THE Christmas dinner table was looming — but this lucky turkey won a reprieve and was saved from the oven.

The feathered fowl, named Rambo, escaped an inferno which killed her 499 barn-mates earlier this year.

Because of the spectacular fashion in which she dodged death, farmer John Taylor decided to spare the turkey from its planned destiny.

Since then, Rambo has strutted about at Horrocks Fold Farm in Sharples, where it has a new home in the chicken run.

Mr Taylor, aged 53, said: “At the time of the fire, I just thought she would go in with the other turkeys and be sold at Christmas but soon afterwards I thought we had to keep her.

“We’ve called her Rambo because of the amazing escape she had. I was sure all the turkeys were dead, then there was a break as the firefighters sprayed water in the barn and she just appeared from nowhere.

“I don’t know how she survived the fire and smoke but she’s had no ill-effects.”

A blaze broke out at the barn at around noon on Saturday, October 25.

It was thought the blaze may have started by self-combustion of straw, but the cause is still under investigation.

The cost of repairs to the barn, which will be carried out next summer, will be more than £20,000. Damage to a shed, the loss of the turkeys and destruction of winter feed for cattle has cost a further £22,500.

Rambo, a Holly Berry 91 breed of turkey, would have fed eight to 10 people. She is now living with chickens belonging to Mr Taylor’s stepson David Shepherd.

David, aged 17, said: “I was impressed by Rambo because I didn’t think anything had survived the fire.

“She lives with the chickens now. They don’t get on too badly, they have their squabbles but don’t seem to mind each other.”

Mr Taylor, who has been turkey farming for nearly 40 years, has still been able to supply butchers’ shops and individual customers by buying in replacement turkeys.