La jouôte

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La jouôte was a barbarous custom of throwing stones at farmyard poultry and animals on public holidays which survived at least until 1906.

Effectively a cock-shy, la jouôte was observed on Easter Monday, Shrove Tuesday and other religious holidays. The unfortunate ducks, hens, cocks and rabbits, usually undernourished and not worth keeping, were offered by farmers for the public to pay to throw stones at. Kill the target and you kept it as a prize.

The events were usually staged in the heart of the parish, near the church or public houses. They were outlawed by an 1896 law to prevent ill-treatment of animals, some 130 years after Guernsey had enacted similar legislation. It took a further ten years or so for the practice to die out because there is a record of a cock-shy at Grève de Lecq in 1906.

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