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In France, chickens replace pesticides in orchards

In France, chickens replace pesticides in orchards

Chickens work for the well-being and health of fruit trees, replacing pesticides that pollute the environment.

Christophe Bitault is a French fruit grower who converted to organic about twelve years ago, after reviewing his professional practices. As an option, he chose to incorporate black chickens in his garden to preserve his fruit trees from the attack of pests.

After successful tests, it was confirmed that Janzé's local black hens were devouring the pests. "We did a first test putting 80 hens on 3 hectares, leaving the other plots without any treatment," says the producer.

In the first year, he found that 80% of the insects that usually attack fruit trees had disappeared from the places where the chickens circulated. Great news because these insects can destroy up to 90% of production.

While conducting research to get rid of predatory insects from apple trees, he realized that the presence of chickens was also reducing “weed” populations.

Thinking of possible chicken predators, Christophe discovered that the endangered Janzé blacks "are more powerful in flight and can quickly perch in trees to escape the fox."

Thinking that they are in extinction, the fruit grower decided to buy some chickens to raise.

Today, he has 200 black hens that Janzé in turn installed on his land. They are so effective that the grower does not even need to feed them.

Christophe is also satisfied with the quality of the eggs from his free range chickens. "They are excellent and the chefs love them!" The chickens live alongside 120 sheep on the 30-hectare farm. "Sheep and chickens live in peace in the orchards," says the producer.

With information from:

Video: Ducks - a new type of pest control for vineyards (October 2020).