Bresse... are they worth the investment?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by naturalroots17, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. naturalroots17

    naturalroots17 Just Hatched

    Apr 2, 2017
    Central Virginia

    I have looked online and have read a lot of good things about Bresse. I am a farmer, I sell at markets, I was wondering if the market is out there for Bresse chicken, primarily to the restaurant scene, I don't know if I could get a good price at a local farmer's market, but they are incredibly expensive for a small production farm, do they REALLY taste THAT good? We lean toward heritage breeds & are a pasture-based farm, so just curious as the experience of others, thank you!
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hi there,
    First, let me say I don't have any Bresse nor have I eaten any. For what it's worth here's my opinion. In it's homeland of France the Bresse has an exalted position in culinary circles. If you read about how the farmers care for these hens, it is very time consuming and quite meticulous.
    IMO, unless you are going to raise them the same way, you are likely to get an inferior tasting bird. Having said that, I think most Americans wouldn't be able to taste the difference anyway [​IMG].....they are too used to chicken nuggets and the poor excuse offered for table birds these days.
    Personally, I would think it's a risky venture unless you can sell to the high end restaurants...
    BaronVonP and naturalroots17 like this.
  3. tbird9

    tbird9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2012
    Halfway, OR
    Did you try any this year?

    I have been breeding and raising Bresse for 6 years. I would say that the market is not currently out there. You would have to do a lot of work to educate people about what they are. While the “terroir” is important, there ARE genetic differences in the Bresse breed as to bone structure and how they lay their fat.

    When we started with them we were in Portland, OR, a very foodie town and we had thoughts of trying to create a market for them there, especially with restaurants. We have since moved 6 hours from Portland to a very isolated agricultural area (family reasons) and our main problem has become finding a reasonably priced processor, as birds processed on the farm can’t be sold to restaurants, and costs of production in general. Transportation of feed and of birds to the processor add a lot to our costs. If you don’t have that problem it might pencil out for you.

    I doubt it would make sense to buy chicks to grow out just for meat at the current prices for Bresse chicks that I have seen. Since we have been breeding them for years we have the ability to hatch out large numbers of chicks for ourselves. Not that that is really any cheaper when you consider the costs of carrying the breeding stock all year.

    I just posted a bunch on the Bresse Chickens thread in the Meat Bird forum and have a Facebook page dedicated to drumming up interest for them in my neck of the woods:
    3riverschick and Pork Pie Ken like this.
  4. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2010
    I've raise White Bresse normal like other breeds for about 2 years. They are great for both meat and layer. The feed cost is the same as other breed. Those who is't sure... just give a try.
  5. tbird9

    tbird9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2012
    Halfway, OR
    I agree, they are fabulous, hardy dual purpose birds for a home flock. Eggs are huge and the meat is great. But if you are considering them for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, yeah, no.

    People aren’t yet willing to pay a higher price for the ‘Bresse’ reputation and the hybrids that only take half as long to reach the same weight are already commanding a good price when raised on pasture.

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