AT THIS time of year most families are bringing a turkey into the house to eat.
For one Fareham family though, they will be sharing their Christmas day with their beloved pet bantam chicken.
Snowflake took an unexpected trip and sparked a search operation.
Neighbours and police community support officers united in the three-day search.
Luckily, Snowflake is now safe at home again and her owner Carla Hodgson wants to thanks all those that helped her find her family pet.
Carla, from Gosport Road, said: ‘When I realised she was missing, I phoned the police. They thought it was a prank call at first.
‘They must have thought: “Is this lady for real?” I said it was no different than theft by finding, if you take something that’s not yours.
‘They sent someone round who helped me with the search.’
Snowflake has been a beloved family pet for 18 months, sharing the family home with Carla’s three sons and two Staffordshire bull terriers.
Carla, 40, said: ‘She is incredibly domesticated, I’ve taken care of her since she was a chick. If you bring them up from such a young age, they regard you as the mother.’
On the day Snowflake went missing, neighbours told Carla they saw a cat chasing her in the garden.
Bantams can fly a short distance if they are startled, and after her escapade with the cat, she had flown over the wall and was sitting in safety on top of a car.
That’s when passing youngsters saw her, looking ruffled, and thought it best to take her in while they figured out what to do.
Carla, a travel agent, said: ‘It was all down to community spirit. I sent out posters and knocked on doors. I had people calling me saying they had seen her.
‘Two or three people told me they had seen her being taken in a house.
‘I went round there and spoke to them. They said they had found her and were not sure what to do and had taken her in.
‘We live on such a large, busy road but the sheer volume of people that responded was amazing.
‘There’s a lovely bunch of people who live here. I really want to thank them.
‘She’s such a pretty little chicken, I’m so relieved to get her back.’
Snowflake has now recovered from her ordeal and is back at home for Christmas.