Colored Rangers --Who Dies First? Pullets? Cockerels? Biggies? Smalls?


11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
We have Colored Rangers. First time. (With dedicated meaties, but not our first time butchering.)

We have around 47 or 48. So we're thinking of starting at 10.5 weeks and doing 15, then 15 a week later and then the last 15+ at 12.5 weeks. Freezer space, fridge space for resting, work involved, etc., is why we're splitting it up rather than doing all at 12.5 weeks.

Question: To get the most for our money and time, which do we butcher first during this 2-week period?

Cockerels? Why? Does it give the girls a break to gain some weight without the annoyance of male attentions? Or maybe these cockerels don't get that far along in their development?

Pullets? Why? Maybe because they don't gain as fast as cockerels, so it pays to let the cockerels continue to live and gain weight.

Maybe it's not a gender thing and we should butcher the small ones first because they are obviously not growing so well and that would give the bigger birds time to continue gaining weight at their continued successful rate. ???

What is the general concensus?

If there is no concensus, what is the standard practice or what do you do?

And please explain why in a few words since I have to be able to convince others.

Thanks so much!
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I can only answer for my Cornish X's, as I've never had Rangers, but I butcher my cockerels first if I'm doing them in batches. This is for one reason only- the biggest ones seem to be the ones that die first, and the roos are much bigger than the hens. At butchering time, the roos and hens don't pay much attention to each other yet, nor do they start competing, so that isn't a problem (that may be because Cornish X's are butchered earlier,) but the heavier ones tend to die, not to mention just get too big, so I butcher them first.
I processed the cockerels first with my color rangers. Only because they were much larger than the hens and it seemed logical to let the hens grow a little more. The cockerels were already larger and they were really tender that way.
Thanks Jaku and KLH.

While the Colored Rangers are supposed to be "immune" to the problems that standard Cornish X are known for, like just keeling over, I hadn't thought of them "just getting too big" and a few of them are getting turkey-esque. So ... hmmm ... we'll have to watch that ... but I'm pretty sure that some of our store-bought chickens are sometimes 6 lbs and still fit in the rotisserie (that is a pain to spelll and I probably got it wrong). I need to weigh them today ... maybe dig out the hanging scale since they've gotten more and more difficult to handle at weigh in.

And KLH, thanks for the "tenderness" comment on the roosters. (Slapping myself on forehead) Of course, that's a consideration and neither of us here had even thought of it. I guess because we haven't yet rotisseried (sp) one of our own chickens and gotten a tough one.

Anyone else have any comments? Does everyone always butcher the biggest roosters first when it comes to Colored Rangers?
I would say do the cockerels first for two reasons. 1) The cockerels tend to be bigger than the pullets 2) When the hormones kick in for males, it makes the meat tough. Which is why people do capons if they want them to get large. Same reason you cut a beef steer. Just my opinion!
And they have kicked in already at 8 weeks. A few of them are crowing at dawn ... well, that gurgly thing that young cockerels do, not a full cock-a-doodle-do.

My dilemma: It seems that they didn't send me hardly any hens. Maybe 10 at the most, though I could be wrong because I was pretty sleepy still at dawn today when I was checking. And the hens seem to be the few yellow birds with all the red ones being cockerels. For some reason I was under the impression that I was getting straight run. Maybe I did, but I need to analyze the birds more closely to be sure.

Thanks for all the help folks, though I'd be happy to hear more comments if anyone has any!

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