A pensioner who regularly walks his flock of turkeys through his village now needs someone to rehome them – as he struggles with mobility.
Brian Moodie, 76, has become a popular sight wandering with his birds he started keeping twelve years ago after looking for a new hobby.
Brian had previously kept greyhounds but as interest in dog racing dwindled he stopped collecting the breed.
After two years of researching turkeys and how to care for them, Brian bought his first one – with his flock reaching 50 birds at its peak.
He began taking his turkeys to shows, winning awards across the country.
Brian has become known in his hometown of Camelon, Falkirk, Scotland, for taking his flock out for walks to keep them healthy and interacting with the world.
But he now has suffered a bout of ill health and ‘struggles on his feet’ and needs a new home for his turkeys.
He said: ”I wanted to find something to do in the fresh air.
“I’ve always been interested in poultry, particularly the larger breeds – and the largest of them all is the turkey.
“My initial thought was – how can you keep something as ugly as that?
“Once I got to know them, they were marvelous birds and I completely embraced them.
“It was a bit overwhelming to start with but I quickly adapted to it.
“When I first got the turkeys they were like kids. They wanted to find out about the world around them.
“They used to wander about all over the place. It was trouble enough keeping them out of my neighbor’s garden.
“So I’d take them foraging – just doing what they would do in the wild. I believe it keeps them in better condition.”
“I was a source of ridicule when I first started. People would say: ‘What’s he doing parading them up and down like that?’
“I used to get cat-calls and people making turkey noises at me,” Brian laughs, “But I’d always wave to them so they knew I wasn’t grumpy.
“But now the turkeys are very popular – people have embraced them. It gives them a feel-good factor.
“People are always very understanding – they heel their dogs when we walk past.”
The birds cost Brian around £5 each per week to feed – but Brian says he has “never regretted it.”
At points, his flock has contained some of the rarest breeds of turkey in the world, including some that are endangered in the wild.
Brian’s flock has shrunk in size over the years, rehoming some of the birds after he suffered a bout of ill health – but he hopes to encourage others to see turkeys in a new light.
“They’re just full of character. I wish I’d taken the hobby up a long time ago, instead of the greyhounds,” Brian said.
“The enjoyment I’ve had has been tremendous. You wouldn’t believe how charismatic these birds are.
“I’ve had health issues and I can no longer keep them.
“I’m getting unsteady on my feet and it’s no longer safe to take them around.
“I do hope somebody in the area takes them and I’ll do anything I can to help them or give them advice.
“I’m delighted I’ve had this experience and I’ll miss the birds very much.
“It’s a hobby I discovered by accident and I’m still reaping the rewards of keeping these birds.
“I’ve never regretted keeping these birds – it’s all been a joy.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
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