Thorpe Satchville schoolboy wins national turkey keeper award

Jack Price (13), of Thorpe Satchville, who has been named Young Turkey Keeper of the Year by the Turkey Club UK EMN-151218-105806001
Jack Price (13), of Thorpe Satchville, who has been named Young Turkey Keeper of the Year by the Turkey Club UK EMN-151218-105806001

Most turkeys have every reason to be fearful at Christmas but schoolboy Jack Price keeps them as pets and has just won a prestigious award for the way he cares for them.

The 13-year-old, who lives with his family at Thorpe Satchville, has been named Young Turkey Keeper of the Year 2015 by Turkey Club UK.

He was given five Bourbon Red turkeys - Cranberry, Paxo, Sage, Ginger and Onion - as a Christmas present last year.

He now wants to help preserve the breed, which is on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) list for the top 10 rare breed turkeys.

Parents Sarah and Simon also bought him another couple, called Romeo and Juliet, in the spring and a turkey hen.

Sarah said: “He started to like turkeys through the many visits we made to Melton Cattle Market.

“And all he wanted for Christmas last year was a turkey of his own.”

She added: “Jack loves the outdoor life and his turkeys and when he’s at home he spends many hours with his birds.

“He has to leave for school very early in the morning but when he comes home he feeds them and makes sure they are shut up at night.

“He also sees that they are cleaned out but, very importantly, he just loves being around them and they have brought such joy to the family.”

Jack’s turkeys won’t be ending up served on a plate this Christmas.

They are kept as pets alongside the many other animals on the family’s smallholding, including a horse, a pony, cats, dogs and other poultry.

Sarah said: “With me being a vegetarian, the turkeys were never going to be eaten at Christmas and I get very attached to animals anyway.”

Jack was presented with his award at the National Poultry Show in Telford last month.

Sarah added: “He was absolutely delighted when they called his name out.”

Brenda Waterman, general secretary of Turkey Club UK, said: “It is amazing to hear Jack talk about the care of his birds and the understanding of their needs with such enthusiasm.

“It is astounding that such a young man talks of the preservation of this bird, the Bourbon Red.”