A farm manager in West Lothian has found himself with an unlikely travel companion after an adventurous turkey made his way into his Land Rover.
Heading to the mart early last month, Hopetoun Estate’s Farm Manager, Mike Eagers, heard a noise coming from back of his car. Pulling over, he discovered one of his turkeys had escaped the enclosure and jumped into the back seat of the car.
The turkey seemed quite calm and happy, so Mike continued on his way while receiving a few strange looks at traffic lights. However, the unlikely partnership has continued after the turkey’s determination to jump into the car at every opportunity.
Mike explains: “The turkeys are free to roam in the fields, however this particular bird is keen to fly the coup and accompany me on my daily drive around the estate. He stands at the gate and as soon as he sees me heading towards the Land Rover, he scrabbles to get out. I feel guilty leaving him so I just pick him up and pop him in the front seat.
Nicknamed Rover, the turkey’s love of exploring has seen him accompany Mike to check on the cows, sheep and even to the Hopetoun Farm shop to drop off the daily delivery of freshly laid eggs.
Mike added: “Turkeys are adventurous birds but I have never seen this before. My first instinct was turn around and take him home the first time it happened, but he seemed so content I didn’t see the harm in him chumming me along – I didn’t expect it to become a regular thing. The funny thing is we pride ourselves on low food miles but Rover will have clocked up quite a few by Christmas!”
Rover is one of a hundred Bronze turkeys reared by Mike and his wife Mary for the Hopetoun Farm Shop: the family look forward to his yearly flock of feathered friends who provide endless entertainment. Mike continues: “If they aren’t forming turkey choirs, they are romancing peacocks – let’s just say a reality television series about them wouldn’t be a terrible idea!”