Friday, April 04, 2008

Fauna At Valençay

Earlier I mentioned that there were animals on the grounds at the Château de Valençay and I thought I'd show you some. There's a rather large pen of daims (fallow deer) that are very tame, some goats, and then all kinds of fowl.

A daim, or fallow deer, with the larger herd in back.

When we visited Valençay in 2004 with our friends Andy and Christa, we spent some time wandering around the pens looking at the animals. That's when these photos were taken.

A stately peacock with feathers neatly folded.

The peacocks and hens are loose, of course, and wander the grounds freely. I was really surprised when we heard one above our heads and saw it perched high up in a tree. It flew down a bit later and I realized that I had never seen a peacock fly. I'm not sure I knew that they even could.

An old tom turkey.

The turkeys were funny. Turkeys are native to the Americas but have been imported and bred in Europe, at least in France anyway, for centuries. Because Columbus thought he had found India on his historic voyages, when he brought these birds back to Europe he called them "hens from India." In French, that's poules d'Inde, now just shortened to dinde. France is currently the second largest producer of turkeys in the world. Oh, là là, which, of course, is French for "gobble gobble."

A pintade, or guinea hen. These are good to eat!
(actually, I'm not sure if it's a hen...)


  1. when I lived in Amsterdam, all the ex-pats ordered their turkeys for thanksgiving and xmas from France. The Dutch have no idea what to do with them. In Canada, the french call them 'dindons'.

  2. jayne, I read that France exports a significant portion of their turkeys to the rest of the E.U. I suppose a lot of them go into prepared foods or to institutions (like schools).

  3. I'm thinking "guinea fowl" is the correct translation. They are delicious -- about my favorite poultry meat, I think.

  4. A friend of mine in Australia has a flock of peacocks. They are very adventurous and roam a long way from the house, flying home in the evening low over the crops.

  5. That peacock is so fashion looking like ready for a show...

  6. betty, I really like pintades, too!

    susan, peacocks have very loud calls, don't they? I think that would get on my nerves!

    claudia, you should have seen it in full display - it was amazing.

  7. that last ones the beautiful bird I saw hanging in the butcher's window at Christmas...they are delicious and much prettier than tom turkey.


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