Monday, September 25, 2023 – Animal lover, Dave Brooker has revealed his two-year-old pet turkey Trouble Version Two – or T2 for short is like a child to him and goes with him everywhere.
Locaks Maidstone, Kent, UK where he leaves stare at him when they spot T2 in the passenger seat of his car, or see him giving her her favourite snack, the meat from a scotch egg, in the supermarket car park.
Dave, 56, says he even takes her to the beer parlour with him where they share a packet of cheese and onion crisps.
He says he has also stopped eating turkey for Christmas dinner since taking T2 as a pet.
‘She’s like my child,’ Dave admitted, adding: ‘There’s a mutual bond. She’s good company and entertaining – sometimes I even think she’s part human.’
Dave, who keeps turkeys for their eggs, was forced to care for newborn T2 before he could return her to her mother, Trouble.
He explained: ‘Her mum was sitting on a dozen eggs and the weather turned awful.
‘The first two that hatched died, so I set up a brooder to get the turkeys strong enough to go back under their mum.
‘T2 was the first one out and I fed her for 10 or 11 hours.
‘She was on her own with me checking on her and must have thought I was her parent.
‘The others all went back underneath the mother quite easily, but not T2.
‘Ever since, she literally goes everywhere with me.
‘I feed her in the car park because she loves the sausage meat on scotch eggs.
‘She absolutely adores that and it’s her treat when she goes to Tesco.
‘We also go to the White Horse in Maidstone; she’s been going there since she was a baby.
‘I’ve got a video of her walking on the bar as a little chick.’
The pair are only really separated when Dave goes to work as an online order picker for Tesco – she even accompanies him to the dentist.
He said: ‘I was at the dentist recently and I asked the receptionist if she could turkey-sit for me.
‘She thought it was a joke, but then I brought T2 in. They all loved it.
‘Most people think it’s really strange, but it’s actually a really good talking point.
‘She draws quite a fair bit of attention from people, but she’s very well behaved.
‘At the pub, she sits on her blanket and stays there.
‘Unlike most dogs who would run around, you sit her down with a pack of cheese and onion crisps and she’s happy.
‘She’s very tame, very sociable and well-behaved. She doesn’t wander off and she lets people pet her.
‘Quite often I’ll be feeding her in Tesco car park and kids will come over, and adults.
‘It just helps people think about turkeys in a different way, because most people actually haven’t seen a live turkey.
‘I don’t eat turkey anymore. I used to, but I couldn’t now. Not with a pet turkey. It would be like someone eating a dog.
‘When you keep an animal it’s quite hard… maybe if you’re a farmer you can switch off to it, but I’m a bit of a softy.
‘Turkeys are interesting birds and they look prehistoric. T2’s my little velociraptor.’