My daughter got her freedom rangers into the 4h youth livestock auction!!! Come show your support!! 3 months age, we called the auction committee and we were told that she would be allowed to use a bird that was not cornish cross, but that it was not likely that other birds could meet the requirement of 5.5 pounds at 7 weeks. Well, my daughter took the risk and her birds made weight. But, not only did they just get in: out of a class of 17 pens, hers got third place!!! Pretty awesome little birds! I am so proud of my daughter for being brave enough to take this risk and for doing such a superb job! I wanted to share her success story with everyone here and to invite all supporters of Freedom Rangers to the Yamhill County youth Livestock Auction in McMinnville Oregon Friday Aug. 6 at 5:30. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/yamhill/sites/default/files/4h_youth_auction_flyer10.pdf http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair/ Here is what she put on her pen card: Freedom Ranger Meat Chickens Many of todays consumers are focusing on sustainability and environmentally healthy and naturally or organically raised. While the modern Cornish cross meat bird does very well for factory producers, they are less suited for the backyard farmer. The Freedom Ranger is a fine alternative. These hybrid meat birds were bred specifically for the rigorous production standards of the Label Rouge system in France, organized to guarantee high quality, humane husbandry and slaughter, sustainability and environmental responsibility; all within pastured and free-ranging production models. I chose to raise Freedom Ranger meat chickens this year because I was not impressed with the Cornish cross I raised last year. I found the Cornish cross to have unbalanced growth; they required intensive management to ensure survival. They were lazy and made no attempt to forage. When we processed the Cornish cross at seven weeks, we had huge birds, but they lacked in flavor and texture. This year raising the Freedom Rangers, I have been able to relax knowing that they can find the feed and water and shade without my help; I like knowing that these colored meat birds actively forage in their movable pasture. We processed a batch of 26 Freedom Rangers earlier this year at 9 weeks age, and though they were not as large as the Cornish cross, the flavor and texture were well worth the difference. Having the entire batch survive to slaughter was a huge plus over the common Cornish cross incidental losses.