label rouge chickens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by debbyluvschickens, May 1, 2008.

  1. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    Hello, does anyone here know anything about "label rouge" chickens? Supposedly they are origonally from france, and meat birds, thats all I know, I found 1 pic, and they are pretty red chickens, but I really cant find any info on their bahavior or their egg production. I found some locally and am trying to decide whether to buy them. thanks in advance.

    Also, I found a little more info on them, and am now more lost than ever. according to the man selling them, the breed is label that true or is label rouge the way they were organic? I am so lost
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Debby, I don't know much about this but have done some reading. Here is information from poultry specialists at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). It is a 12 page pdf and takes a little while to load because of the color photo's. Unfortunately, most of the chicken photo's are of dressed birds in the supermarket [​IMG].

    Rouge is a labeling program a little like "Certified Organic" in the US. The authors tell us that, "'Quality labels' like Label Rouge provide information to consumers on product attributes such as taste, health benefits, and nutrition, as well as on social issues such as support of local farms."

    "There are also Label Rouge ham, sausage, eggs, rabbit, and cheese products."

    Label Rouge uses specialty broilers for outdoor production. "In Europe the slow-growing genetics are mainly supplied by the poultry breeding companies SASSO (3) and Hubbard-ISA (4). . . At the time of this writing, SASSO and Hubbard-ISA genetics of this type are not available in the U.S."

    That has probably changed since this was written 6 years ago. The authors do talk about "Redbro," a Hubbard bird that IS available in the US. Hubbard now says that, "The JA 57 and P6N, mated with "slow growing" males or "differentiated growth" males fulfil the needs for the French "Label Rouge" or European "Certified" broiler." Maybe you can draw the genetic threads of that story together and where Redbro fits in. There's a little conversation on the "Meat Birds ETC" forum in one of the threads about alternatives to the Freedom Rangers and Redbro is discussed. Here's a link to the Hubbard bird info. You can also click on "Color - Slow Growth" on the sidebar.

    I hope this helps.

    1 person likes this.
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    In france label rouge (bresse chicken) is specific breed that has been highly protected by the french. To my knowledge exports have never been allowed. High end restaurants pay good dollars over there for them.

    I would be questioning this person on how they got them into the country. If imported they would have to have paperwork to prove it. If they are the real thing and can be verified GRAB THEM!!!!!!!!
  4. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    thanks so much for the help, I read the info in the link yet, I wanted to say thanks befor I forgot.

    Also. I just emailed the people with the chicks and asked if they had anything showing that they are what they claim, I am awaiting their reply. The chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old, straight run and will be ready for processing june 15th. I also asked if I had to wait that long since I am not eating them. I read on a link I found last night they have to be kept a certain amout of time but I cant remember how long it was, several weeks though. If she lets me have them at 2 1/2 weeks, that will be a hint.
  5. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    this is the ad for them.

    Pasture raised 'Label Rouge' French meat chickens. 'Label Rouge' is the European standard for gourmet meat and produce. It is a much more rigid and controlled standard than the 'organic' label used in the U.S., but with much higher standards of production such as space per animal, animal genetics, the animal's diet and of course prohibiting the use of hormones and medication.

    This bird is a slower growing and more flavorful bird than we have eaten in the U.S. since the switch to the fast growing Cornish-Cross birds in the 1960's. As a small all-natural farmer, these birds were expensive and were raised for my table. That said, know that they have received only the best grass, feed, and living conditions necessary to raise the tastiest chicken available.

    They will be ready June 15. I only have 15 extra to sell, so if you are interested, reserve yours now. They will be 3-5 pounds, but since this is my first time to raise these, I don't know what to expect other than what I'm told by their breeder. (These genetics are currently only available at one other farm in the U.S.)

    There is an abundance of information about the 'Label Rouge' standards on the internet, so please research this to fully appreciate the quality of this bird.

    Live Birds $10, processed birds will be $4 extra.
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Well, this is certainly very interesting- particularly in light of the recent thread on the demise of the Freedom Ranger ordering. if these birds breed true, I would get some and breed them.

    I was discussing this with DH last night. I think that the demand for broilers that can be pastured is only going to increase -a lot!- in the next few years as people become more and more interested in the Slow Foods movement, eating local, pastured meats, etc. I've been calling around to local organic farms here in maine and everyone's still raising Cornish Cross. I'd be buying those birds for my freezer if anyone was raising them nearby.

    Can you ask the seller where she got her stock?

    I'll be very interested to follow this thread. When we (someday!!) have enough space, I plan to raise meat brids and this is exactly the type I would want.

  7. debbyluvschickens

    debbyluvschickens Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    eastern arkansas
    sure, I will ask her where she got them as soon as she replies to the message I sent this morning and let you know.

    Also I plan on getting all the pullets she has (if any) and a rooster either way. I am not sure how to ship eggs, but if these birds are as rare as they seem to be, I will learn how to ship! lol
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    There is no one specific breed of chicken used for the Label Rouge marketing symbol. Different producers will use different hybrids to their own tastes. The Label Rouge symbol dictates certain standards of living which the producers are certified through (awesome that it's private industry doing it there, rather than government). I've had Label Rouge chickens while in Europe. I think it's a killer idea.

    One of the rules requires the birds to be 81 days old at time of slaughter. So, you are excluding your typical Cornish Cross since they'd be massive by that age.

    My understanding is that Hubbard provides most of the birds used under the Label Rouge scheme. You can get the same strain of meat birds here in the US. You just have to do a little digging. The technical name for the line is "Red Bro".

    JM Hatchery and Yankee Chicks in the NE USA provide day old Red Bro broilers.
  9. ncgnance

    ncgnance Songster

    Aug 22, 2007
    Iredell County, NC
    If you want to find out about this Bresse chicken, google the name "blue foot chicken." I don't have time to send all the info I have one these chickens, but go type in blue foot chicken and follow the threads. One even has a picture of the dressed bird. They have blue feet and white feathers. And they are on a strict prohibited list for export. Lots of people have tried to get them out of France and Canada. I'd say you're taking a chance....Here's one thread I found:
    One more thread that I found:
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  10. Evets

    Evets Hatching

    Apr 10, 2008
    Orange County, NC
    Label Rouge seems like a good alternative for the U.S. market, as "organic" chicken tends to be pricier AND YET still uses the Cornish X-type of hybrid-commercial bird. Label Rouge chickens are heritage breeds, medium-to-long growth, and seem to be a happy medium between organic and industrial chicken.

    My local Whole Foods sells "Label Rouge"-esque chickens from Joyce Foods, and they look pretty good and are currently $3 a pound for whole, dressed birds.

    A very local farm (around the corner - Coon Rock Farm) also sells "Label Rouge"-esque chickens for $5 per pound, but I think they were getting the Freedom Rangers, so I don't know where they'll get their chicks from now (yikes... didn't realize that Freedom Rangers has closed down... I had thought about trying some of their birds).

    However, if you look closely at several of the Label Rouge birds, you may notice that several birds look like the "heritage" breeds that are widely available in the U.S., like Dominiques or Plymouth Rocks. It just seems that there are no "pure white" birds in Label Rouge!

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