Last winter about this time I spent a good month - tracking down a French rustic broiler called Sasso (Sas-so). I found them in Quebec. Now Quebec farmers and a Co-op in Quebec had a long running history of using Don Shaver's Red Bro however when Don Shaver's breeding company was purchased (now owned by Group Grimaud) there was a falling out between the new owners of the Red bro and the french co-op. As such the co-op no longer was able to offer the Red bro. Or any alternative broiler. The farmers that raised these birds did not like that and the white broilers (not sure what strain they were) could not replace them in the farmers eye's. For this reason the Co-op started to use a French rustic broiler called the Sasso - this broiler was primarily bred for the Label Rouge poultry program (and to my knowledge is used almost exclusively for it).
Last year was my first time raising Sasso's - and I must say the are my preferred meat bird the management style of a raising a rustic broiler and conventional broiler is different. Those who have bad success ( ie. low weights) when it comes to these free range alternative's ( Like Freedom Rangers,Mistral Gris, Etc) often try the same management style as a conventional broiler. To get a good management style it can take three years of adjustment and learning.
Last year my intention was to butcher these at ~13 weeks - Well life got in my and I never got them to the butcher until August ( a few family emergencies, a large market garden, etc). By this time they were 16 weeks old - a lot older than my preferred time of 13 weeks.
I was quite pleased with the results - very good sized birds. The smallest was ~5.5 pounds and the largest was ~8 pounds. Now after 14 weeks of age a broiler really does not gain weight and in fact may start to loose weight. So in all actuality these weights are smaller than they could (should) have been.
Now as I mentioned earlier it's all about management style with these birds and you really have to find the feeding times that work the best for you strain. Chickens can digest grass as well as we can, so if you pasture does not have a good supply of bugs ( or seeds) on it and you free range with little broiler ration given the results won't be optional. Two feedings throughout the day of broiler ration will help your birds grow to their optimal weight while encouraging to free range.
Now here are some pictures
The turkeys like to be photo bombers so I was often dodging turkeys in these shots....
Fundy Poultry - Breeding pure utility Large Fowl Welsummers,Light Sussex, and more breeds in 2014/2015. We breed poultry the way farmers bred them hundreds of years ago. When you buy chicks,started birds, or adults from us they will be productive.