Rare livestock thriving at La Ruchotte organic farm & restaurant

Heritage Breed Livestock

La Ruchotte® renowned for being is one of the best eco-friendly and sustainable organic chicken farm and restaurants in Burgundy, France. This gourmet restaurant is not only highly recommended by some of France’s greatest Michelin star chefs, it is also well known for its organic vegetable garden, orchard, more than 1,500 animals. Among the livestock are Noir de Bigorre Pigs and various rare and heritage breeds of poultry. La Ruchotte® is the epitome of fine farm-to-table dining.

Heritage Breed Livestock

Frédéric Ménager: Chef, vegetable gardener and poultry breeder

Discover the La Ruchotte carving knife

A paradise for poultry on earth

If we had to summarize the Ferme de la Ruchotte® in a few words, we would say that it is "a paradise for poultry " on earth! La Ruchotte’s® Chef, Frédéric Ménager, also works on the farm that surrounds the restaurant, working as a vegetable gardener and poultry breeder. Very few farmers practice breeding as Frédéric Ménager does, that is to say, by selecting heritage breeds which he raises with special care and attention. Frédéric Ménager puts the well-being of his animals first, giving them the finest organic food, space to roam and homeopathic treatments. The result is incomparable, both in terms of taste and ecologically.

An alternative chef

One of Fred’s main goals is to revive forgotten, endangered or nearly extinct breeds, such as the Barbezieux and the Ardennes Red Turkeys, to name but a few. As a nature lover, he hopes to promote biodiversity and demote standardization, while giving his clients a chance to taste the authentic flavors of some of these heritage breeds. The fact that La Ruchotte’s® poultry is featured on various other famous French restaurant’s menus is proof of their outstanding quality and extraordinary flavor. The Chef counts on his trusted team of farmhands headed by Wolgang and Steve to produce such mouthwatering poultry by using permaculture techniques to work in symbiosis with nature in the aim of being an exemplary model for the future of agriculture.

La Ruchotte’s "poultry biodiversity"

The Gauloise Dorée Chicken

Price: Chickens 30€ Rooster 25€

The Galoise Dorée Chicken is emblematic, the ancestor of all French breeds. This highly coveted chicken is only bred by 17 breeders. This rustic chicken is known for being easy to raise and perfect for farm life. It has pretty colorful plumage and an excellent taste but is not very good at producing eggs. A female can reach 4 lbs. and a male 4.4 lbs. In 2002, the INRA (National Institute of Agricultural Research) went to the Ferme de la Ruchotte® to obtain eggs and cryogenically freeze sperm from the roosters, in order to prevent this breed from becoming extinct. This was also the very first breed that our Chef Frédéric Ménager raised in 1996.

The Coucou de Rennes Chicken

Price: Chickens and Roosters 40€ per animal

One of La Ruchotte’s® most beloved breeds. Of all the breeds we raise, it is the fastest to grow – breeding regulations state that the minimum age of slaughter is 130 days for the pullet. This breed has a single straight comb and the hen can be recognized by its grey speckled plumage that resembles that of a Cuckoo bird. This breed nearly disappeared by the later twentieth century. However, the Ecomuseum of Rennes initiated a rebreeding effort in 1988. When mature, the females reach 4.4 to 4.8 lbs. and the males 5.5 to 6 lbs., and up to 6.6 lbs. for breeding hens and 8.3 lbs. for roosters. The eggs are small and easily meet industrial standards. The Coucou de Rennes Chicken has a strong taste but a texture that is less firm than other heritage breeds. The females are easy to fatten and are particularly flavorsome. They are perfect for roasting as they are less delicate and require less cooking than other heritage breeds.

The Barbezieux

Price: Chickens and Roosters 40€ per animal

A breed that originated in the Charente region, which had totally disappeared and was rebred by Dr. Roland Dams. Although there have been several rebreeding attempts, his is the most successful. This veterinarian from Lyon and friend of Chef Ménager’s, researched old archives to find descriptions of this hen in order to recreate it. This majestic bird is the largest of the French breeds. It produces very big white eggs (3 to 3.5 oz) that have a large yellow-orange yolk. One of the reasons this breed almost became extinct is that it takes a long time to grow, taking at least 9 months to reach slaughtering age, whereas battery chickens are bred in a month and a half! But its world-renowned taste is well worth the wait. The Gault et Millau guide described it as follows, “This skin, which is a beautiful golden color, takes on a light wheat scent, the meat is firm and flavorful, almost like venison.” The hens weigh approximately 7.7 lbs. and the roosters 10 lbs.

The Flèche Chicken

Price: Chickens and Roosters 40€ per animal

"My heart sways between the Barbezieux and the Flèche," admits Frédéric. This breed is from the town La Flèche in the department of Sarthe in France. It is the largest of the French breeds; the roosters can easily reach 11-13 lbs.! The hen has black plumage and a horn shaped crest (which earned it the nickname "Satan’s hen"). This is also one of the oldest and most renowned breeds. It was at the height of popularity during the reign of Henri IV. It is known as being the primary breed for table qualities, rivaling the Bresse Chicken. They have excellent, delicate, juicy meat. It is a good breed for making capons - virgin cocks - or for chicken breeding. At the farm we like to cook them in a casserole, with red wine, as its flesh lends itself well to this kind of simmered recipe. But it can also be roasted, however this longer cooking method will make the flesh, quite dark and firm. Like the Barbezieux, the Flèche Chicken is slow to develop. Its breeding, contrary to conventional industrial breeding, requires time and patience. However, its taste is well worth the wait!

The Le Mans Chicken

Price: Chickens and Roosters 40€ per animal

In 1600, Olivier de Serres celebrated the Le Mans capon in his book "Le Théâtre de l’Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs." This breed is related to the Flèche Chicken and has a rustic strong build, black plumage with green highlights and a red curly crest with a spur on the back. This breed disappeared in the middle of the 20th century and was rebred by Fred and Roland Dams 15 years ago. Since this is still the very beginning of these rebreeding efforts have been difficult and the resulting birds have not been very big. However, breeding attempts will continue with patience.

The Ardennes Red Turkey

This turkey originated in the United States and was originally called the "Indian Chicken" because Columbus brought it back to Flanders from his expeditions. It was one of the only domesticated birds that the indigenous people of Mesoamerica raised. Frédéric has decided to raise this Franco-Belgian breed that almost disappeared but which was brought back by Jean-Michel Devresse in 1985. Today, it is raised by approximately 15 farmers. With its magnificent rust-colored feathers, it is the queen of the farmyard. This rustic breed is slow to develop compared to industrial breeds. Industrial breeds take 13 weeks to reach slaughtering age, whereas the Ardennes Red takes between 7 and 8 months. As an adult, it weighs between 8.8 lbs. and 11 lbs. (4.4 to 6.6 lbs. once plucked) and the male can weight up to 17.6 lbs. The La Ruchotte® Farm raises approximately 100 turkeys every year. Contrary to the hens, the young male turkeys are not reproduced on site but are bought to the farm when they are 1 day old. Breeding starts in mid-April so that they are ready for Christmas. The turkey is raised for its very fatty and delicious meat that is especially good for roasting or poaching.


Guineafowl are birds of the family Numididae and are endemic to Africa. Guineafowl are easy to raise as they are not often attacked by birds of prey and they grow quickly. Frédéric decided to raise a black variety with a uniform blue-gray color speckled with white. This variety of this breed is interesting in terms of taste and resists well to the Burgundian climate, which was not the case with the colored Guineafowl he used to raise.

The Domestic Muscovy or Barbary Duck

Recently several Chefs have been requesting that we raise ducks for purchase. Due to popular demand, the Domestic Muscovy or Barbary Duck has become a new member to our farmyard family. These domestic ducks are from a species of black and white South American wild ducks called musk duck and are particularly appreciated for their stronger-tasting meat – sometimes compared to roasted beef.

The Noir de Bigorre Pig

Frédéric calls this breed of pig, "The best variety I’ve eaten alongside Mangalica Hungarian Pigs.” This breed is characterized by its slow growth rate, which makes its economic value difficult to justify and making it more of a high-end niche breed. La Ruchotte® Farm started out with three females and our herd has grown to approximately 70 pigs. Each litter has between 5 and 11 pigs, which is very little compared to industrial breeding! Fed with white cereals, wheat, barley and beans, the animals are raised for their delectable meat. The young males are killed when they reach 44 lbs., otherwise, as is the case with sheep, they start to have a strong smell. Only the females are fattened, preferably after having had at least one calf, which makes their meat better. Two years of breeding (396 lbs. minimum) are necessary before slaughtering, which is quite old for a normal pig, with the exception of the Gascon Pig, which develops an exceptional meat. At the Ferme de la Ruchotte® the entire pig is used so that nothing goes to waste! We cure the ham salted in Grandpa Marius’ salting room for a month, make sausage, marbled ham (a local specialty), head cheese, Andouille smoked sausage, rillettes and a recipe dating back to 1853 for a liver stuffed chorizo.

The Online Boutique and reservations

Feel free to browse La Ruchotte’s® E-Boutique
To make a reservation, you can use our reservation form or call us at +33 3 80 20 04 79.
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Deep dive
Heritage Chicken Breeds
20 years of know-how!

La Ferme de la Ruchotte is pleased to announce the launch of the reservation of its first cutting knife. A knife designed and studied based on more than 20 years of cooking expertise, exceptional grip and flawless sharpness. Frédéric Ménager has put all his know-how into the development of this kitchen “instrument” like no other. Many steps were necessary to achieve a result that fully met Frédéric Ménager’s expectations!

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Heritage Chicken Breeds