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Q: Geese ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Geese
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: roypeacock-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 27 Apr 2003 11:45 PDT
Expires: 27 May 2003 11:45 PDT
Question ID: 196181
My wife insists that many years ago geese were herded to market after
their feet had been tarred. Possibly as far as from Devon to London.
Rubbish I say. Can you adjudicate with authority!
Subject: Re: Geese
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 27 Apr 2003 12:29 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello there

Your wife is right.  Geese had their feet dipped in hot tar and dusted
with sand to protect them during the 'drive.'  Turkeys were fitted
with little leather boots to protect them from the same cobbles on the
road.  So the geese had it the worse of the two, I'm afraid.

Here is a quote from a website about the bearded collie: "These
collies drove mixed flocks to market.  Sheep and long horn cattle
mingled with turkeys whose feet were clad in a curious leather turkey
boots which buffered their feet from the vigours of the cobbled roads.
 Geese were perhaps less fortunate.  These wretched birds always the
worst treated of farmyard animals and birds had their feet dipped in
hot tar and dusted with sharp sand to protect them from damage during
the drive."
- a page from Petworld CC.

Another reference to the practice may be found here:
"The old drovers road to Abergwesyn starts at the Talbot Hotel. Before
setting off on the long rough journey across the mountains the black
cattle were shod with iron plates in a blacksmiths shop in a field
behind the hotel. (One of a number of blacksmiths in Tregaron at this
time). Pigs were fitted with woollen 'socks' with leather soles and
geeses' feet were coated with tar and sand to prepare them for the
journey." - Website of Tregaron, West
Wales Tourist Information.

From the Guardian:
In the olden days, pigs were taken to market along English drove roads
wearing woollen socks with leather soles to protect their trotters.
Geese, on their way to Nottingham Goose Fair, were less elegantly
shod: they were driven through a mixture of tar, sand and sawdust
before they hit the road.,1586,900512,00.html -
The Guardian

Search - Google

Terms - tar goose feet, driving geese +to market

If I may clarify anything before you rate the answer, please ask.

Cheers - I wonder if I can find bronzed turkey booties anyplace?  They
would look great hanging from my driving mirror.


Clarification of Answer by digsalot-ga on 28 Apr 2003 15:23 PDT
Thank you - - - You realize, of course, that your 250 year old wife
won the bet with the help of the 5000 year old man.  Who do you think
taught the ancient Egyptians that they couldn't build pyramids pointy
side down???

roypeacock-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
You realise of course, that you have just lost me a bet?! But I
suppose I should know better than to argue with my 250 year old wife!.
After that I can only afford a modest tip. Roy Peacock

Subject: Re: Geese
From: leli-ga on 28 Apr 2003 00:00 PDT
Something I read last year explained that many of the geese eaten in
London were born in the Fens, but even they didn't have to waddle as
far to their deaths as French geese intended for Roman dinners:

"....until the 18th century, wild greylags were resident in the great
expanse of wetlands that spread more or less continuously through
Norfolk to Cambridge and Lincolnshire.

This was also a traditional goose-rearing area, and young wild geese
were often caught and incorporated into the domestic flocks. The
goose-man, or gozzard, plucked his birds five times a year, taking the
main flight feathers on Lady Day, March 25, to supply an important
market for goose-quill pens.

At this time of year many goose farmers also fattened their flocks in
readiness for the drive to London's Leadenhall market and the
all-important Christmas trade. The birds' feet were dipped in tar and
covered with sand to protect them on the 100-mile trek, which was
completed at a brisk waddling pace of about a mile an hour. Yet the
London drive was a modest affair compared with the epic performed by
the domestic geese of ancient France, where the Gauls used to march
them over the Alps to the markets in Roman Italy."

Getting the bird
Claxton Marsh, Norfolk
Mark Cocker
Monday October 28, 2002
The Guardian,2763,820499,00.html

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