The production of fat palmipeds is a poultry activity which is based on the observation of a natural phenomenon of fat accumulation in the liver of migratory birds. The production of foie gras is an ancestral production which began over 4,500 years ago in Egypt.
Only a few strains or lines of palmipeds selected are capable of producing foie gras, the Cairina moschata and the Cairina moschata x Anas platyrhynchos. In addition, palmipeds having specific anatomical characteristics (possible alignment of the beak and neck thanks to the absence of cartilaginous glottis, elasticity of the walls of the esophagus, etc.) which enable them to swallow rapidly large quantities of food such as large fish and frogs, and which predispose them to fattening during the production of foie gras.
The production of foie gras in the European Union is divided into two phases:
With 90% of the life of the animal spent outside, the European production of foie gras is extensive and essentially outdoors. Our breeders are particularly attached to these specificities and thus meet the consumers’ demand for quality poultry.
What is gavage?
Palmipeds are big eaters with a very gluttony behaviour during certain periods. In addition, they have particular anatomical characteristics: the possible alignment of the beak and neck thanks to the absence of a cartilaginous glottis, the elasticity of the walls of the oesophagus ... This allows them to quickly swallow large quantities of food like large fish or frogs and predispose them to the fattening phase during the production of foie gras.
Only selected breeds of palmipeds are able to produce foie gras.
This leads naturally to the fattening of the liver, a non-pathological and completely reversible phenomenon! A foie gras is a healthy organ.
Palmipeds species in the production of foie gras
Fattening is a reversible phenomenon
After fattening, when a duck or a goose is returned to its meadow, its liver returns to its initial weight in a matter of days, without any alteration of its physiological functions.
This reversibility of fattening* is identical to the natural process when a bird (duck, goose) has exhausted its fat reserves after a long migratory journey.
* study on reversibility – Professors P. Benard, G. BENARD, T. Bengone, D. Prehn, J. Tanguy, R. Babilé, F. Grimm - ENSA, Env – Toulouse 1994-1999