The Poulet de Bresse

For some time now, I’ve been fascinating with the rearing of the famous Poulet de Bresse.  A chicken raised in the Bresse area of France. The birds are raised on pasture (not tractors!) with a limit to how many birds can be kept in a particular area.  They are finished on a diet of grain mash soaked in milk.  I’ve been feeding my chickens grain mash soaked in milk for some time now.  In fact, the 16 Cornish Cross chickens that I raised earlier this year were fed this diet almost exclusively.  We did not eat any of these birds, but I was told the flavor was excellent.  Their carcasses certainly looked good.

Different countries have a different idea of how food should be raised and food is more important to them, as it should be!  This article is a wonderful example of this mentality.  Those farmers raising food pursuant to the AOC designations have “a respect for what the earth can sustainably produce, and an understanding that where animals are concerned the better the animal is treated in production, the higher quality food it will yield. Makes sense to me. Happy plants/animals = happy, healthy food = happy, healthy people.”  Even with all the pastured animals available here in the U.S.  I doubt few come even close to rearing the animals close to AOC regulations. The author of this article writes about conversations she had with people who are so proud of the quality of their goods, makes me think of the years I lived in Boston’s North End.  I miss that … the shop keepers were wonderful people and offered a fantastic product.  They cared about food.  I am not saying people do not care about food here, but it is not as common.  I care about food!

I’ve heard people say that Animal Welfare Approved’s standards are too high (even ridiculous) and maybe they are, but the people who are raising animals in compliance with their standards are doing just that, raising animals with a respect for what the earth can sustainably produce …  I’m very, very proud to be Animal Welfare Approved.

I’m very excited about the possibility of expanding our chicken production next year.  It will be a long, slow, tedious process, but I’m hoping, like the rabbit pasturing process, it will prove successful.  I can say without any hesitation, that our rabbit pasturing program is successful.  Their meat is superior to that of confined rabbits and, more importantly, they live better lives!

The Guernsey calf that we now refer to as “MR” (“Miracle Rusty”) continues to improve.  He’s now spending more time up on his feet and starting to graze on his own.  I hope he continues to improve.  We have high hopes for his contribution to our Jersey herd.

We have an inspection scheduled for today.  It was going to start at 10, but materials that were supposed to arrive yesterday in the mail, did not get here so the time has been pushed off to 12.  Hopefully the materials will arrive before then.  Once this inspection is done, hopefully we’ll have some fantastic news by the end of this week.

It’s going to be a very exciting week.  On Friday, we go to pick up a female Border Collie named Shine.  Her mother is from a kennel in California run by a woman who is a very experienced Border Collie handler and a walking Border Collie Pedigree Database.  She knows which lines work well together to make a Border Collie that is easily trained.  Her father is from some well-known local dogs, tough, hard-working farm dogs.  She ought to be a really, really nice dog.  Unfortunately, Gel’s nose is going to be put out of joint for some time.

Sunday is the Know Your Farms Tour.  Hopefully we’ll have lots of visitors. Gel will be in his glory!

Yesterday, I put six Silver Fox does into kindling cages. They’ve been with Teddy Bear, our Silver Fox buck, for about 28 days.  They are due around the 16th and  I believe they are all bred.  I put more does in with Teddy Bear yesterday, two of which are does that were born here.  I also have a tractor of American Chinchilla does and a buck who will be due around the middle of October.  We are going to have a lull in rabbit production for a few months, then we should be swimming in rabbits, at least that’s the plan!

Until later …