Chickens for Change! Or, Another Reason to Love France

there’s nothing like farm-fresh eggs

Residents of Barsac in the Bordeaux district of southwest France recently participated in an unusual public ceremony—adopting chickens. Mayor Philippe Meynard launched his ‘chicken program’ in February, an initiative that grants households a pair of hens for two years, in response to the issue of food waste management in his 2,000-inhabitant-strong city.
One hen can consume an estimated 150 kilograms (over 300 pounds) of food waste per year, and produces about 200 eggs. By lowering the amount of waste to be processed and incinerated, Barsac will save money, help lessen environmental impact in the form of garbage bags and service vehicles, and contribute to reducing emissions from incinerators. Some 150 Barsac families paid the nominal fee (a couple euros) and signed a contractual agreement that binds the adoptive parents to provide for and protect the hens from predators, and prohibits them from purchasing (or adopting) a rooster. Extra eggs may be sold at markets or to local school cafeterias. Meynard, whose website features a news clip on the chicken giveaway, intends to continue and expand the initiative. Towns throughout France are said to be copying the idea.