In the late 1800’s the newcomers (cedar getters, gold miners and settlers) supplemented their diet, whenever possible, with local game whether animals, birds or fish.  Any birds they shot would have been fully used meaning the heart, liver and gizzard.

The gizzard is a large muscular organ used to break down their food. The birds peck small grains of stone and inside the gizzard these serve to help the process – in place of teeth. Hence if you keep chooks (chickens) they need shell grit to serve in grinding food and, also, as a source of calcium to harden egg shells. – c1921

Excerpt from –

Settlers at Orara -The Hoschke Family in Australia, 2013, page 35

Turkeys, pigeons, wallaby and fish supplied food to old cedar cutters who depended on game for food.  They had no time to go for food to Bellingen / Raleigh.

There was an abundance of game; pigeons, turkeys, parrots, pademelons (a small species of wallaby) and fish (Orara means home of the perch).  These could be shot within a few hundred yards of the homes.  These were plentiful so there was no shortage of fresh meat.

Fish from the stream were easily caught; especially perch [bass] and lower down occasional Murray cod [actually Eastern Cod which is very similar] were obtained.  A forty-five pounder was landed at Karangi and an eighty-five pounder just below Coramba.

Turkeys were found close to the house so the settlers robbed nests for eggs early in October.  As soon as they are hatched, young turkeys run away.

Excerpt from

Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), Monday 7 June 1897, page 6


I must relate one curious incident that occurred while prospecting the country along the Nymboi [Nymboida] for gold. While the tent was being struck and the packs made ready, I had taken the dish and spade to try a small island in midstream for gold, and from a small pothole, at the first “try,” I got about three grains of gold. Of course the hands at camp were called down, and it was immediately decided to stay for another day and prospect further, and my two mates and I were soon very busy sinking potholes.

While so engaged, the dog at the camp commenced to bark, and I went up, expecting to find someone had followed our tracks, but instead there were two fine brush turkeys strutting inquiringly round the fire. On seeing me, they flew into a tree, and I very soon shot them both, and on cleaning them in the evening, we found that both had a fair “prospect” of nice scaly gold in their gizzards.

This discovery made us very sanguine of finding payable gold, but later examination satisfied me that they got the gold from the gravel that was swept high on to the banks by flood waters. However, we got several ounces of gold from that locality before we left it, but there was only one little spot that actually paid. The water at that time was too much for us, and we left it, intending to return some other day, but did not.

THE NORTHERN BRUSH LANDS. (1897, June 7). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 – 1930), p. 6. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from