Poulet Rouge Fermier...
Poulet Rouge Fermier: A Label Rouge Chicken in America
After discovering the older breeds and the Label Rouge program, we set out to reproduce the same products in America. After months of research, many phone calls and e-mails, and a visit to the headquarters of a French poultry genetics company, we settled on growing the Redbro Cou Nu (red feathered naked neck) chicken for the American market. This bird is regarded by most as having the best culinary qualities in the Label Rouge program, and has never been grown in America. This bird has a distinctive taste, a thin, translucent skin, an elongated breast with few feather follicles, a high keel bone, and long legs.
We imported the parent stock for these birds from France to ensure the exact genetics used in the Label Rouge program, and are closely following their strict guidelines for growing and processing the birds. In some cases, we are exceeding their requirements. We are growing these birds in small houses that are very similar to those used France, and on small farms where the farmers will give them special care and ensure humane treatment. Our birds will have MORE space inside the houses than is required by Label Rouge, and we are allowing the same access to outside as their program. We are following the same feed regiment with an all grain diet, containing no animal products, medications, growth stimulants, fishmeal, and no artificial ingredients.
Although antibiotics and coccidiostats are allowed in the Label Rouge program, we are not administering them to our birds. Our birds will not be de-beaked, and will be grown an average 70 days before processing. The finished weights will average 3 pounds. To ensure these birds do not become dehydrated while being transported, they are being grown within 26 miles of the processing plant. Our sanitation period between flocks will be 21-30 days. These birds will be air-chilled and sold within four days after processing.
Following the Label Rouge tradition, our Cou Nu chickens will be marketed as Poulet Rouge Fermier du Piedmont to reflect the genetics of the bird and the Piedmont area of North Carolina as the region in which they are grown.