Caring for Freedom Rangers

DawnSuiter

Songster
12 Years
Jun 3, 2008
1,988
81
226
Western Colorado - Formerly E. TN Smokies
My Coop
My Coop
Ok... so I was thinking, no big deal.. I care for hundreds of chicks/chickens... Orpingtons & Australorps anyway.

But these Colored Rangers are a bit different right? Do they need any "special" care I wouldn't normally provide?

I was thinking of raising them in a cold brooder indoors in the incubator room for 1 week - this is 24 hour light & approximately 80 degree ambient temperature, outdoors on my back porch for the next week - natural daylight with outdoor temps but MAJOR protection, heat lamp possible, and then out in their final home base for the third week natural light but out in the yard and then I would start letting them loose.

Is this totally unreasonable? I do not intend to baby these guys in anyway... they will live alongside a dozen or two "discards" from my breeding projects in a fence less environment. I will station a dog with them during the first 2-3 weeks at night.. but once they start perching up high, in the tree roost we've built, I think I might let her off leash to go back to her regular duties for the ALL the flocks & coops.

I may lose some... hopefully not all... but I would like to try raising some meat with little to no investment of coops, lighting & structures.

AS far as advice goes, I would love it if you all would just assume that they are safe from predators and lets discuss the rest of my plan... there is lots of flexibility in it, keeping them on the back porch means access to a heat lamp to supplement if need be, there is room to keep them a 3rd week there if necessary and then move them out during week 4.

I'm flexible...
thanks... they will be here next week.
 
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TimG

Songster
11 Years
Jul 23, 2008
1,353
26
194
Maine
I think you can raise the Rangers right along with your other chicks. Though I had one last year that never would roost, he was quite big, I'm not sure he could get himself up to the roost and balance all at once.
 

SoJoChickens

Songster
11 Years
Mar 9, 2009
273
69
181
Central Utah Mountains
It sounds like you have quite an operation there. I don't have any experience with the Colored Rangers but I have been reading quite a bit about them and their counterparts in France and other places. From what I can tell, they should not need any special treatment beyond what you would normally provide. I would think they might even be a little more hardy than some other breeds due to their faster growth. Please keep us informed on how this project goes. I wouldn't mind raising a few of these 'Rangers' myself.
 

phoenixmama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 12, 2009
337
0
129
Gilbert, Arizona
I didn't give mine any special care...we were able to take them out of the brooder sooner than other chicks since they feather out more quickly. Almost from the get-go, mine were out on grass...getting moved around everyday. They were given a 20% protein ration that was available to them 24/7. That's all we did for them.

And man, oh man...they were tasty! Such wonderful dark meat.
 

DawnSuiter

Songster
12 Years
Jun 3, 2008
1,988
81
226
Western Colorado - Formerly E. TN Smokies
My Coop
My Coop
Oh wonderful, thank you for the feedback. I am hopeful that they will do exceedingly well, but am practical and realize it may totally flop.

I don't really have a feeding plan yet... I just thought I would wing it really. 24 hour food for the first week or two then daytime only feeding... but I DO want them to forage so I'll just have to see how much they actually WANT to forage as they grow.

as far as what... first stage is turkey starter for sure.. 28% protein.. it's what I feed everyone. AFter that likely a 20% because I already buy that or the 16% Whole Grain Feed I have.... but I will first learn more about broiler feed etc before that happens.

I'm going to keep track because I have a target price to achieve of $2.59/lb. I have estimated from all the reading here on BYC... and with what I pay for food and for the 3-4 months I plan to keep them I think that is a good target amount.

I can buy local free range chicken at the grocer for $3.49/lb so frankly, if I can stay under $3 I'll be happy and feel like I'm saving a buck.

OTOH... one night with a predator attack and the handful of chickens I have left suddenly become the equivalent of $65/lb
hmm.png
we'll just have to see. The dogs have done a great job for the last 3 years. (knocks on wood)
 
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Hangin Wit My Peeps

AutumnBreezeChickens.com
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
6,396
32
263
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
We just raised 25 freedom rangers from JMHatchery this past summer and they are different then the "normal" layers if you ask me. They are not as active but way more active then the normal meat chicken. The regular layers picked on my freedom rangers while out free ranging too. As they get older they seem to get a bit of a limp and that gives the others the go to pick on them. Here is our adventure on our first time around with FR's. It was fun and we learned a lot!

http://freedomrangers.blogspot.com/
 

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