Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 27, 2011 06:21 AM

Free-Range Wild Squab?

Alright, urban and suburban chowhounders, would you eat pigeon from your neighborhood? Are they safe? Maybe only in limited quantities (the same way you can eat fish from poluted lakes)? What's the worst thing that could happen?

While we're on the subject, how do you feel about eating squirrel? Is a suburban squirrel worse than a rural one?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Have had both, would never eat city dwellers.

    If you're going to do it, I hope you know how to cook them.

    1. Wild pigeon squabs would be tiny by comparison to commercially available squabs, which are bred from very large, entirely domestic varieties (like King Pigeon).

      That said, I think that a NYC Central Park pigeon would probably be less tainted with chemicals than a fish out of the nearby Hudson River. They eat more or less what chickens would eat--seeds, the occasional bug.

      As a child I used to capture and domesticate wild pigeons, and they don't have any "ick" factor for me, in general. I didn't eat any.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing

        Would never, ever eat an NYC pigeon—do you realize how much rat poison goes down in city parks every day? (More than one red-tailed hawk has died from eating poisoned pigeon.)

      2. Living in the suburbs, it's unlikely that anyone's hunting pigeon in the immediate vicinity. If they were, I'm not sure I'd know why I wouldnt eat them - although I'm very happy with the pigeon I get from the farmers market (which has been shot in more rural surroundings).

        Of course, much of the pigeon available at the supermarket is farm raised, rather than wild. I don't usually buy it as it just doesnt seem to taste as game

        4 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Your farmer's market offers wild-hunted pigeon? That's something I've never seen.

          I have heard that dove-hunting is a traditional Southern enterprise. I suppose they must have some recipes out that way for wild adult birds of that biological family.

          1. re: Bada Bing

            Good farmers markets usually have a great range of shot game. The guy at my local one always has stuff like pigeon and rabbit and, of course, lots of other stuff when it's in season.

            1. re: Harters

              Selling wild game is illegal in most, if not all, states.

              1. re: JudiAU

                I thought the same and just noted that Harters is in the UK.