Chickens, roosters, canes, geese and turkeys populated the backyards of even the smallest farms.

Chicken farming, which was inexpensive, not very demanding and with a high return from the sale of chickens and eggs, was often the only source of cash income for the poorest farms. The sale of chicken, duck and goose down to street vendors for the manufacture of pillows and quilts was a small additional cash supplement.

From the end of the 19th century, the practice of force-feeding fattened ducks and geese with maize increased sharply to improve the quality of life at farmers’ tables or to meet the demand of urban gourmets.

Illustrations :

– Photograph of a flock of geese at the Couderc family farm at Fonvaleix in Saint Astier in the 1930s (Private collection, Hervé Mercier, Saint Astier, 1900-1950, La vie astérienne, Tome 2, Imprimerie IOTA, Saint Astier, 2015)

– Postcard of a small flock of geese from the Rongiéras farm crossing the road from Bergerac to Mussidan around 1900 (©Musée André Voulgre) 2014.9.320

– Photo of goose force-feeding in the 1980s (photo Broussouloux (©Musée André Voulgre)2014.6.28

– Photo of two fattened geese killed after force-feeding in the 1980s (photo Broussouloux (©Musée André Voulgre) 2014.8.23

– Photo of fattened goose livers in the 1980s (photo Broussouloux (©Musée André Voulgre) 2014.8.23

– Advertisement for egg incubators in gardens and farmyards, 1935 (©Musée André Voulgre).