Poultry of all kinds are preferred of a short thick make, broad and plump in the breast and thick in the rump and fat in the back. The spurs should be short as indicating youth, and the comb red as indicating health. The beak, bill, and claws, in a young bird will be tender, and the skin of the legs comparatively smooth; the contrary are certain indications of an old bird. But the best test of a fowl, as respects its age, is to try the two bones which run by the side of the belly to the vent; if these are gristly and easily broken at the end, the fowl is young. To judge of the age of geese or ducks, little or no dependence is to be placed upon the colour of the legs and bills - this varies according to complexion; but if the bills and feet have coarse red streaks, or a tinge of red in them, the bird is old. In young geese and ducks the above marks are not to be seen, and the webs will be smooth and thin.
30. Fowls are plentiful from August to January; chickens come in about April, tame ducks in May, continue through the summer months, and go out in October. Young geese may be dressed in the latter end of May and through the summer, but a goose is not thoroughly ripe till after stubbling, that is, about Michaelmas. Turkey poults are in season from May onwards, but turkeys are in high season about Christmas.
31. Rabbits and Pigeons may be had the year round; wild rab bits are best in the winter season; young pigeons may be had in February, and till September; wood-pigeons in December and January.