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Is it safe to eat back garden game?
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 05 11:57 am    Post subject: Is it safe to eat back garden game?  Reply with quote    

Living in what you would describe as suburbia we have a reasonable back garden and get wood pigeons, grey squirrels, crows and even the odd pheasant visiting. I have an air rifle and could easily shoot something for the pot.

The main reason I don't is that I've seen what the animals eat. For example, we tend to feed the birds over winter and put out fat balls which I assume are made from animal fat. AFAIK it's not legal to feed animal products to farm animals anymore, so I think that a squirrel that's gorged itself on such a diet as a risk. Other animals tend to rummage in rubbish and feed on scraps people through out.

I know animals in the countryside feed on farmland and often consume crops that have been freshly sprayed so may not be much better or may even be worse, so am I just being paranoid?

joker



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 188
Location: hiding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 05 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I would say yes it is ok to eat what youve called garden game animals allways find food in peoples gardens rubbish bags etc ive eaten squirels pigeons and the odd pheasant from the garden its never done me any harm oh except when i thought a pheasant was dead and the bugger started kicking and scratched my arm

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 05 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What a daft question!!...Wild game in almost all cases has to be fit and healthy, if it isn't, don't shoot it. Check the innards when you clean it, to be certain, then cook and enjoy!!

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 05 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The question is not daft, well not that daft. Would you eat a pigeon from the middle of London? The ones we get are probably safe and eat mostly normal stuff but so do spend most of their time on bird tables over winter and I wouldn't want to eat what my neighbours eat.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 05 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Madman wrote:
What a daft question!!...Wild game in almost all cases has to be fit and healthy, if it isn't, don't shoot it. Check the innards when you clean it, to be certain, then cook and enjoy!!


It's a question that isn't quite as daft as it sounds

Birds like pigeons eat all manner of crap. Urban and suburban garreners often have a habit of spraying their pretty little gardens with concentrations of pesticides that far outstrip what would be considered legal on food producing land. So the question comes down to whether the urban 'game' (more often vermin) can concentrate such chemicals.

Certain compounds are now illegal here because they concentrate up the food chain like that; DDT is the classic example. Most modern pesticides should be safe, even if they are over-used, from being thus concentrated. As for what the pigeon has been eating, well, I'd have thought that there aren't MANY other concerns, although I wouldn't touch a city centre bird.

But to be honest, I don't have a definitive answer.

SparklyWellies



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Oxfordshire
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have the exact same question about rabbits. It's like Watership Down in our garden. And if it wasn't a family site, I would be swearing. A lot. Welcome to Sparkly's Cafe for bunnies

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've always taken the view that wild food is safer than bought food. In the respect that you know more or less whats in it. Wild animals and birds will avoid chemicals, polution, stagnant water, etc. Equally, does it look healthy on the outside. When you open it up, is it healthy looking inside?...I've had rabbits with growths before, or hares with diseased livers. In these instances I do not eat the meat. I take your point though, Cab and Td, I wouldn't eat a pigeon off Nelsons Column!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44276
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about in my situation, suburban Essex, garden 200yds from a very busy A road, would you eat wood pigeons living there?

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not sure. Are they grimy sooty creatures, like London ones?...Or proud shiny purple breasted fat slugs on wings?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44276
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Definitely fat and shiny

sean
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Posts: 41970
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Don't they mainly eat organically grown brassicas?

Jessevieve



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The pigeons in our garden are nearly as big as our chickens , they're looking more like a pie on legs every day!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44276
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jessevieve wrote:
The pigeons in our garden are nearly as big as our chickens


Do they have relatives in essex?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44276
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Don't they mainly eat organically grown brassicas?


Not round mine they don't, I've given up on Brassicas

Jessevieve



Joined: 22 May 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 05 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'll ask them tomorrow when I see them

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