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Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of harvesting useful animal products such as meat, eggs or feathers. The practice of raising poultry is known as poultry farming. These birds are most typically members of the superorder Galloanserae (fowl), especially the order Galliformes (which includes chickens, quails, and turkeys). The term also includes waterfowls of the family Anatidae (ducks and geese) but does not include wild birds hunted for food known as game or quarry.


  • The capon is above all other foules praised, for as much as it is easily digested.
  • He escorted her to the enormous open fire of wood in front of which a row of once-feathered vertebrates were slowly revolving on a horizontal rod.
    “We return always to the old methods, mademoiselle,” said he. “Here in this kitchen we cook by electricity, by gas, by everything you wish, but for the volaille we return always to the old methods. Wood fire.”
    The intense heat halted Gracie. The master, however, august showman, walked right into it, seized an iron spoon fit for supping with the devil, and, having scooped up an immense spoonful of the fat which had dripped drop by drop from the roasting birds, poured it tenderly over them, and so again and again.
  • A magnificent turkey had just been taken off the spit, well-shaped, golden, done to a turn, and the odour from which was enough to tempt a saint.
  • Really, we have just eaten a superb turkey. It was excellent, crammed with truffles up to its beak, tender as a fat pullet, plump as an ortolan, fragrant as a thrush. To be sure, we only left the bones.
  • The goose at Michaelmas is as famous in the mouths of the million, as the minced-pie at Christmas; but for those who eat with delicacy, it is by that time too full-grown. The true period when the goose is in its highest perfection, is when it has just acquired its full growth, and not begun to harden. If the March goose is insipid, the Michaelmas goose is rank; the fine time is between both, from the second week in June to the first in September.
  • When the goose was on the table, huge and golden and running with gravy, it was not begun upon all at once. A sort of respectful wonderment had silenced every tongue. There were winks and nods, as everybody pointed it out to everybody. What a devilish fine fat beast it was! what legs! what a breast!


  • But when the long hours of Public are past
    And we meet with Champaign and a Chicken at last,
    May every fond Pleasure that hour endear,
    Be banish’d afar both Discretion and Fear,
    Forgetting or scorning the Airs of the Croud
    He may cease to be formal, and I to be proud,
    Till lost in the Joy, we confess that we live
    And he may be rude, and yet I may forgive.
  • If thou didst feed on western plains of yore;
    Or waddle wide with flat and flabby feet
    Over some Cambrian mountain’s plashy moor;
    Or find in farmer’s yard a safe retreat
    From gypsy thieves, and foxes sly and fleet;
    If thy grey quills, by lawyer guided, trace
    Deeds big with ruin to some wretched race,
    Or love-sick poet’s sonnet, sad and sweet,
    Wailing the rigour of his lady fair;
    Or if, the drudge of housemaid’s daily toil,
    Cobwebs and dust thy pinions white besoil,
    Departed Goose! I neither know nor care.
      But this I know, that thou wert very fine,
      Season’d with sage and onions, and port wine.
  • Sweet Peggy round her car, sir,
      Has strings of ducks and geese,
    But the scores of hearts she slaughters
      By far outnumber these;
    While she among her poultry sits,
      Just like a turtle-dove,
    Well worth the cage, I do engage,
      Of the blooming god of Love!
    While she sits in the low-backed car,
    The lovers come near and far,
      And envy the chicken
      That Peggy is pickin’,
    As she sits in the low-backed car.
  • Nort had chickens, I had cocks,
      Gamesome cocks, loud-crowing cocks;
    Mysie ducks, and Elspie drakes,—
    For a wee groat or a pound:
    We lost nae time wi’ gives and takes.
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