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Labor of Loving Game Birds

Christine and Michael Giroux of rural Winthrop operate a medium-sized game bird farm specializing in birds you may not be familiar with ...

September 11, 2011
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

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.

Article Photos

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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