WINTHROP - On a high spot with nearby wetlands, a rural Winthrop couple are raising game birds several miles northeast of town.
Christine and Michael Giroux specialize in French Red-Legged Chukar Partridge, Ringneck, Mutant, Silver, White and Mutant Pheasants, to name a few game bird varieties.
With more than seven years experience breeding game birds, the couple offers eggs, day-olds, juvenile and mature birds to dog trainers, breeders, small breeders, hobbyists and sportsmen training their own dogs.
Staff Photo by Fritz Busch
Chukar Partridges are colorful with light brown backs, a grey breast and buff bellies, white faces and red legs.
They've got a black Lab to prove the business they're in.
The minute you set foot on their farm located at 53222 256th St., the dog runs up to you, drops a retrieving object on your foot, looks you straight in the eye and waits for you to throw the object to be retrieved.
"It's a labor of love," said Mike Giroux who attends most game bird shows in this part of the country.
Melanistic Mutant pheasants are a pure breed with iridescent, greenish-black plumage that thrive on corn, soybeans, small grains, wet, grass and woodlands or brushy thickets.
Chukar Partridges are considered to form a super species complex with Rock Partridges. Chukars have well-marked black and white bars on the flanks and a black band running from the forehead across the eye and down the head to form a necklace, enclosing a white throat.
Considered exotic in some circles, some game meat is leaner than store-bought beef, so care should be taken not to overcook it.
Game bird meat is sometimes grilled or cooked longer, sometimes with moist-heat methods.
Other cooking methods include marinating like the dish Hasenpfeffer, cooking in a game pie or as a stew like Burgoo.
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