This turkey was bound for the dinner plate. Now he's a wedding guest of honor
Albert the rescue turkey might be the cluckiest bird alive.
About two weeks before Thanksgiving, someone asked Brant Pinvidic if he’d like a turkey.
The turkey was being raised by a local farmer, in order to butcher and eat the bird.
Pinvidic, 42, got himself another idea.
“I thought that it would nice to go rescue one of those turkeys and pardon him,” he told TODAY in an email. “We already had a couple of chickens so thought it would be fine, and good for the kids to see.”
Pinvidic ended up taking two turkeys — a male and a female, named Albert and Princess.
Despite Pinvidic and his wife not growing up with animals, the family now has a small zoo’s worth of rescue pets at their home in Santa Clarita, California: dogs, cats, horses and the aforementioned chickens.
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On Thanksgiving day, when Pinvidic let the turkeys out of the coop to join the chickens in the yard, Princess was happy to be part of that flock.
“But Albert followed me to the house,” said Pinvidic — where the bird made himself extremely comfortable.
Pinvidic didn’t have any experience with turkeys, so he didn’t know these birds can be full of personality, not to mention smart and curious, when given the chance.
He was shocked at how sociable and friendly Albert was, right from the start.
And the more time Albert has spent with his family — Pinvidic, his wife, and their three kids — the more companionable he’s become.
He comes inside the house every morning for breakfast with Pinvidic. After a day outside in the yard, Albert’s there when Pinvidic, a film and TV producer, gets home from work.
“He is at the door waiting,” he said.
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Albert was also the life of the family’s Christmas party — mingling happily with their 200 or so guests.
More recently, he was invited to be the special guest of honor when some friends got married at Pinvidic’s house.
They even printed Albert’s name on the program.
“He roamed the reception all night mingling with everyone. He was on the dance floor and everyone loved it,” said Pinvidic.
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In the future, Pinvidic would like to create a digital series or a kids’ book about Albert. He understandably thinks they’d be big hits.
He doesn’t like to preach, and so he doesn’t. But, naturally, living with a turkey like Albert has changed how Pinvidic views other animals.
His daughter is a vegetarian and “the rest of us are moving towards it,” he said. No one in the family eats turkey anymore.
With all the changes, and with his unusual companion, Pinvidic still sees himself as basically “just a seminormal family with a big yard,” he said. “We are not animal rescuers at all. We’ve just evolved.”