We visited the Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary in Wolverton, Warwickshire, to see how #TerryTheTurkey was coping with his new-found stardom...
January’s often cited as the most depressing month of the year, but we know someone who’s enjoying his post-Christmas life more than most – #TerryTheTurkey! As the stand out star of our 2015 Christmas ad, we thought you’d like to know how he’s getting on at his new home – the Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS) in Wolverton, Warwickshire.
But really, we should say ‘all of the Terrys’. Plural. There were actually eight turkeys in total – affectionately named as the ‘Vodafone Eight’ – that played the part of Terry in the ad, from little youngsters to fully-grown males. After they’d finished filming, we adopted all eight and bought them a new house to live in at FARS. Let’s check in with them to see how they’re all coping with their newfound stardom.
“We’ve had loads of donations…”
“The advert went down really well with vegetarians and vegans alike, and it did us the world of good too,” says Carole. Thanks to all the extra attention, we weren’t the only ones to support the turkeys. “We’ve had loads of donations over Christmas,” she says. “About half of our adoptions have been for the turkeys, they were very popular in the run up to Christmas and New Year!”
Carole has been running FARS for 14 years now, where the Vodafone Eight are joined by around 400 sheep, as well as a number of pigs, feral cats, and chickens. “We’ve got some ducks coming this weekend,” says Carole. “They were living in a house in Manchester somewhere until recently.”
“The thing is, people are a bit naïve about these animals,” she adds. “They see a piglet, or a young bird, and they’re cute and loveable, but people don’t know what they’re getting into. Someone rang yesterday, they had two ‘micropigs’ – or what used to be micropigs – and they’d grown to full size in their housing association home. The neighbours complained and that was it: they had to go. At the end of the day it’s the animals that suffer in those situations – we’re completely donation-led so we only have so much money and space to re-house them. But there’s a never-ending supply of animals that need rescuing.”
Thankfully for the Vodafone Eight, Carole was able to offer them all a new home, and they’re living very happily indeed.
“They’re very curious,” laughs Carole, “and they love being around people. They’re very sociable animals! Whenever I come over in the morning to clean their house out and give them food and water, they’ll all gather round me and follow me around. They naturally live in groups so perhaps they see me as one of their own now!”
Although the turkeys are friendly with all their neighbours, there has been a bit of commotion in the group. Two of the turkeys have been arguing recently, and have had to be separated. “They’re both males,” says Carole, “so they’re just fighting for dominance in the group. They were absolutely fine a couple of weeks ago. We still let them both have time with the rest of the group, but we have to keep those two apart because they could really do some damage if they start fighting and we’re not there to break them up.”
As for looking after them on a day-to-day basis, the turkeys are as low maintenance as their easy-going manner would suggest. “A day looking after them just involves cleaning their houses out, feeding them and giving them water,” says Carole. “In fact, the turkeys are fairly straightforward to look after compared to the pigs and other animals.
“They like to go outside, but it’s cold at the moment and there’s a fox around out there too, so you have to be careful. That’s why we keep them in most of the time; I’ll stand out there with them in case the foxes come to have a look!”
Adopt your very own turkey!
If you would like to adopt the Vodafone Eight and help Carole look after them, it’s not too late!
“We’re really, truly grateful to everyone that adopts the animals or donates in any way,” says Carole. “The sanctuary is all donation-led, and we all volunteer so every penny of the money that people donate goes towards the animals.”
It’s just £24 a year to adopt the turkeys, and you’ll receive an adoption certificate, a picture, a greetings card and a letter from the animals for your generosity! Interested? Take a look at FARS adoption page here. And if your budget doesn’t stretch that far you can now pick up the 2016 Terry calendar from Vodafone retail stores for just £3 while stocks last!
Turkey facts: Think you know about turkeys? Here are 10 amazing things that #TerryTheTurkey taught us!