I remember as a child visiting a local stately home and hanging on a wall was a man trap – it heralded from an age when estates valued their game and poaching was a means of a family surviving the winter.
Today Treflach has no hares and few rabbits – the rabbit introduced from France in the 12th century were bred by warreners in enclosures – some escaped and in 1950 their number had reached pest proportion.
Pheasants were first mentioned in England in 1059 but were introduced by the Romans. They are now widely spread due to the efforts of game keepers, a major rural industry today.
Wild deer have never lived here and partridge are few in number but pigeon are abundant. The wood pigeon is the largest species, and lives on clover and freshly sown crops. The young hatch after 17 days and are fed by their parents “pigeon milk”, often called "crop milk” because it comes from special cells in the bird's crop. Pigeons are the only bird to produce milk similar to that of mammals. It is rich in fat and immune boosting protein, appearing as a cheesy substance on the birds chest.
Although game meat is rare and expensive, you can have the same benefit to your diet by substituting it with grass fed meat from cattle, sheep and pigs which is now wildly available and no man traps in sight.