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food / travel

Paris Chicks: Raising Hens At Home Is Newest Organic Trend In French Capital

Getting your own fresh eggs for your morning Parisian omelette doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the local market. More and more French urbanites are finding space for a hen or two in their own homes.

Urban hen (by drougge)
Urban hen (by drougge)

*NEWSBITES

PARIS - Now there's a way to get a daily whiff of French country life right in the heart of the capital. More and more people in and around Paris have begun raising their own chickens. Yes, you heard right: Cocorico!! (that's how French roosters crow…)

The Truffaut gardens have sold more than 20,000 egg-producing chicks and hens across France in 2011. And in the two years since it opened shop, Eco-poules sold enough henhouses to house 30,000 animals. "We thought we would reach more rural areas," says Stanislas de Beaumont, the company founder. "But really, it's around Paris that we have most of our clients."

The economic upside – a small investment for free daily eggs -- may be driving some. But for most people, the main focus is the organic and environmental appeal. Fear of junk food, rejection of industrial breeding: the reasons for raising your own urban chickens are the same in France and in the US were the trend started after such places as New York, Seattle, Chicago and LA authorized chickens within city limits.

The movement is now beginning to spread globally. A group in Montreal started a petition in 2010 to lift the ban on urban breeding. In France, municipal or coop rules can limit the process, but as a general rule, chickens are considered as pets, just like hamsters.

A few more pieces of advice from Michel Audureau, author of Et si j'elevais une poule (And if I raised a hen). Forget roosters and their noisy wake-up calls, hens don't need them to lay eggs. And of course make the chicken feel at home. "Hens need to peck. They need soil and some space. So it's hard to have one on your balcony, especially since they're sensitive to cold." So look for roof space or patios. And for the best eggs, chose red hens and give them a lot of grain for extra-hard shells.

Read more from Le Monde in French. Original article by Christine Taconnet

photo - drougge

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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War In Ukraine, Day 281: Top European Leader Pushes Xi Jinping To Use His Influence On Putin

Charles Michel and Xi-Jinping

Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger and Emma Albright

European Council Chief Charles Michel used much of his face-to-face meeting Thursday in Beijing with Xi Jinping to urge the Chinese President to use his sway over Russian President Vladimir Putin “to end the war and to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine.”

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Michel’s visit was the first official trip to Beijing by a top EU leader since the pandemic. The three-hour sit down (considered quite long for Xi) also included discussion of human rights, Taiwan, trade relations and climate change.

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