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Shot composition?

Having just consumed a brace of tasty donated pheasants, conversation turned to the composition of the shot we were careful to avoid munching on.

I feel sure lead is now banned, so exactly what are pheasants shot with nowadays? I'm equally sure someone on here will know... Smile

Sounds like you're chewing lead Wink lead shot only banned in wetlands

It will be either lead, coated lead, bismuth, tin, tungsten, or steel.
Colin & Jan

As NMG said it is most likely to be lead as only when wildfowl (Ducks/Geese) shooting is lead banned. This was to stop the lead shot falling into the water/silt and being ingested by the birds. Scientific studies have shown that lead shot in the gizzard causes increased mortality.

Fishing banned the use of small lead weights (not the sea fishing type) twenty+ years ago and you cannot now buy lead fishing weights, but the alternatives as just as good.

Personally, I think the shooting lead ban was ill-thought out. You can still shoot pheasants over marshland with lead shot but it is illegal to shoot a mallard over a barley stubble field. Most other countries made a law which said any shooting over marshland and within a certain distance of water will be carried out with non-toxic shot and it is firmly enforced.

Because we got it wrong there is now a move afoot to ban lead shotgun cartridges completely, because unfortunately a number of people completely ignore and disregard the law.

Thank you - so could be lead - or not! Pheasants would have been shot somewhere near Ilminster so possibly near the Levels (wetlands) - and lead-free. It doesn't matter to me, it was just idle curiousity really.

Isn't idle curiosity a recognised symptom of lead poisoning? Rolling Eyes

We get more donated game birds than we know what to do with. Until recently, I thought of them as being good and healthy - after all, I take care not to swallow the shot. However, someone pointed out to me earlier in the year that Gamekeepers feed the poults with all sorts of antibiotics and other "nasties" to reduce mortality. Anyone on here have any real knowledge of this rather than just hearsay? If it's true then I'd regard that as far more of a health risk than a few lead shot Rolling Eyes

I've often wondered about what game has been fed or wild animals have eaten. After all a rabbit could have munched on freshly sprayed crops for most of it's life and have a high build up of chemicals that a domesticated animal doesn't.

I suppose you need to be aware of how the animal was raised, lived and shot. Many shoots don't use too many 'nasties' in their feed, relying on good husbandry for example.
Colin & Jan

Pheasant/Partridge feed comes with antibiotics added by the feed manufacturer, which they are generally fed from about 2 weeks old. This continues after the birds have been released into pens in the woods/fields until they are around 12-14 old, when they switch to pellets without antibiotics and then wheat. The inbuilt antibiotics are seen as a preventative measure and should the birds end up with medical issues more antibiotics are given to them in food/water.

Shooting is big business and 8 week old pheasant poults this season are around the 3.60 each mark; partridges a bit dearer. Unfortunately some of the 'wild' game isn't necessarily much purer than a reared chicken unless you buy/eat rabbit, hares, pigeon and some of the wildfowl species (Wigeon, Teal etc).

Thanks for that info. Hopefully by the time mine are shot all that antibiotic is out of their systems Confused

3.60 for the poults??? Blimey I'll never think "Oh no, not another load of game to process"......:

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