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Ranger Grow-Out Journals - Page 22

post #211 of 230

I'll probably get more when it's time to raise another batch.  I was pleased with the McMurray Red Rangers we raised recently, however I'd still like to get females (no crowing allowed where I live), raise them for about 16 weeks instead of 12 and see how big they get.  McMurray didn't seem to be able to provide females last time I checked.


Edited by DenverBird - 1/3/13 at 6:38pm
Suburban backyard flock with 3 Golden Comets, 2 Speckled Sussex, and one EE. And a freezer full of Freedom Rangers.
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Suburban backyard flock with 3 Golden Comets, 2 Speckled Sussex, and one EE. And a freezer full of Freedom Rangers.
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post #212 of 230

We will be raising FRs again this year. Every year I check into other colored broiler options but for us the shipped price to the west coast is always best with Freedom Ranger Hatchery. 

 

We really like the FRs for meat and enjoyable raising (they forage, have personality, etc.). We also kept out breeding stock in 2010 and bred two generations. The chicks were fairly typical FRs except that there were tons of color variations between buff, red, cream, and barring--nothing that affected growth or meat quality.

 

None of our hens lived more than two years. They each laid a few XL eggs a week and one was a stellar brooder and mother. I think one hen  that died was eggbound and the others were just found dead for no apparent reason. The roosters were heavy (12-15#) and hard on the hens' backs. All three mature roosters also became overprotective and all were culled for safety of our grandkids. Clearly not the best laying flock (we keep Buff Orps for eggs) but we will probably keep breeders again for meat supply and just manage them carefully.

Farmer Grammy, loving the good life and sharing it at:

The Homesteader School--practical how-to's for urban, suburban, and rural homesteaders

Homesteader Gifts Etsy Shop--gifts for chicken peeps, homesteaders, farmers, gardeners

Facebook: The Homesteader School

Twitter: @HomesteadSchool

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Farmer Grammy, loving the good life and sharing it at:

The Homesteader School--practical how-to's for urban, suburban, and rural homesteaders

Homesteader Gifts Etsy Shop--gifts for chicken peeps, homesteaders, farmers, gardeners

Facebook: The Homesteader School

Twitter: @HomesteadSchool

Reply
post #213 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Mucket View Post

We will be raising FRs again this year. Every year I check into other colored broiler options but for us the shipped price to the west coast is always best with Freedom Ranger Hatchery. 

 

We really like the FRs for meat and enjoyable raising (they forage, have personality, etc.). We also kept out breeding stock in 2010 and bred two generations. The chicks were fairly typical FRs except that there were tons of color variations between buff, red, cream, and barring--nothing that affected growth or meat quality.

 

None of our hens lived more than two years. They each laid a few XL eggs a week and one was a stellar brooder and mother. I think one hen  that died was eggbound and the others were just found dead for no apparent reason. The roosters were heavy (12-15#) and hard on the hens' backs. All three mature roosters also became overprotective and all were culled for safety of our grandkids. Clearly not the best laying flock (we keep Buff Orps for eggs) but we will probably keep breeders again for meat supply and just manage them carefully.

 Wonder if they would grow fairl;y well if you kept the hens and put a Opington over them to raise future meaties?

post #214 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Mucket View Post

We will be raising FRs again this year. Every year I check into other colored broiler options but for us the shipped price to the west coast is always best with Freedom Ranger Hatchery. 

 

We really like the FRs for meat and enjoyable raising (they forage, have personality, etc.). We also kept out breeding stock in 2010 and bred two generations. The chicks were fairly typical FRs except that there were tons of color variations between buff, red, cream, and barring--nothing that affected growth or meat quality.

 

None of our hens lived more than two years. They each laid a few XL eggs a week and one was a stellar brooder and mother. I think one hen  that died was eggbound and the others were just found dead for no apparent reason. The roosters were heavy (12-15#) and hard on the hens' backs. All three mature roosters also became overprotective and all were culled for safety of our grandkids. Clearly not the best laying flock (we keep Buff Orps for eggs) but we will probably keep breeders again for meat supply and just manage them carefully.

 

 

We had the same problem, females would be fine one day and dead the next for no apparent reason. Most never lived past 2 years.

post #215 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteMountainsRanch View Post

 

 

We had the same problem, females would be fine one day and dead the next for no apparent reason. Most never lived past 2 years.

 That would still be time to get some crossed offspring from them and raise.  Maybe that will increase the size of a dual purpose bird for folks.

 

If I ever get a place to put some and find a good sized rooster to put with them, I think I'll try it.  Just gotta wait for the right time to do it.

 

 

Great another project.

post #216 of 230

Very interesting thread...read it page1 to the end!  Seems quite expensive raising meat birds for butchering. Do you find it cheaper just to buy from the store? I have been thinking about getting some FR...the butchering part would be upsetting and difficult for me to do. Do you think the money you saved and the effort of butchering was worth it in the end?

post #217 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg706 View Post

Very interesting thread...read it page1 to the end!  Seems quite expensive raising meat birds for butchering. Do you find it cheaper just to buy from the store? I have been thinking about getting some FR...the butchering part would be upsetting and difficult for me to do. Do you think the money you saved and the effort of butchering was worth it in the end?

Personally I don't think it's cheaper, it just tastes better.

Too much of something that ain't good is put into those store birds, home raised is so much better.  I think tough if you had pasture to run them on it could help defray the cost of raising you own.

 

Can understand the butchering part for you though.  It doesn't bother me.  I was raised up that way so it pretty well comes as natural to me.  Not killing (butchering) for pleasure or nothing like that but for food.  Waste Not, Want Not.

post #218 of 230

I wish it didn't bother me!  That is mainly what has held me back from putting in the order. It isn't the time or effort, it is the killing part.   I can appreciate the fact that you know what the bird has eaten, any meds given, and its overall general health during its life. I think alot of the cancer today comes from our food supply. I just need to get up the guts!  Thank You for your insight!

post #219 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by draye View Post

Personally I don't think it's cheaper, it just tastes better.

Too much of something that ain't good is put into those store birds, home raised is so much better.  I think tough if you had pasture to run them on it could help defray the cost of raising you own.

 

Can understand the butchering part for you though.  It doesn't bother me.  I was raised up that way so it pretty well comes as natural to me.  Not killing (butchering) for pleasure or nothing like that but for food.  Waste Not, Want Not.

Definitely not cheaper. It never has been cheaper even 50 years ago when my dad thought he would save money raising our own, it didn't happen.

The first time I raised FRs I calculated that I could buy pastured, organic Amish chicken at Whole Foods market cheaper than I could raise them and then there is the labor issue.

I think it is the economy of scale. It takes thousands of birds, buying feed in bulk and an assembly line style butchering process (with lots of expert help).

Buying feed by the bag is just too expensive.

I like the birds though. I got 51 about a month ago and they're going outside today. They are tough. I raise chicks in an unheated, uninsulated building and lost power 3 times. The inside temp dropped below 30 inside a couple times and I lost no birds.

God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

 

NPIP 43-813

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God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

 

NPIP 43-813

Reply
post #220 of 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by draye View Post

 Wonder if they would grow fairl;y well if you kept the hens and put a Opington over them to raise future meaties?

We are thinking of giving that a try this year. We are raising our first two Buff Orp roosters right now (they're 7 months old) and they seem more docile so far. Definitely big enough to make a nice dual purpose cross with a meat bird.

Farmer Grammy, loving the good life and sharing it at:

The Homesteader School--practical how-to's for urban, suburban, and rural homesteaders

Homesteader Gifts Etsy Shop--gifts for chicken peeps, homesteaders, farmers, gardeners

Facebook: The Homesteader School

Twitter: @HomesteadSchool

Reply

Farmer Grammy, loving the good life and sharing it at:

The Homesteader School--practical how-to's for urban, suburban, and rural homesteaders

Homesteader Gifts Etsy Shop--gifts for chicken peeps, homesteaders, farmers, gardeners

Facebook: The Homesteader School

Twitter: @HomesteadSchool

Reply
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