Since incubators have been so much used for hatching chickens, small birds suitable for broiling may be always found in market. Chickens which appear in market during January weighing about one and one-half pounds are called spring chickens.
Philadelphia, until recently, furnished our market with philadelphia chickens and capons, but now Massachusetts furnishes equally good ones, which are found in market from December to June. They are very large, plump, and superior eating. At an early age they are deprived of the organs of reproduction, penned, and specially fatted for killing. They are recognized by the presence of head, tail, and wing feathers.
Geese are in market throughout the year, Massachusetts and Rhode Island furnishing specially good ones. A goose twelve weeks old is known as a green goose. They may be found in market from May to September. Young geese which appear in market September first and continue through December are called goslings. They have been hatched during May and June, and then fatted for market.
Young ducks, found in market about March first, are called ducklings. Canvasback Ducks have gained a fine reputation throughout the country, and are found in market from the last of November until March. Redhead Ducks are in season two weeks earlier, and are about as good eating as Canvasback Ducks, and much less in price. The distinctive flavor of both is due to the wild celery on which they feed. Many other kinds of ducks are found in market during the fall and winter. Examples: Widgeon, Mallard, Lake Erie Teal, Black Ducks, and Butter-balls.
Fresh quail are in market from October fifteenth to January first, the law forbidding their being killed at any other time in the year. The same is true of partridge; but both are frozen and kept in cold storage several months. California sends frozen quail in large numbers to Eastern markets. Grouse (prairie chicken) are always obtainable, — fresh ones in the fall; later, those kept in cold storage. Plover may be bought from April until December.