E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The proverb is that MacFarlanes geese like their play better than their meat. The wild geese of Inch-Tavoe (Loch Lomond) used to be called MacFarlanes Geese because the MacFarlanes had a house and garden on the island. It is said that these geese never returned after the extinction of that house. One day James VI. visited the chieftain, and was highly amused by the gambols of the geese, but the one served at table was so tough that the king exclaimed, MacFarlanes geese like their play better than their meat.