No feather ruffling here

A gang of 20 marauding turkeys casually wandering between two neighbouring farms could cause ruffled feathers, but thankfully that is not the case for Westerfield landowners John Blair and boundary neighbour Darryl Oldham.

The turkey gang have been calling the Blair and Oldham farms home for over 30 years.

Originally the turkeys lived on another local farm owned by Russell Langdon. However in the early 80’s around Christmas time one was hit by a car.

Thinking the bird would not survive Langdon gave it to Darryl’s dad Peter. Thankfully the bird did pull though, so the rest of the turkey group were soon handed over by Langdon to the Oldham family for safe keeping.

In true grass is greener tradition, the group soon eyed up the neighbouring Blair farm. To the turkeys the established trees and patches of leafy ground cover were too hard to resist and they quickly added this area to their patch.

“Once word got out we had the birds here, other farmers gave us their turkeys,” Oldham pointed out.

In earlier times the turkeys numbered around 40.

“We don’t have to worry about a population explosion these days. They are not the best parents in the world. The survival of the fittest system they operate under works well to keep the numbers down to about 20,” Blair said.

Flying is not something turkeys do often or well as it turns out.

Blair recalls the fright their homestead tenant was given when one of the turkeys randomly flew through the window and landed on the kitchen table.

“Not something you expect to happen over your breakfast,” he said.

By Heather Mackenzie

 

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