Chepstow’s singing turkey: Tina, the warbling wonder

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Media captionIs Tina a true warbler or is this just gobbledygook?

Turkeys might be known to gobble – but perhaps none as well as Tina.

The 17-month-old rescue turkey sings to her owner each day in a variety of clucks, chirps and whistles.

She is also a hit on social media – where posts of her warbling generate thousands of views and likes.

Mary Frankland, founder of the Dean Farm Animal Sanctuary in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, said: “We have four turkeys here but Tina is by far the most inquisitive and chatty.”

“She follows me around as I work and will warn me if strangers are approaching.” Ms Frankland added.

“She is the star of the rescue centre, is very sociable and loves to sing.”

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Dean Farm Trust

Image caption

Dean Farm turkeys sharing a straw bed with a rescue pig

Tina was one of four turkeys rescued last year from a farm in Monmouthshire.

Due to be slaughtered for Christmas, the birds instead found themselves on Ms Frankland’s 62-acre (25-hectare) rescue farm, where they are free to roam and forage.

Tina, a bronze turkey or Meleagris gallopavo, now spends her life catching a ride on the backs of the rescue pigs and laying her eggs in the hedgerows during the summer months.

Ms Frankland said: “People never really come into contact with turkeys except once a year when they are on their dinner plate.

“But each time we have an open day, children and adults are mesmerised by them.

“They are big, beautiful birds and very intelligent and sociable. Like dogs, they create lasting social bonds with both people and animals.

“They love to be stroked and cuddled and are a real treat to have around.”

Image copyright
BBC news

Image caption

Mary Frankland, of the Dean Farm Animal Sanctuary, rescued Tina just before Christmas 2016

Turkeys – which are believed to have originated from Mexico and imported into Europe in the 16th Century – have a natural life expectancy of about 10 years.

They are known to make over 20 distinct vocalisations, including a distinctive gobble, produced by males, which can be heard a mile away.

They also have unique voices helping them recognise one another.

Roughly 10 million turkeys will be eaten in the UK this Christmas, but on Monday, Tina will be gobbling her favourite food – melon.



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