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Bresse Gauloise in USA?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Is anyone out there raising Bresse Gauloise in the USA? I've been searching for breeding stock, so far with no luck. If you think you might be able to help, please PM or email me. Thanks!

Best - exop (Indiana)

post #2 of 45

It is my understanding that none currently exist in the US.  The French are very protective of this breed and have greatly limited exports, particularly to the US.  There is a breed called the Californian blue foot chicken that is an American-Canadian collaboration that reflects an attempt to recreate this breed in North America.

There are three varieties of Bresse chickens:  white, black and gray.  Greenfire Farms has arranged to import from Europe a small breeding group of authentic black Bresse.  The importation is scheduled for January 2011.  So, yes, at some point next year you should be able to raise Bresse chickens in America.  Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 45

Great information!  Thank you for that update!

post #4 of 45

Why would you want Bresse to start with when there are so many nearly extinct breeds that are available (with diligent searching) in the States? Just curious.

NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
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NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
Reply
post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by saladin 

Why would you want Bresse to start with when there are so many nearly extinct breeds that are available (with diligent searching) in the States? Just curious.


I don't want to speak for the OP, but Bresse occupy a special place in the heirarchy of meat chickens.  They have a unique flavor --some describe it as gamey-- that some other chickens lack.  We can debate whether the flavor comes from the method by which they are grown, the feed they eat, the genetics of the breed, or a combination of these factors, but the reality is that not every chicken breed will necessarily taste exactly like a Bresse.  So, raising a different breed of chicken won't always result in the same product. 

I'm sincerely curious in learning which nearly extinct breeds you think are more deserving.

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post #6 of 45

Are you familiar with the french system of agriculture?  Certain types of bresse can only be called as such if they were: raised in a particular region, fed a specific food (including free ranging on good pasture), roosters are caponized, and the last week of life is spent in 'fattening' cages and free choice food is given (too add a little fat for flavor).  Sometimes even places where they are slaughtered are stipulated.  This is all part of the 'Guaranteed appellation controllee' (pardon my spelling of French words if wrong) system which helps keep the quality of certain distinctively French agricultural products high. 

I did an agricultural tour of France and went to several producers of these wonderful birds, as well as many other sites.  For detailed information you might contact INRA (their version of the USDA) so they can direct you to accurate information.

Many of France's agricultural specialties have very specific production/quality requirements.  The food is excellent, but it's about more than the breed of chicken, the type of cow, etc.  It's about the process, cradle to grave, as well as the type/breed animal (as specified in the GAC).

Also, here is a copy of some of the French standard for production of poulet bresse http://www.pouletbresse.com/ang.pdf


Edited by ultasol - 9/14/10 at 10:16am
post #7 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks for responding, and thanks to Greenfire Farms for stepping up to the plate and importing some Bresse fowl. Are these C.A.P strain birds or a heritage line?

I realize that importation is an expensive business, but this may put Bresse - Gauloise (bress goll waahz) out of the reach of mere mortals for the time being. I checked out Greenfire's site after receiving a junk emailing from them fairly recently, and the newly imported Swedish Flower Hen will set you back some $399 for a juvenile pair.

To clarify, Gauloise refers to the variety, la Bresse is a name which France has reserved for Gauloise raised in the Bresse region to a certain stringent set of requirements.

Best - exop

post #8 of 45

Thank you for this great forum!

Great links and info thanks.

I've heard about Bresse chickens on television and wondered if I could raise them elsewhere, pretty much like they did, just to be different and sell something unique to local boutique restaurants.
I have never tasted one however but I'm sure I'll be able to tell the difference.

post #9 of 45

This is interesting. It sounds similar to their "Orylag Rex" or Rex du Poitu rabbits that are essentially a strain of large and very wonderful rex-coated rabbits, but the husbandry techniques are so exact and strict that it completely changes the flavor of the meat. The techniques are surprisingly similar to what you describe for the Bresse, including castrating the males, very specific and high quality grain and alfalfa diets, and generally just babying the animals.

The same rabbits raised in other conditions taste the same as any other rabbit, but the uniqueness of the strain remains. (In large part because of the fur, many generations of selective breeding for size and coat density makes it incomparable to anything else.) Like the Bresse, they are also very protective of these rabbits, I believe it is nearly impossible to get them unless you are a licensed farm that has been rigorously trained in the husbandry practices. Because of this, they get far more for their rabbits than any other rabbit enterprise in the world, and have maintained impeccable reputation and a marketing campaign to support it.

We could learn a lot from the French about how to increase the value of our animals through good husbandry and smart marketing.

The French also have a rich appreciation for varieties of animals that grow slowly on high quality diets. They would positively sneer at our 12 week finish on either our rabbits or chickens, from what I have been told.

Cheers, Rachel
Haiku Heritage Farm
Still in the frozen white north. As far as I can tell, "Winter is coming" is old news.

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Cheers, Rachel
Haiku Heritage Farm
Still in the frozen white north. As far as I can tell, "Winter is coming" is old news.

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post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneunhenged 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saladin 

Why would you want Bresse to start with when there are so many nearly extinct breeds that are available (with diligent searching) in the States? Just curious.


I don't want to speak for the OP, but Bresse occupy a special place in the heirarchy of meat chickens.  They have a unique flavor --some describe it as gamey-- that some other chickens lack.  We can debate whether the flavor comes from the method by which they are grown, the feed they eat, the genetics of the breed, or a combination of these factors, but the reality is that not every chicken breed will necessarily taste exactly like a Bresse.  So, raising a different breed of chicken won't always result in the same product. 

I'm sincerely curious in learning which nearly extinct breeds you think are more deserving.


In the United States I would suggest the following are 'more deserving' both because of their cultural link with the history of the US and because of their extremely low numbers.

Ga Cua
Pyncheons
Javas

Just to name three.

I placed the Ga Cua first because of the ancient status of this breed. However, the Ga Cua ranks as a fairly new import having come to the US only in the 1960s.

NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
Reply
NPIP 56-378, AI tested Clean, Farm Inspected by Clemson Poultry
Breeding Orientals,Games and Ducks;
With a large selection of Asil
And the largest flock of Cubalayas east of the Mississippi
Reply
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