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Freedom Rangers, weight gain and keeping any back to breed...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I got several freedom rangers to try this year instead of cornishX. They are 10wks now and I am planning on butchering most in about 2 weeks. I have a few questions, those of you who raise them, do you restrict free ranging to increase weight gain the last couple weeks? Most of the cockerels are ready now, but I'd like them all to gain a bit more before butcher time.

 

Also, has anyone kept any back for breeding/egg laying? I am seriously considering keeping a couple pullets and a cockerel back and want to know if anyone has experimented with breeding them. Do they breed true or are their offspring all over as far as size, like the cornish x?

 

Thanks! 

 

 

post #2 of 6
I personally have a 4000-5000 square foot run so for all intents and purposes they are basically free ranging. I never held them back before butcher, I got pretty decent sized cockerels and pullets at around 12 weeks.

I tried holding back a cock and two or three hens for breeding. Hens did great, they're good layers and while pretty hefty, never had any health issues. Had a couple mutt offspring with my Orpington rooster, which grew nearly to the size of the parents with about 16 weeks to a good slaughtering weight. Only problem was the rooster was so huge he kept smothering my other hens while trying to mate them. I lost a couple of Easter Eggers because he just crushed them while mounting. He wasn't even aggressive, just very big.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks QueenMisha, IF I decide to keep a few pullets and a cockerel I will be keeping them separate from my main flock but I can understand how they might squish a smaller sized hen if the cockerels are this big at only 10 weeks. Good to know that the hens still produced good sized birds when crossed on slower growing birds.
post #4 of 6
Ah, yeah, they would be fine on their own. He never hurt my other Rangers or my large breed hens, but my EEs and Leghorns were toast. I think he got 3 girls or so before I realized exactly what was happening. And yeah, the crosses are good birds. My first cockerel chick (RR hen crossed over a Jubilee Orp roo) got nearly as big as my pure RR cockerel, just a bit fluffier.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #5 of 6

Freedom Rangers, like the Cornish Cross, are what are known as 4-way hybids. Saving any back as breeders would be pretty much useless because they will begin reverting back to parent stock on the first generation hatch. 

That being said however,, they are VERY fast growing birds,, not as fast as the Cornish,, but you should see comparable weight at 12 weeks in a Ranger as you would an 8 week Cornish.  Compare that to 16 to 18 weeks for most standard meat breeds like the Dark Cornish.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well, I ended up butchering them all, I am VERY pleased with how they finished out at 12 weeks. Decided I didn't want to feed them thru the winter, they have a piggy appetite like the cornish, maybe not quite as bad, but bad enough I wouldn't want to winter them over. 

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