Thursday, 25 February 2016

Quoi de n'oeuf ?

Chooks for Recycling!

Bléré council has set up a scheme where householders can put their name down for two Gélines de Touraine, a local rare breed of chook.

For a number of years Bléré council has been seeking to reduce household waste. One of their more innovative schemes is to offer residents two recycling chooks for a fee of €15. A chook can eat 150kg of organic waste a year. The scheme is at this stage limited by the number of Gélines available, so 60 households have been issued with chooks. The chooks are supplied by a local breeder based at Genillé.

The Bléré town website provides guidelines for the care of the chooks. They must have a shelter of two to three square metres with a perch 1.2 m above ground, in a quiet, not too bright spot. It is forbidden to feed them citrus or potato peelings, but otherwise they are to eat kitchen scraps augmented by wheat and grass. Water must be provided.

Tips on how many eggs to expect and how long they will keep are provided on the website. The council also points out that chook poo is great garden fertilizer. Last but not least tips on how to identify and deal with a sick chook are provided.

As well as private households, five schools in the area have taken Gélines.


On 25 February 1916 Robert Percy Brand arrived in France (possibly at Boulogne sur Mer) as part of reinforcements for the 2nd batallion, 10th Essex Regiment. At that time the regiment was based around Flesselleson the Somme.

Loire Valley Nature: A new entry has been added for Long-tailed Blue Lampides boeticus, a butterfly that can be encountered almost anywhere in the world.
A new entry has been added for Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas, a butterfly that has shockingly declined in recent years.
A photo has been added to the Map Araschinia levana entry.
A photo of a caterpillar in our orchard has been added to the entry for Swallowtail Papilio machaon.
Photos and identification tips for Amethyst Broomrape Orobanche amethystea have been added to the entry on Broomrapes Orobanche spp.


Le Pré de la Forge said...

Chooks adore COOKED spud peelings... but they must be cooked... and probably untreated... all non-organic bought spuds in France are heavily treated with one of the following chemicals:
clorpropham, tetrachloronitrobenzene or maleic hydrazide...
but the last two are commercial under a range of names.
The law allows quite high levels on the skin... and the safe level is measured at 5mm inside the spud.
I'm not surprised that they don't allow peelings to be fed!!
Also, different creatures accumulate these poisons in different places...and the bodies handle them differently....look at what happened with raptors and DDT.
We don't buy spuds, we grow 'em... nor do we inhibit the sprouting of ours with chemicals...just the cold...
I'm happy to feed our chooks with OUR peelings.
But most of our kitchen waste is ignored by our fussy dinosaurs....
we've tried...the best is picked out....
everything else ends up on the compost.
Or trampled into the ground under their feets!!
Great feets for composting have chickens!!!

Susan said...

Thanks for the extra info on potato peel. Well worth bearing in mind.

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Yes.... For baked spuds, buy Organic!! Same goes for any spuds you would be cooking in the skins.... And don't forget to peel 5mm off all the if anyone does!!
I'm not peeling the same spud five times .....

Ken Broadhurst said...

Is that method of treating potatoes specific to France or more generalized to all the Western countries?

Sheila said...

Great photos of the swallowtail caterpillar. The first butterfly of any size
that we see in Spring is the Black Swallowtail. Then in July/August it's the
Yellow. They're so large, you expect to feel a breeze if one flies nearby.

chm said...

Ha! Ha! Ha! Good pun! Bon jeu de mots.

That's why I always peel potatoes and wash thoroughly other vegetables that can't be peeled.

I assume Robert Percy Brand was one of Simon's family members. Did he survive the hell that was the Battle of the Somme?

Susan said...

I've just bought 2kg of spuds from the Bio Boys at the market.

Susan said...

If it is very warm we could see Swallowtails in April, but normally they are mid-summer creatures.

Emm said...

Pretty chickens. OK, chooks.
A chicken-raising place near where I used to live sells bags of fertilizer and calls it Chick'n Gick'm. Much sought-after by weekend rusticators.

Le Pré de la Forge said...

Ken, that method is used all over... the States included... and the amounts allowed in the States are double the EU allowances... Australia has the lowest levels allowed... but the standard measure is at 5mm.
It was that that got us growing our own in the first place....then we discovered all the wonderful varieties, flavours and textures.

Susan said...

My favourite marketing name for animal manure is Paignton Zoo's Zoo Poo.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I thought you made it sound like France was the worst offender in using pesticides. And it's true that growing potatoes in damp, cool climates is not easy, because diseases proliferate. Why am I not surprised that potatoes are more heavily treated with pesticides in the U.S. than elsewhere?

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