Until about thirty years ago, many country families never saw ‘butcher’s meat’ except when they could barter it for the chickens they had reared. All kinds of game were eaten however, particularly rabbits, hares and pigeons which were considered to be vermin. Occasionally, young game in season was roasted, but the older or badly-shot birds were mainly used for soup, casseroles, pies and puddings, with plenty of onions, herbs and root vegetables.
Pigeons have no close season. They need not be hung, but if they are hung head downwards for an hour immediately after killing, they will bleed, and the flesh will be paler.