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good foraging meat birds?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

we are new this year to raising meat birds and would like to find a breed that are good foragers.  Any suggestions?


Edited by turtlemamameg - 3/3/11 at 6:07am
post #2 of 10

I'm raising my first batch of meaties this year also and we got the Freedom Rangers  based on research I did that says they are a relatively fast grower (12 wks) and range well.  Yesterday they were three weeks old and we've only lost one so far (out of 26), feeding them a 20% organic grower mix all along.

Good luck!

  -DB


Edited by DenverBird - 3/3/11 at 8:41am
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 #3 of 10

I have only had Cornish X meaties, but mine were great foragers.  They roamed all over, and were very healthy.

Busy with three kids, three dogs, a garden overrun with aphids and some chickens:  1 Easter Egger(Nutmeg), 1 Turken(Chick-a-Saurus-Pex), 1 Hamburg(Purdee), 1 Minorca (Cayenne) and 2 Polish (Butter and Flour), and 4 new chicks in the brooder!!  I also have a freezer full of home raised Cornish X.
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Busy with three kids, three dogs, a garden overrun with aphids and some chickens:  1 Easter Egger(Nutmeg), 1 Turken(Chick-a-Saurus-Pex), 1 Hamburg(Purdee), 1 Minorca (Cayenne) and 2 Polish (Butter and Flour), and 4 new chicks in the brooder!!  I also have a freezer full of home raised Cornish X.
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by menageriemama 

I have only had Cornish X meaties, but mine were great foragers.  They roamed all over, and were very healthy.


I've done a batch of Dixie Rainbows (kinda like a Freedom Ranger) and a batch of Cornish X. The Cornish X did a great job free ranging, too.

post #5 of 10

Delawares for sure. wink

post #6 of 10

Our Delaware-based mutts are great foragers.  Very active.  I think just about any bird (with the possible exception of some extra-lazy CX) will forage effectively if given access to good pasture.  We use tractors, and our birds graze the pasture down before they have time to pave it in poo.   CX seem to be best at burying the good pasture with a thick layer of manure, instead of eating any of it!

The bird that has the reputation for being the most industrious forager is the old-school Dark Cornish.  There are a number of threads here on BYC on the subject, if you do a search.  I've never raised them, but have been tempted to. 

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/__eN3Lgej4JY/THf8VUZSTfI/AAAAAAAAF8k/-LVOtVnnsss/s720/IMG_1066.JPG

post #7 of 10

Both.... Cornish X and freedom rangers are good for pasture.

The rangers take longer to reach a market weight for broilers.

Our cutomers are split on which they prefer.


Just my .02

post #8 of 10

I tried a batch (32) of red laced white cornish.  Cornish have the large breasts and are great foragers but develop more slowly than your birds designed to pack on the pounds.  However, I provided less feed over the course of their lifetime (5-6 months).  

 

I kept the two best roosters and bred them to some Egyptian Fayoumis.  Trying to select for the large breast and foraging capabilities.  But the RLW Cornish were very good foragers, I was pleasantly surprised.  

post #9 of 10

weve only been raising broilers for six years now but here is our experience. we raise 50 to 75 broilers at a time on pasture. we usually get 8 to 10 freedom rangers or red rangers to grow with them .they seem to make /keep the white broilers very active. The whites seem to mimic the reds from day one in the brooder.we end up with very active white broilers.

post #10 of 10

Sounds like an interesting way to do it.  They do learn from each other.  I can see how that would be an advantage.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

Reply
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