Mistral Gris (“Mee-strahl Gree”) are a Label Rouge style of pasture meat bird. http://www.volaillelabelrouge.com/en/what-is-label-rouge-poultry/. If you have tried to produce your own fryers or roasters without growing the commercial broilers, you have been looking for a bird like this! They grow much faster than the best pure-bred heritage birds, but not as fast as the commercial broilers. These are robust chicks that feather quickly and can go outside to start foraging at a few weeks old
Mistral Gris are 'hybrids' - their mothers and fathers are not from the same breed - but they are not just a cross between existing heritage breeds. The parent lines were specially created based on how well they crossed with each other! The MGs are much better than either parent. But they do not make good parents themselves -- they get far too big by adulthood to be good breeders, and they cannot pass on the full set of genetic combinations that make them so good. People who cross MGs with each other or with other breeds and tell you they have created their own meat bird are selling you an inferior product. For this reason we have Trade Mark protected the name of Mistral Gris. True North Heritage Hatchery is the sole owner of the breeding stock of Mistral Gris, and the only seller of real Mistral Gris.
They reach 5 lbs by 9 weeks old, dressing out to meaty fryers, but most people keep them to 12 weeks and enjoy flavorful and tender roasters. Despite the black feathers, they dress cleanly. Rub with butter and roast in an open pan for the most divine dinner!
Mistral Gris look a lot like Barred Rocks, with silver and white barred feathers, single combs and yellow skin. They were bred from Barred Rocks and several other heritage breeds using old-fashioned breeding techniques — no genetic modifications, and no 'terminal' genes. They grow too large to be good breeders themselves, but it is possible to cross with other heritage breeds to inject better growth rates and carcass quality.
Yes! Chickens cannot digest grass, they need tender, high protein greens, bugs, worms, seeds and grain. Your pasture may have very little chicken food available in it. Feeding these fast growing birds takes a bit of attention on your part. Please download the 'Feeding Mistral Gris' guidelines above.
No, Mistral Gris are not true breeding.
Yes! Mistral Gris are not broilers, and are not under control of the Chicken Marketing Board. When you take them for processing, be sure to tell your processor that these are heritage birds, not broilers.