|Norfolk is celebrated, and justly, for its turkies.
The species is large; their flesh, nevertheless, fine;
and the number reared greater than that produced in any
other district of equal extent; owing, perhaps, to one
circumstance. It is understood, in general, that, to
rear turkies with success, it is necessary that a male
bird should be kept upon the spot, for the same purpose
that a gander, a drake, or a male fowl is kept; namely
to impregnate the eggs individually. This deters not
only cottagers, who are afraid of the expence of keeping
a gluttonous turkeycock, the year round, but many
farmers, who dislike the noise and troublesomeness of
these animals from breeding turkies. But the good
housewives of this country know that a daily intercourse
is unnecessary; and that, if the female be sent to a
neighbouring male previous to the season of exclusion,
one act of impregnation is sufficient for one brood.
Thus relieved from the expence and
disagreeableness of keeping a male bird, most little
farmers, and many cottagers, rear turkies. This accounts
for the number; and the species, and the food they are
fatted with (which I believe, is wholly buck) account
for their superior size and quality.
With respect to
geese, ducks and fowls of this country, nothing is
noticeable; except that they are, in general below
common size, and that it is a practice to put young
goslings upon green wheat: a piece of housewifery which
perhaps is peculiars to the country.
Poultry of every species are sold, in the markets,
ready picked and skewered fit for the spit; and are, in
general, so well fatted and dressed up in such neatness
and delicacy, as shew the Norfolk housewives to be
mistresses in the art of managing poultry.