a dad-of-three, said: “We are far too attached to Miss McFeathers to resign her to a turkey’s usual fate at Christmas – this is one relationship we want to see grow and grow.” The issue of little “peakeys” or “turcocks” has also been addressed – and the answer is a flat no.
Poultry writer and turkey expert Janice Houghton-Wallace, who is also secretary of the UK Turkey Club, said: “They are, of course, different species so there’s no chance of reproduction but I have heard of peacocks and turkeys becoming mates.
“Turkeys are gregarious birds who crave a family unit. If this has been lost as a result of bullying then rather than just wander about on her own she will seek companionship of some form – to her this peacock is just another bird.
“I wish them well especially if it means that she is being spared becoming a Christmas dinner as a result.”
However, Miss McFeathers shouldn’t grow too accustomed to her newfound role as peacocks do not mate for life and instead change partners each season.
Mr Eagers added: “Hopefully this won’t mean that he’ll choose another turkey next year because it could get quite expensive. We’ll look after her for as long as needs be, though.”