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Bresse Chicken

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Other common names: Gauloise; Blue-footed Chicken; Poulet de Bresse

The basics:
The Bresse Chicken originates from the Bresse area of the Rhône-Alpes region of France. The birds are highly valued for their rich, gamey flavor, yet with fine, tender flesh and delicious fat. Roughly 1.2 million are raised annually, but such is the demand inside France that few birds make it out of the country. As a premium product, they sell at a premium price: Poulet de Bresse command around 15 euro ($21) per kilo at fine food markets.

The Bresse Chicken was imported to England in 1895. An American variety, the Blue Foot, was developed from French stock in the 1980s and is raised along similar lines. It has become equally highly prized in the USA, commanding many times the price per kilo of an equivalent free range chicken from lesser stock.

Types: Largefowl
Varieties (Single Comb): Black, Grey, White
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Weight: 5 - 7.5 lbs
Personality: Nervous and flighty
Preferred climate: Moderate
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Large

What else you should know:
The traditional diet for the Bresse is very unique, and is used in France for Bresse chickens that are breed for slaughter. Chicks are sold to small farmers whom let them free-range as soon as they come of age. While ranging, the Bresse is feed a low protein diet, to encourage them to hunt for bugs. Males are canonized (castrated) to help them stay tender. Pullets at four months, and cockerels at eight months are then put in wooden cages in a shaded barn. Here they are feed grains and milk. This diet lets fat marbel the meat. After, a few weeks they are ready for slaughter.