CHRISTMAS is not normally the best time of year for turkeys.

But this festive bird is looking forward to the big day when she will be spoilt with her favourite treats.

Christmas the turkey was rescued from the dinner table and now lives with Maggie and Alec Harmer in Lymington along with her best friend, a nameless pheasant.

Now she has become the latest feathery Hampshire resident to enter into the Daily Echo’s Festive Pets competition.

Maggie and Alec sent in a photograph of her by the fire wearing a red scarf and surrounded by crackers which the couple had used to make Christmas cards for their friends.

Christmas first arrived at the Harmer’s home in April 2013 as a companion for their newly hatched pheasant who was the only one of her clutch to survive.

The turkey was originally borrowed from a farmer who had bred her to become a festive meal.

But the farmer agreed the Harmers, who are both retired, could keep her and she has lived with them and the pheasant as a pet ever since.

Maggie, a mum-of-one, said: “She was lent as a companion to a pheasant that I hatched.

"They grew up together.

"They definitely are best friends and they are definitely happier together than apart.

"They roost at night together and when they were younger the pheasant used to go under her wing.

“She was due to go back in November last year.

"She was hatched to be somebody’s Christmas dinner but luckily the gentleman had enough of his own hatch so didn’t need her back.”

This year the Harmer’s are foregoing turkey for their Christmas dinner and are having beef instead.

“It’s more difficult to eat turkey now but you have to be realistic that that’s what happens to turkeys, but not to this one.

"She’s just a big friendly bird. She’s very bright and intelligent and that’s something people don’t perhaps associate with turkeys. She will walk around the garden and knows when she wants to go back in.

“She’s very tame outside but she does come indoors. She likes treats and she comes when she’s called to eat peanut sunflower hearts and iceberg lettuce and that’s what she’ll be having on Christmas day.”