Colored Range Chicks Info Please!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by wisdom_seeker, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

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    Last year I tried the Cornish Rock Xs and I very much liked the meat I got! However, I am looking for a cheaper / healthier breed alternative.

    I have seen a lot of talk on this forum about the Colored Range Chicks or freedom rangers.

    Are they anything like the Xs as far as meat quality goes? toughness etc.

    Are they non-reproducible Hybrids or will they have same quality offspring?

    What is the best age/weight for butcher?

    Will they do good in tractors?

    Should roosting bars be provided?

    I am basically looking for the best birds I can get that grow slower and eat less bagged feed and more grass.
     
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) The meat is a little more "tougher" due to the older age. Most would say they have more "flavor" than the cornish x.

    2) They are hybirds but will give you good crosses with other breeds.

    3) Best age to butcher is 10-12 weeks. Weight would be about 5-6 lbs live weight.

    4) They do ok in the tractors, they take better to true free ranging.

    5) No roosting bars. They do fine sleeping on the ground.
     
  3. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am basically looking for the best birds I can get that grow slower and eat less bagged feed and more grass

    you will not find a broiler that you can grow on less bag feed. All broilers that will be finished under 12 weeks will need bag feed 3lbs of feed to 1 lb of meat. Colored rangers eat the same amount as the Cornish X's. They just eat it slower and take a little longer to fill out. Chickens do not gain weight from grass and what they do gain would'nt be enough to eat in no 12 weeks.​
     
  4. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you getting 3 lbs of feed / meat? Is this your FCR for the colored range broilers?

    If this is the case the Cornish eat a pound less than the range broilers.. as they are 2 lbs of feed / lb of live weight.

    For the grass, they need lots of it. The calories are low in grass, you need something in the grass with better nutrition. We mix alf-alfa in the fields and this helps cut the feed down to 30% in the growing season. If you get anything over 15% off of pasture your jumping for joy.

    But your not going to save on the feed bill with the range broilers. They are bred to move around too much, they will burn off the calories they find on pasture as their instinct to forage are very strong. I'm not going to tell you what your better off raising, but if your trying to save money, your going to be using the wrong breed.... Just my opinion... Nobody yell at me [​IMG]
     
  5. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    3:1 is just an industry standard number, even for the Cornish X's. If you can get 2:1 that is great. As far as the fields go.... I have all mine planted in Rye 25% and white clover 75% 18-22% crude protein. The turkeys I know I save on the feed bill but the chickens ??? I don't know. I guess I would have to compare with others feed bills to see. I know for us with our grasses, we buy 1000-1200 lbs of feed for 400 lbs of chicken meat.

    Oh and 3:1 is for dressed weight not live weight.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  6. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

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    I have seen some comments on the web that say that because the digestive system is not what it should be genetically on the Xs. They are not as good at digesting as standard breeds. The claim is that the additional smell in the poo is a result of incomplete digestion. I'm not sure what to think about this claim. Maybe the Xs are better for taking out only the protein and leaving everything else?

    Also What if you figure the death rate? If you loose lets say 10% by 2 weeks what does that do to the final feed conversion rate?

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dottie1111

    dottie1111 Out Of The Brooder

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    My chickens are pets dont eat them:p
     
  8. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:This is the Meat Bird part of the forum!!![​IMG]

    Do your pets know that you are lurking around these parts?
     
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is an experience from a friend of ours, who live over 200 miles from us, with the Colored Rangers from JM Hatcheries. This is ONLY one couple's experience and may not reflect anyone elses'. The chicks were raised by their own broody hens. They have about 60 horses along with their about dozen crossbred farm chickens for eggs and meat. (RIR/BR/ Wy/Leghorn/?) . The chickens eat some commercial feed morning and night in their coop plus all the grain that the horses drop, catch flies and scratch for maggots in the manure piles/ compost ( clean up and pest control crew)and have free acccess to irrigated pastures. They butchered them the last week of Oct. at 14 weeks of age with the carcass weight ranging from 2-3.5 lbs. Similar to their own hen raised chickens from that spring. They are keeping several of the largest CR pullets for their layer replacement and genetic diversity in their flock .
     
  10. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, then we are on the same page then. I was doing 2 lbs of feed for a pound of live weight. So it's close.

    I do save on the pasture with the broilers but mine are put in the tractors. I'm not sure how you raise yours but this limits them from free ranging 100%. In return they burn less colories than a 100% free range program. The pens are moved sometimes up to 4 times a day depending on how old they are.

    You can definately see a difference in the turkeys. They love the grass, and whatever else they can find that looks edible to them.

    I'm not sure on the digestive claim?
     

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