The Ideal Homestead Chicken Breed
Are you looking for a dual-purpose, strong foraging, fast growing chicken breed to keep? American Bresse may be a good choice. Originating from France over 500 years ago, American Bresse are gaining popularity across small farms and homesteads, and for good reason. These birds deliver a hefty carcass of flavorful meat, and lay baskets-full of large, tinted eggs. Not to mention they have a strong foraging instinct and respond well to limited feed. What more can you ask in a dual-purpose breed? To learn more about this special breed, visit ambresse.com
Starting in Spring 2023, Humblebee Farms will be offering hatching eggs, day-old chicks, and very limited amounts of pullets and cockerels for sale. Our breeding program is focused on developing a bird that is naturally disease resistant, strong foragers, and gentle dispositions.
We currently have two groups we are working with. The first group was hatched here on the farm and came from a Texas breeder with two lines. Some quality hens came from this group, as well as a very large, very gentle rooster. However, there is a “flaw” with some of the chickens from this group. Some of them – including the rooster, have lightly feathered legs. This is either due to a genetic “defect” that doesn’t align with the Bresse standard, or, more likely, evidence that a Maran made it into the wood pile some time ago. Everything else, including the signature steel-blue legs, are in conformance. We are calling this group “Homestead Bresse”.
The introduction of some Maran genetics has the benefit of hybrid vigor, and with limited genetic availability in the United States, this may prove useful. So far, this group of chickens have been healthy, extremely fast growing, and shown strong foraging skills. Additionally, the pullets started to lay eggs at an outstandingly early 16 weeks! If you are a homesteader looking for the ideal meat and egg bird and you are not looking for 100% appearance conformance and don’t plan to breed, this would be a good choice for you!
The other group we have is direct from GreenFire Farms. This group does not have any obvious appearance flaws and provided us to with two very strong cockerels. The pullets are smart and healthy. This group is still young at 8 weeks old and their chicks be available later in the spring/ summer. If you are looking for true, 100% American Bresse chicks to add to your flock or even start your own breeding program, this is the right group for you.
Over time, our breeding program will focus on creating naturally healthy, disease resistant, strong foragers with sweet dispositions and prolific eggs.
Our Approach to Chicken Keeping
All of our pullets and cockerels start in a brooder in our home. Not kept in a shed or shut up in the barn. Why do we think this is important? Frequent handling ensures our chickens are well socialized. As a result, we can bend down and pick up many of our hens anytime. Even our rooster will let you pick him up. Friendly chickens make chicken keeping easier. We can easily do wellness checks and perform any needed care like the occasional check for mites and bumblefoot. It’s also just so much more enjoyable to have friendly chickens in the yard!
Besides handling our chicks from day one, we do the following to maintain health and vigor:
- Start with organic feed from day 1.
- Supplement feed with kelp powder, brewers yeast, probiotics, and garlic powder.
- Supplement water with naturally antibacterial oregano oil.
- When we do suspect illness or parasites, treat with chlorine dioxide.
- After 2 months, transition chicks from dry feed to fermented and restrict feeding to twice a day
- After 6 months, transition young chickens to feeding once a day
- Get chicks outside in tractors as soon as possible, weather permitting.
- Free-range all chickens during the day with at least 100 square feet of space per chicken.
We do not vaccinate our chicks or treat with traditional antibiotics or deworming agents. Remember, the goal is naturally healthy chickens.
If you are interested in our hatching eggs, chicks, or young chickens, please fill out our order form to be added to our waiting list for spring 2023 availability. Depending on weather, we plan to first start offering hatching eggs in February and chicks in March. Pullets and cockerels will be available on a very limited basis in late spring/ early summer. Questions? Please use the contact form anytime!