In 1957, Bresse inhabitants voted a law on an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée label to protect the reputation of their poultry, still the only poultry featuring an AOC label today. Slightly over a million poultry are sold in Bresse each year.
After 3 weeks they must be fed exclusively with corn and dairy products. They are slaughtered after a minimum of 4 months after having spent 10-15 days in the dark in an épinette (special wooden cage).
The Bresse poulard :
These female chicks are raised in the same way as the male Bresse chicken, but they are slaughtered after a minimum of 5 months, before laying eggs, after having spent 30 days in the dark in an épinette (special wooden cage).
The Bresse capon :
This caponized chicken is raised in the same way as the Bresse chicken and poularde. The poultry raiser provides it with a larger grassy area (20m2 per capon) and it is slaughtered after a minimum of 8 months, after having spent 30 days in the dark in an épinette (special wooden cage).
The " Quatre Glorieuses " contests celebrate this exceptional poultry every year in mid-December. These traditional fine poultry contests (Bresse capons, poulardes, chicken and turkey) represent a prestigious showcase for a know-how unique in the world.
The " Confrérie des Poulardiers " works to protect and promote the Bresse Poultry.
Le CIVB (Comité Interprofessionnel de la Volaille de Bresse) provides support to poultry farmers and is in charge of promotion for the sector.