A very good way of carving these birds is to insert the knife at fig. 1, and cut both ways to 2 and 3, when each portion may be divided into two pieces, then served. Pigeons, if not too large, may be cut in halves, either across or down the middle, cutting them into two equal parts; if young and small they may be served entirely whole.
Tame pigeons should be cooked as soon as possible after they are killed, as they very quickly lose their flavor. Wild pigeons, on the contrary, should hang a day or two in a cool place before they are dressed. Oranges cut into halves are used as a garnish for dishes of small birds, such as pigeons, quail, woodcock, squabs, snipe, etc. These small birds are either served whole or split down the back, making two servings.