We're raising American Bresse for the first time this year. I'm now in love with the breed, and want to try emulating the French methods of raising and finishing.
I've read all that I can get my hands on regarding the French standards but am having a hard time coming by some details when it comes to the housing they use to finish the birds, called "épinettes". I've found good pictures here: http://blog.women-on-the-road.com/bresse-chicken/ and you can see construction and use of them in this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKj8vj8rFHo (which is a great video, although entirely in french)
There are so many ways a small cage can be constructed... but French producers all seem to use the same style/construction. My questions are:
- What approximate dimensions should these cages be? How many birds per cage while finishing?
- Why have they all chosen this design? Do the slatted wood sides make the birds feel more secure? Would wire mesh sides be the same?
About the epinettes at those links above - I like the feeder trough being on the outside so as not to be fouled up and spanning the whole front to allow all birds access to food. That makes sense. Are there any other design considerations when it comes to these, or will any small box like this do?
I've got some wood to build some épinettes but I want to make sure I'm building the right thing. I've learned too many times: trial and error construction is expensive