Work in progress at Poiset Farm

We’re here again at the Poiset farm... a few months after our first interview. Let’s take a look at our poultry farm … To start with... After taking a few months to repair the aviary... It had been damaged by winter storms before our arrival, We introduced our first chicks in June 2021: organic, free-range and... as well as loud-crowing breeds, Traditional French breeds... Traditional French breeds bought from Béchanne's regional poultry breeding farm. They select the different breeds, and they're basically one of the only centres in the region…. Behind us are our white Bress-Gauloise, which are emblematic to Bress, which we’ve decided to work with. They are in this enclosure shared with some Guinea Fowl. We start each flock... with 100 chicks and 100 Guinea Fowl. So 100 chicks, and we rotate three breeds, and these are systematically raised along with 100 Guinea fowl. The poultry we raise free-range, with 100% organic feed. They are raised until they are between 4 and 5 months. They are slaughtered between the fourth and fifth month. That's when they weigh in at about 2kg, once ready to cook, the females weigh a bit less, the males a bit more… Here there are... still a few males left, and the females and Guinea fowl, they are all about 4 ½ months old. We are currently slaughtering this flock. We then rotate between the different enclosures, that way, every month we introduce a new group of chicks and guinea fowl, and every month we slaughter the oldest flock. So as we have six buildings, rather six chicken coops, so every month we slaughter a flock... then add 2 months for health reasons, before new chicks can be introduced. Thus with six facilities it allows us to supply our customers all year round. These are mainly... the local Burgundy restaurants, our customers also include a few local residents, So for the restaurants of la Côte, mostly but also some in Paris... We use the postal system "chronofresh", which guarantees rapid delivery. We can talk a bit about the enclosures, or runs, basically there's a flock of 200 poultry, per coop. This includes a run of about 2000 square meters. This is much more than what is required for certified organic farms. We also discovered it allows us to maintain... diverse vegetation and grass-covered runs, nearly all year-round. It’s more difficult winters, because poultry scratch the earth... But in general the plant life is diverse: recently with quite a lot of flowering clover, now there’s thistle growing, so a variety of different plants. We try to protect the bushes and trees... for them to shelter during heat waves. As to the breeds, we tested a few kinds last year... these were suggested by the hatchery where get our chicks. So we chose the breeds which appealed, because of their taste, the meat quality, but also their social behaviour. We decided on three breeds to work with this year. Here’s a gray Bresse-Gauloise with its flecked plumage, we saw the white Bresse-Gauloise, that were behind us earlier... and the third breed is the Charollais, which originates nearby in Charolle. Their conformation is less stocky than the Gaulois, they have very big feet… They're less round, more elongated... and also a bit hardier, a more traditional breed… A coincidence, but we’ve chosen breeds, all originating from the Burgundy region… Here we are in front of the building and the enclosure for our egg layers, Soucona hens, which is also a breed from Bresse. We got the chicks about a year ago, in August I think, and raised them until December... We followed a special protocol for raising egg -laying hens... and they began laying in January. We have about 120 hens in the building, and collect between 80 and 90 eggs/day. So we sell these ourselves, or via a local farmer’s network. The eggs are gathered by hand, at the end of each morning, and this done daily by our new colleague Frédéric, who joined us here at the farm at the end of March this year. Hello, I’m Frédéric Monvaillé and I was recently hired, here at the Poiset farm. I began on March 28th. I was added on as part of the crew here, and am working on the farm with my two colleagues. They are both agricultural engineers who work primarily here on the farm. My responsibilities include sales and administration duties. My mission is to develop the sales of our poultry, in particular the guinea fowl, which are well known around here... for their excellent quality and good tasting meat. I will be in contact with the local gastronomic restaurants, some of the best around here, as well as in Paris and Lyon… I'll be establishing a sales office on the farm in one of the buildings. This is currently under construction, and would include a store, cold storage... This would make things much easier for people living nearby... to have access, when they want to buy eggs. In addition, we would be able to sell more poultry... to customers passing through, as well as our regular customers living nearby. The egg gathering is part of his job for now… He talks with the hens every day, which they enjoy… Egg production went up, so things are working well for everyone.