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When Lucille met Judy

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Rescuing Lucille - over and over again…

We received a call from a local pound asking if we could rescue an impounded turkey. A pick-up time was arranged and Julian was sent on his way with one carry cage, for one turkey….

A few hours later a rather sheepish Julian arrived back at Head Over Hooves with not one but three carry cages.

Within those carry cages was one turkey who we named Hector, one duck who quickly became Daenerys, a rooster and his girlfriend - Johnny Storm and Rachael, and two pint sized chickens - Thor and Jane.

During their week of quarantine Hector laid an egg, so it was time for a name change, and Hector became Lucille, now Dame Lucille, as she swans around the place as if she owns it.

From the moment he (then she) arrived, Lucille touched us with her gentle, trusting and inquisitive nature. She quietly went about her business as, despite her grand attitude, she was bottom of the pecking order.

After a fortnight we noticed that Lucille was losing weight. Watching feed time, it became evident that she was being bullied out of her food and would just give up and walk off. We tried separating her at feed time, but she got stressed being away from her “friends” and was not interested in her food.

We offered Lucille a smorgasbord of different food to tempt her: crumbles, porridge, spinach, seed mixes, sunflower seeds and pellets, but nothing interested dear Lucille. She just seemed defeated and sad. Her weight continued to drop so we started crop feeding her a high nutrient feed three times a day. Even then, Lucille didn’t make a fuss. She sat quietly as we wrapped her up in a towel to insert the crop needle down her oesophagus.

Lucille needed a new social circle, and we tried to introduce her to some new friends, but gentle

Lucille just cowered when meeting other birds, which encouraged them to pick on her. Then one day, out of the blue, Daenerys seemed to sense that Lucille needed help. She started spending time with Lucille and Lucille’s mojo slowly returned.

We still weren’t confident her appetite was back, however, so we set up a crate inside so we could monitor what she was and wasn’t eating. Once she got the hang of the routine, we would open our front door and Lucille would walk into the lounge room, straight into her crate where her dinner was awaiting her.

We quickly realised she is a fussy eater and she liked us to change up her menu regularly. If we didn’t keep her dinner options varied Lucille would show her disdain with a good old-fashioned hunger strike. Luckily, we learnt her kryptonite was corn! As much as she tried she cannot resist a delicious bowl of corn.

Lucille seemed content with this routine but on the 30th of December a life changing event happened: ‘Judy’ came into Lucille’s life, rescued from a local pound.

It was love at first sight for Lucille and Judy. They are the best of friends and do everything together. They nest together, perch together and share their dinner and breakfast together. Lucille is finally the happy dame we always hoped she would be.

While Lucille is quiet, Judy is outrageous! She doesn’t put up with any nonsense from any of the other birds and always has lot to say to everyone. She marches around telling everyone exactly what she’s thinking. Lucille watches on with delight – and to our delight is finally fully ‘rescued’.

“Some people (or turkeys!) arrive and make such a beautiful impact on your life, you can barely remember what life was like without them.”

The week Judy arrived and stole Lucille's heart, we had an adoption application for Daenerys that was almost too good to be true. These days Daenerys is living a life of luxury with her loving new family and four duck friends. Stay tuned for adoption updates on how she's being spoilt!

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