Corwen turkey trots away to festive freedom

Published date: 11 December 2013 |
Published by: Shane Brennan
Read more articles by Shane Brennan


ONE adventurous turkey can look forward to Christmas.

A Rhug Estate turkey has made a great escape and found love as a result.

The bird, now named Colditz, escaped from a trailer taking her to an abbatoir. She has since returned to the estate where she is expected to live out her years.

Colditz not only saved her life but also that of another turkey and she’s returned to life on the estate, with a new partner to keep her company.

Poultry keeper Gareth Williams, pictured, said: “We thought it wouldn’t be fair to keep her on the estate alone so another male bird was picked out to keep her company.”

Her new partner is as yet unnamed.

Gareth was driving a trailer load of birds to the abbatoir in Knutsford, a distance of 70 miles.

His load was made up of 450 chickens, two geese and 19 turkeys.

When he arrived and started taking the birds out he noticed he was short one turkey.

“I started counting the turkeys out and when I got to number 17, I thought ‘oh no’!” said Gareth.

The loss of the turkey created problems for Gareth.

He said: “I had a load of paperwork to fill in at the abbatoir and then when I got back to the estate I had to explain that we were missing a turkey and then there was even more paperwork to fill in.”

Luckily for Gareth - and the turkey - they had both chanced upon a remarkable piece of luck. The turkey was not far from home after all.

That evening Gareth received a phone call from his mother-in-law, to tell him that there had been a turkey in her garden that day.

His mother-in-law lives in Llangollen and they had passed through the town on the way to Knutsford.

The turkey had been taken to Dee Valley Vets and was in the care of vet Clive Bourne.

Carol Poller wife of the gamekeeper at the estate who works at the vets, arranged through Gareth for the turkey to be kept overnight.

He went to the vets the next day and the turkey was indeed the missing bird.

When Rhug Estate owner Lord Newborough heard about the extraordinary escape, he insisted the turkey be kept for the estate.

He even named the bird Colditz after the notorius prisoner of war camp where his father had been held.

Gareth has a wealth of experience having worked at the estate for 34 years but he has never come across anything quite like the story of Colditz.

“Colditz is a real star and has become a great mascot for the estate.”

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