Pure breed turkey farmers have been urged to increase their security following a spate of thefts across the UK in the run up to Christmas.
In the first case, five bronze turkeys worth £300, a cockerel worth £25 and three hens valued at £120 were stolen from a smallholding near Web, Shropshire, in early November.
In a similar incident in Hampshire, thieves made off with two Lavender and five Croellwitzer turkeys from their sheds in Twyford, near Winchester. The owner feared the birds, which are bred for showing and not for meat, had been stolen for the Christmas trade.
But the good news was that after a week, they were discovered alive and well after being dumped on a bridle way several miles away.
A Shropshire police spokesperson said: “Thieves will be looking for opportunities to steal poultry. This incident, which happened at an isolated farm building in a rural location, serves as a reminder to all farmers to make sure their birds are kept as secure as possible.”