Photo de Gabriel Simon

Gabriel Simon, Indre-et-Loire, France

I’m fortunate to be free to experiment with my ideas

Gabriel Simon

His farm

Poultry farmer, this young neo-farmer first began breeding livestock as a hobby alongside his secondary school studies. As a son of restaurant owners, it was his love of gourmet heritage and terroir that prompted him to launch his poultry farm.
In 2017, he decided to fence off a hectare of land located behind the family restaurant and set up his farm. Following a technical diploma in animal husbandry, Gabriel has experimented, observed and developed his farm whose key features today are:

  • a wide diversity of chicken breeds (Coucou de Rennes, Poulet de Bresse, etc.)
  • the raising of geese, ducks and rabbits
  • longer rearing times than traditional systems (up to 100 days longer)

His innovations

  • In a purely experimental approach, Gabriel introduced an innovative grazing system in association with his winegrowing neighbour. The chickens scratch the ground, eradicating some of the weeds and pests. This is beneficial to organic winegrowers. "We have concluded that we can leave the chickens in the vineyard until the grapes ripen, then put them back in again after harvesting".
  • A win-win arrangement for the farmer and the winegrower, who harnesses the eco-systemic benefits offered by the poultry for the vines
  • A very extensive system, with grass grazing, based on exclusively whole grains as feed, without food supplements and locally procured from neighbouring farmers
  • The diversity of the farm is also reflected in its produce. With a slaughterhouse, a gavage room and a cannery adjoining the family restaurant, Gabriel also processes his products to add extra value
  • Gabriel sells his products to restaurants and consumers and through several channels, including his own website
  • He also supplies 100% of the poultry served in the family restaurant

His results

  • "Everyone thought I was mad at first, but we have produced four times what we thought we would at the beginning"
  • By offering a very specific product, the young breeder has found a clientele looking for good regional products, whom he has “educated” about his product. “As my rearing times are longer, you have to be patient, and my customers are understanding. I don’t want to produce more, for risk of spoiling the quality of my product or its identity”

Find out more

His blog
His Facebook page
His online store

This profile was written by AgrOnov, the agroecology innovation hub.

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