Towards the latter end of March, or early in April, Ruffs, for a short time, visit Martin Mere, in Lancashire ; where they are taken in clap-nets, to the number of 40 or 50 dozen in a season ; and fattened for the table : the food commonly employed, is bread and milk, hemp-seed, boiled wheat, and sugar: thus, in about a fortnight they become extremely fat; and are generally sold at 2s. and2s. 6d. each. Being of an irascible disposition, it is erroneously supposed that these birds must be fed in dark places; Jest, on the admission of light, they should destroy each other by combat.
Ruffs are dressed for the table, with their intestines, like snipes ; and, when killed at the critical time, are by epicures considered the most delicious of morsels.