Slow growing Red Rangers - Page 3
Here in lies the problem with trying to keep which chicken is which straight. The hatcheries all use their own cute little names for birds, even though the parent stock maybe the same as another bird with a different name at another hatchery.
I know I read somewhere in Hoover's stuff they get the eggs for their CX's from some where in Arkansas. I am sure other hatcheries get from the same place, and may use a different name for the same birds.
I have no idea if there is a difference in "slow grow" CXs and regular ones. I do know the first batch I got from Hoover I raised like they said with 12 hours a day of feed and I ended up with leg problems, kidney and heart ailments. I ended up having to process them at 42 days as I was starting to lose too many.
I changed to feeding them twice a day for 15-20 minutes a feeding and I got bigger birds that lived longer and did not lose any to leg, heart or kidney problems. I could grow them a full 13 weeks and have super sized birds. As I said I kept 6 hens this last batch that are now 6 months old and doing fine. I only feed them once a day now and give them layer mash, I have the 6 cx's and the 2 toads (CX/rainbow crosses) in the same pen and I feed them two scoops of feed once a day. Every evening just before dark. I am guessing that is about a half pound a day of feed. They are doing great. I have no idea how heavy they are now, but I know they are little porkers when I pick them up and hold and pet them.
They are sweethearts and when I go to get their feed they run ( a fast waddle) after me to make sure I know they need their feed. Try catching one that does not want to be caught and you can see how fast they can be!
I put a nest box about 6 inches off the ground, thinking they could not jump at their size. If I let them out at the same time my Speckled Sussex are out,, They will sneak into the Sussex coop and lay in the nest box they feet off the ground. The first time I caught Bertha in there I was surprised, I did not think she could get that high.
Ain't that the truth. For clarification, I was asking about those direct from Freedom Ranger Hatchery. I got some last year, their freedoms seemed to be very big but never weigh carcasses so I can't make very good comparisons with all the weights being given on here.
Same problem- don't weigh feed, however these seemed to eat a LOT. do you feel the slow broiler types have this problem or there's difference between lines?
Edited by blucoondawg - 11/25/15 at 11:19am
That's pretty much my thoughts and problem too. No weights involved for real information, but it is as you said- they really hit that feeder very hard.. I don;t let any of my chickens free range however I can tell they would range pretty good... after hitting the feeder first lol
It's very clear they eat far more than layers. I'm actually raising cornish x for the very first time right now- 5 chicks picked up at the feed store. They're being severely feed restricted with the goal of getting them to breeding age so again I can't make real comparisons.
However, the freedoms were otherwise nice birds, very mellow/naturally tame the only problem was when the cockerels started to mature, some of them were not very tolerant of other roosters and had to be separated. Zero human aggression though.
When I am free ranging them, I do not feed them (any bird including CX's) I let them out and make them fend for themselves. I find them to be like people, Give them everything they need and they will not do a lick of work!
Seriously, if you want them to really clean up the bugs you need to not feed them. I will throw them some oats in the grassy areas to make them scratch a little. I find they would rather eat anything but oats. I never feed them corn except as a treat in the evening as it is like crack to them. They never get enough.
Bummer, you cannot believe how much free ranging them takes off the feed bill!
My husband and I decided to go with Red Rangers this year for meat birds as they looked to be the middle ground between heritage birds taking 6 months to mature and cornish crosses that looked to be feathery lumps. This is our third year raising birds, our first year we had barred rocks as our meaties (they were the other half of our straight run we ordered to get egg birds). We were pretty disappointed by the carcasses. Very little breast meat (but the thighs and legs were good sized). The meat tasted great. Last year we went with Buff Orpingtons because of their reputation for good temperaments and being bigger birds than the rocks we were hoping for a little bigger birds. Well, that was a no go. Horrible temperaments, CONSTANT fighting and aggressive toward us. Some birds were being so badly bullied they couldn't get off their perch to eat or drink. The bullies were so busy being bullies and chasing everyone else around they did not gain weight like they should have either. We split everyone up into small groups, but then THEY would fight. It was a nightmare. We gave up and slaughtered everyone at five months. Disappointment yet again. Now this year, hoping for a little better carcass we went with the Red Rangers. They are almost 6 months old and have not really put a lot of meat on their bones. They are heavy birds, but I can still feel their keels pretty prominently and the legs/thighs aren't much better. They eat a 22% protein meat maker crumble (available at all times) and have access to forage in a field all day. They are put into a large secure coop each evening with a lot of places to perch. Everyone is bright, alert and active, eating well and stools look good.
What I'm getting at is, has anyone else had this problem with red rangers? Am I expecting too much of a difference in the carcass of
a red ranger to that of a heritage breed? Should I keep feeding them hoping that they'll "fatten up" or cut my losses and butcher the lot?
This is one of the little roos at about 4 weeks ol age
I am trying Red Rangers from McMurray my first time also. They are all very calm and pleasant. No behavior issues at all. I just butchered my first 2 and one weighed 3.5 and the other 4.5. They are 10 weeks old. I like bigger birds as I do my processing by hand and it is a lot of work for 3.5 lbs which will be mostly bone weight. I usually raise Cornish x. I do like that they're more like "normal" chickens in looks and behavior. They enjoyed free ranging during the day in an area separated from the egg chickens but I did raise them for about a month together with ISA Brown chicks. I will let the two I butchered today rest a few days and freeze one and try cooking the other. I'll see if the flavor is different since they're older. Definitely not as much breast meat but I knew that going into this. They were a bit harder to clean than Cornish x but not too bad. Tougher bone and abdomen cavity due to a little older than the Cornish x are when I butcher them.