A PLUCKY Christmas turkey has been saved from the chop after escaping from a farm three times in just one week.

The runaway bird managed to slip through fencing and sneak past staff before heading to a nearby East Lancashire village.


Shocked Michelle Pickup spotted the turkey, now named Houdini, 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 the owner, who came to collect it. But just days later the bird turned up again.

Mum-of-two Michelle, of Greenbank Drive, Fence, said: “I had to do a double take. To have a turkey appear on your doorstep once is unusual 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 eight-month-old turkey made the half-mile trip to Michelle’s home after escaping from nearby farm Roaming Roosters in Barrowford Road, which has more than 500 turkeys.

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

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

Now bosses have decided to keep Houdini as their mascot, allowing him to roam free around the grounds.

Farm manager Geoff Mellin said he was stumped as to how the turkey had 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.”

Geoff, 55, added: “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 said she was relieved the bird had been saved. “He certainly is a determined little bird,” she said. “He 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 upset when I told them what was going to happen to Houdini, so it’s a happy Christmas all round.”