Tag Archives: France

Geese Grow Faster with Loose Mix Feeding

FRANCE – A new study shows that growing geese can be fed loose-mix without adversely affecting their performance of feeding behaviour.

Based on their results, the researchers recommend loose-mix feeding for growing geese because it influenced their feed behaviour only slightly but increased the birds’ weight at the end of the growing period.

The aim of the trial, published recently in Poultry Science, was to study the influence of loose-mix feeding on behaviour, feed intake and bodyweight of growing geese.

First-named author, J. Arroyo from the University of Toulouse and co-authors with INRA and ASSELDOR explain that they divided 252 day-old geese (Anser anser) into two groups differing in the form of diet they received between 42 and 98 days of age (AMEn 11.55MJ per kg, crude protein 16 per cent): a complete pelleted diet containing 500g of sorghum per kg (control group) or a mixture containing 500g of protein-rich pellets and 500g of sorghum whole seeds per kg (mixed group).

Feed intake was measured daily from 42 to 48 days and every three days from 49 to 98 days. Individual bodyweight was measured weekly from 42 to 98 days. Goose behaviour was monitored by the scan sampling method throughout the experiment, which was divided into five periods according to the timing of access to feed: period 1 from 42 to 55 days (ad libitum feeding access), period 2 from 56 to 62 days (2 + 2 hours feeding access), period 3 from 63 to 70 days (2 hours feeding access), period 4 from 71 to 94 days (1 hour feeding access), and period 5 from 95 to 97 days (3 hours feeding access).

Over the whole period, the feed intake (13,968 and 14,480g) and the feed conversion ratio (8.53 and 8.15) were similar in both groups (P=0.112 and P=0.168; respectively).

Body weight was similar in both groups from 42 to 91 days of age but at 98 days of age, bodyweight was 3.7 per cent lower in the control than in the mixed group (P=0.006).

Goose behaviour was influenced by period because the percentage of birds feeding increased when the daily access time to the feed decreased (P<0.001) but not by group (P>0.05).


Arroyo J., A. Auvergne, J.P. Dubois, F. Lavigne, M. Bijja, C. Bannelier and L. Fortun-Lamothe. 2013. The influence of loose-mix feeding on behavior, feed intake, and body weight of growing geese. Poult. Sci. 92(6):1454-1460.  doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02830
Source: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/29258/geese-grow-faster-with-loose-mix-feeding

Michael Mansfield QC Defends Geese and calls for Fortnum & Mason to end Foie Gras

Foie gras continues to spark outrage from all sides.

Foie gras continues to spark outrage from all sides.

Michael Mansfield, known for defending some of the biggest cases in British legal history, has sprung to the defence of geese today by calling for Fortnum & Mason to rid its shelves of cruelly produced foie gras.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Mansfield states, “Like any lawyer, I can attest to the fact that legality is no guarantee of morality. In other words, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should. Certainly, this principle holds true for Piccadilly grocer Fortnum & Mason, which … is one of the only British retailers still to sell cruelly produced foie gras, despite the public outcry against this vile product”. He goes on to argue that while “[t]he day is near when foie gras will be impossible to obtain in this country … stores such as Fortnum & Mason should simply remove it from their shelves – not because the law requires it but because it’s the right thing to do.”

Force-feeding of birds for foie gras production, which is already banned in the UK, is allowed in just five European countries – including France – which is why Fortnum & Mason shamefully pays French farmers to force-feed geese on its behalf.

During foie gras production, huge amounts of grain are pumped into the stomachs of ducks and geese through metal pipes, which are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers – which can swell to up to 10 times their normal size – press against their lungs, causing them to pant constantly. Veterinarians and avian experts agree – there is no humane way to produce foie gras.

Source: http://ofcoursevegan.com/2013/06/07/michael-mansfield-qc-defends-geese-calls-for-fortnum-mason-to-end-foie-gras/

Run Chicken Run

In Greek mythology Icarus flew to close to the sun and fell foul of it’s hot glare.  On 4th June, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers demonstrated their unmanned hot air balloon at Annonay, France.  And on December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers flew the first sustained flight with a powered, controlled aircraft at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, U.S.

But all of these historic events pale, once you’ve witnessed the Annual Bonsall World Championship Hen Races in Matlock, Derbyshire.  This event has been running for the last 20 years, organised by the landlord of the Barley Mow pub, David Wragg.  The event itself is said to go back well over 100 years when local villages competed against each other in the summer for fun.  Rumour has it that David even takes his prize winning sprinting hen ‘Flo Jo’, out running across the Bonsall Moor!  But knowing that other competitors often spend months in training, going through rigorous exercises routines to ensure their hen are in tip top shape, this should come as no surprise!

So what happens in this race of kings, I hear you ask?  Well, the chickens are raced along a 15 metre track and given 3 minutes in each heat to cross the finish line. If they don’t cross the line, the closest to the line wins.  As you can imagine, it’s a fast and furious event with tempers aflutter, although any fighting between hens is strictly forbidden and can result in disqualification.  Entries have come from all over the world, including Norway, Belgium, France and Germany.

If you want to enter your own Linford Chicken, or Poulet Radcliffe, the event takes place on the first Saturday in August annually at The Barley Mow Inn, Bonsall, Derbyshire DE4 2AY.