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A Perfect Booke for Keeping Sparhawkes or Goshawkes

A Perfect Booke for Keeping Sparhawkes or Goshawkes

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Published by Natalia Grechanaya

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Published by: Natalia Grechanaya on Feb 01, 2012
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A Perfect Bookefor Keeping Sparhawkesor Goshawkes
The spelling of most words and some phrases put into modern English by Derry Argue Reproduced here for your interest only - no guarantee of a correct interpretation is given!Originally published late 16 
th
Century
 Note: Although this book is easier to read in the modern form,readers should note that the methods described may be illegal or obsolete today.
A Perfect Way and Order to be observed in choosing and keeping sparrowhawks
There be certain tokens whereby a man may choose them to have them strong, hardy andgood, and also many things to be observed in their usage and diet whereby to maintainthem always safe and sound which unskilful austringers are ignorant of, and thereby dodestroy many good and lusty hawks that would show much pleasure, and then they blamethe tenderness or some other thing in the hawk which when their own ignorance is theonly cause of their destruction.
Tokens of a Good Hawk 
Large: head slender: beak thick and great like a parrot: cere fair: nares wide: stalk (?)short and big: foot large, wide, and full of strength: mail thick: wings large with narrowfeathers: eye of flesh and ever disposed to feed eagerly.
Sore Hawks
Brancher is hard to be manned and then best because she has been fed always by her damand preyed for herself.Bowiser is soon manned, and ready to be trained to anything you like.Eyasses are worst for divers causes, but are yet ready of coming and will never be lost.
Notes of Danger
Always wash your hands before you feed her especially in the morning for diversconsiderations for which for brevity I omit, otherwise you may kill her and know nothow; also handling of garlic, onions, hemp and such like will make her cast her gorge.Item. Beware you have no smell of musk, suet, or other such sweets about you: for theair thereof will poison them without recovery, especially if it come near their casting or meat.Item: Never let your hawk stand or perch in a place where any other has cast gorge or  been sick, or else in any close place, near long winged hawks, except the place be firstwashed and well aired with bowes (bunches?) of rushes, etc.
Tokens of a Surfeit
 
By four things it is perceived with great regard must be had always unto: viz. By eye,feeding, mutes, and casting.First the eye waxes pale and dead: the feeding is done faintly with tearing a little at onceand throwing it away.: the mutes after the enseaming will be foul coloured: the castingwill be loose, moist, black, or yellowish and stinking. Now when any of this afforesaidsigns appear, then presently use the remedies afterwards in the title of casting, gorges,and surfeits. And most of all this, disease do grow by foul and unclean feeding, over gorging, lack of water, or by giving too often castings after she is clean with castingswhich will make her dry in body and stalk like a stick. Note in a mewed hawk you shall not permit a surfeit before she be clean.
Meats and Diet
Meats which endue (put on weight?) soonest and make the hardest panel are best, for example beef red and fair, neither slimey or filmy, clean pared and trimmed from all dryfat and strings. Likewise mutton, as the leg, heart, piece under the kidneys: venison,hearts of pig and goose: all small birds, pigeons and chickens warm or new. All this is best: marry at a shift rooks, choughs, magpies, etc. for a gorge will serve. But yet as beef is best for a flying hawk, so it is worst of all other if it be not well chosen and used, for itwill soon wax moist and slimey, and so will mutton if they be in small pieces or keptlong, and there of will come surfeits. But yet if your hawk be very high, you may wet itin water and wipe it dry, and so give it for a gorge without danger. Therefor look after inthe title of keeping beef, and there you shall be satisfied for keeping thereof which ismost excellent for a flying hawk. Note: coarse grained beef brings the cray and is as evil as slimey beef: pigeon andswallows be very drying: and too hot for a sick hawk: chickens flesh cold is nought also.Ram's mutton or flesh of any beast going to rut be it male or female will presently surfeita hawk. Bloody flesh is better than white flesh of any beast or fowl. But certainly achange of meat is always best. With the meat above mentioned being warm new andgood, and with seldom or often feeding, and the quantity, you may temper them to makethem high or eager to fly at your pleasure without washed meats or unnatural diets or  physicing which many in this case do use for lack of knowledge and thereby do fill themwith the cray, rye, and other diseases which only come from an evil diet. Note: at the first drawing it is good for a mewed hawk to be carried in a rufter hood, andfed therein, and never off day or night for six or seven days lest she fall into the pantas by striving whiles she is fat and breathless. But sorehawks be clean of themselveswithout such greasiness and foulness, and therefore need nothing but two days hoodingand clean feeding, tiring and plumage, castings, water and carriage to enseam them perfectly which is done in a short space of time which I accomplish in ten or twelve days.But a mewed hawk to be well used must have a month or three weeks at least to be wellenseamed; for you may not offer to call her abroad until she is come to such stomach thatshe will not sit upon the perch in your house if she sees you, but desires to be with you:and do it by this order which I have used. Feed her with half gorge, quarter gorge, andhalf quarter gorge continually at all times of the day early and late, and once in two daysgive a good gorge, and see at all times it be well endewed; and this with such usage as isspoken of sorehawks before, will make more sinews than all the scourings and washed
 
meats that are used, and as high of flesh as may be. And never let her see small birdsalive, nor in their feathers.
Casting
Castings make her clean within from all foulness and also open and sharp, and are to beused as time requires, viz. In time of enseaming every other night, until she be clean: andthen after but twice or thrice a week at the most (if you feed her clean) lest you dry her too much.The best castings are these, viz. Holland or buckram (?) somewhat coarse, pulled out toshreds about an inch long, and bound like faggots, two to one casting, to keep an orderlyquantity. Also plumage without bloody feathers is good, and some use a rabbit's footwhich for a shift might serve. All this must be given wet and wiped dry. But I used togive it two or three hours after feeding when I go to bed which if you get her used to itshe will take as fast as meat.Let your hawk stand in a chamber where fresh air is, near the window, and in themorning look for her casting, and see if it be good or bad. If good, let her stir, rouse,mantle, or warble a while (as she will do if she be lusty) and then give her a bite and sether to weather until you make ready. If the casting be naught, set her to weather fasting along time, until you perceive her to be hungry and will not sit. Then give a quarter gorgeand water half an hour after to bathe (bowse) if she will. Note: long emptiness of a sound hawk in the morning after casting makes her poor andunlusty and brings many diseases. Note: give no casting the night after she has bathed, nor after a scouring, neither at anytime when she is sick. Mark this, when a hawk is once clean and also clean fed, thecasting does wipe out nothing but the balm or moisture which preserves her from heatand drying which kills almost all our hawks: therefor being once clean and so fed, twicea week serves, or thrice at most.
Tiring
Tiring or plumage would be used after any gorge more or less (except the gorge nextafter her bathing) so that it be not strong for her.The best tirings are these: a rompe (sheep's tail?) of mutton with the sinews cut off,: a pig's or rabbit's foot: and for plumage use chickens, pigeons, or partridge's wings andsuch like, not being too strong for her: and therewith use parsley sometimes upon your tiring to cause her to fling the water out of her mouth and nares which by her labour isdisplaced (diftedid?). This will keep her from the rye, and also in long breath andstrength. But yet always after any tiring, flying, feeding, much bating, or other heat, keepher on fist to settle and cool her body, lest otherwise the sudden cold perch do hurt her:for as a horse after travelling must be walked, for sudden cold, so must she be settled onthe fist. Also this good property come thereof, she will sit still on the first after she isgorged and not strive for the perch.
Bathing
 

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