Bresse Chickens

sweetshoplady

Songster
11 Years
Feb 4, 2008
1,602
8
181
Venice, Florida
Anybody ever heard of French Bresse Blue Footed CHickens? Supposed to be a really good meat bird. There was an article about chicken (to eat) in the paper and it mentioned that breed. It said that the tasteless grocery store variety was why chicken has such a poor reputation and if you had a good chicken to eat it makes all the difference.
 

exsia

In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
87
1
31
Damascus, Oregon
I haven't heard of it before, but i just did a quick goggle on it and feathersite lists it as a French breed. I'd be interested to see if anyone on this board has one...
 

POULET ROUGE

Hatching
10 Years
May 5, 2009
2
4
8
winston salem NC
The poule de Bresse is a DOC (denomination d'origine controlee). Bresse is in the Burgundy region of France. The birds are rather large, white feather and blue feet. You will never find any of these outside of the Bresse region. The breed is owned by a co-op of hatcheries, growers and processors. They control and own the genetics. I asked the representative of the group if they would eventually consider selling any breeding stock. the answer was a categoric NO. The blue foot you find in some retail stores mostly in Northeast came from Canada and are a poor knock off, the only similarity being the blue feet. not a great eating bird. Keep in mind that a Breese chicken sells in France for around $70 dressed. not your everyday chicken.
Cheers,
Denis Dronne
 

dancesWchickens

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
83
3
29
Davis, CA
I'm in France right now and trying to figure out how to bring back some of the true French Bresse chickens to the US. THese are truly remarkable-tasting chickens, best I've tasted anywhere. Don't want the look-alikes developed in the US: i'm after the real things. Anyone have some advice for me? I read the USDA APHISQ regulations; seems like they'd have to go thru a 30-day quarantine at $6.50 per day, but it doesn't say per bird or per flock. Thinking about trying to score some hatching eggs. but not sure how to bring them back. I'll be here for another 2 weeks. All thoughts welcome.
 

Mahonri

Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium member
11 Years
May 14, 2008
30,363
251
456
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
Let's see find a breeder there in France, talk them in to some eggs...

Problem is this, how do you explain them to custom agents? And would the x-rays be harmful to them?
 

dancesWchickens

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
83
3
29
Davis, CA
Hmmm finding a breeder seems like the easy part. Looks like eggs from here do not have to be quarantined, but you're right about xrays....anyone successfully ship or receive hatching eggs overseas?
 

UncleHoot

Songster
12 Years
May 22, 2007
370
6
141
St. Johns, Michigan
Quote:Watching "Le Tour"?


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty sure that the only way you could get these out of France is to steal some eggs and smuggle them out. The Poulet de Bresse is almost a symbol of regional/national pride for the French. If anyone was found raising them outside of France, it would create quite a problem for them.

Enjoy it while you can!

EDIT:
the French page (if you know some French) actually has a bit more information on these. Interesting to note that they are butchered between 4 and 8 months.
(I guess you'll have to copy and paste the links, or it cuts them off here)
English: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bresse_(chicken)
French: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bresse_(race_de_poule)
 
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dancesWchickens

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
83
3
29
Davis, CA
Aw nuts I bet you're right UncleHoot. Well, I'd hate to be the source of a problem for these fine folks over here so I guess that's the end of that (well, unless some farmer offers eggs to me I suppose). But they'd probably kick us out anyway because we don't follow the Tour. Thanks for the advice!
 

mtminstrel

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 29, 2011
25
0
22
East Haven, Vt
I will be getting a dozen Bresse chicks in a couple of weeks. Apparently they are not allowed out of France but the US doesn't have a problem with bringing them in.
 
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AquaEyes

Songster
8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
1,664
52
161
Buffalo (but from Long Island)
There was discussion of the Bresse in the Breeds and Genetics area. Apparently, some breeding stock did get out of France and is spreading around Europe, but they're still rare. In any case, what makes them expensive to buy as meat is not just the breed, but also the way they are produced. And the reason for breeding them to be white with blue feet and bright red combs is because those are the colors of the French flag (and a number of other European countries...as a side note, the significance of red/white/blue is that it designates the three classes of Indo-European societies, namely the ruling class, the religious class, and the working class, respectively...and that's why those colors, or variations on the theme, are seen in so many European flags).

 
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