Tuesday, May 1, 2012
La Bresse Gaulois
For a long time we have tried to find a good bird to raise for the table, we are at the moment experimenting with our own breeds, crossing them to get a good table weight, but it will be a few weeks before we can come to any conclusion. We wanted something that is slow growing, not like the poor Cobbs who are ready for the table in about forty days, still chicks at that age. However, today, we were offered some hatching eggs from La Bresse Gaulois, I must confess I had never heard of this breed, however a quick search on Google told me everything I needed to know and it would seem that this breed is indeed the answer to a good table bird. Not only are they good to eat but they also lay a good number of eggs, they mature young, by that I mean they start laying eggs as early as sixteen weeks, and at sixteen weeks should have a carcass weight of 2.5 kg. They are white feathered and good in a free range system.
So come Saturday we will be setting these eggs, along with some Jersey Giant and Light Sussex eggs in the incubator. I hope we have a good hatch, as these La Bresse Gaulois are considered a rare breed.
We have had a few cold nights over the last couple of weeks and the frost has done some damage to the veg but they should all recover with luck, hopefully that will be the last of the frosts especially as the fruit trees are now in bloom.
The local woodlands are full of wild flowers, bluebells, primroses and garlic ramsons, plus of course the beautiful gold of the celandine, and the birds are busy nest building. The Swallows have also arrived, so summer is here.
Just twenty feet away from our favourite bluebell wood there is further forestry, this is unfortunately planted with Sitka spruce, the same land as the deciduous forest but in this part nothing grows, not a blade of grass not even a weed, even lichen struggles here, maybe there are some squirrels living there, although we could see no sign of them.