Animal lover Dave Brooker goes everywhere with his beloved pet turkey that has followed him everywhere from the pub to the dentist since she was born two years ago on his farm in England.
He named the chick Trouble Version Two—or, T2 for short.
The unlikely duo’s story began when the turkey’s mother was sitting on a dozen eggs and the weather turned foul (no pun intended). The first two that hatched died, so he set up a heated 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 under the mother quite easily, but not T2.
“Ever since, she literally goes everywhere with me.”
Locals in Maidstone, Kent are often baffled as they see the 56-year-old sitting alongside T2 in his car when they stop at traffic lights, or when he feeds her a favorite snack—the sausage meat from a scotch egg—in the middle of a parking lot.
She can often be seen casually sitting in the White Horse pub with a packet of chips and 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 & onion crisps and she’s happy.
Although some people find their undeniable bond a little unorthodox, the pair are inseparable and even sleep in the same room together at their home.
“She’s like my child,” Brooker admitted. “She’s good company and entertaining—sometimes I even think she’s part human.”
“I’ve got a video of her walking on the bar as a little chick,” said Brooker, who also owns three horses.
The only time the pair are separated is when Brooker goes to work as an online order picker for Tesco.
“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.
He now finds himself talking to people he wouldn’t normally be having conversation with—and she’s had a lovely effect on her owner.
A Somalian man recently noticed T2 in the pub and said she reminded him of his childhood days when he kept turkeys on his family’s farm.
“She draws quite a fair bit of attention from people,” he admitted. “But, she’s very tame, very sociable and she lets people pet her.
“Quite often I’ll be feeding her in Tesco car park and kids will come over. It just helps people think about turkeys in a different way, because most people actually haven’t seen a live turkey.”
“Turkeys are interesting birds and they look prehistoric. T2’s my little velociraptor.”
“I went through a bad spell of anxiety and depression back in 2014, and it’s helpful to have a bond like this with an animal.
Mr Brooker’s companion has made such an impression on him in their short two years together that he now chooses to abstain from eating turkey at Christmas, and refers euphemistically to December as the month when all the turkeys ‘go on holiday’.
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