Cornish Cross vs Red Rangers


Oct 21, 2018
Hi, I have recently gotten some chicks for meat from my local farmer’s market store. They gave us Cornish Cross and some other red type meat bird. I assumed they were Red Rangers untill I noticed a big difference in their growth. Now I am thinking they are something else. What are your thoughts? They have lived together at the same place eating and drinking same stuff. The pictures show them at 6 weeks old.


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Now I am thinking they are something else.
Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

As far as I know... red rangers are more of a dual purpose type breed and will take about twice as long to reach the same size as Cornish cross... meaning not ready to process until around 16+ weeks... but also eat less feed comparatively during the early stages and don't suffer the leg issues or other things that come along with the excessively fast growth of Cornish crosses.

A red meat bird could be anything red to even Rhode Island. :confused:

They're looking tasty, obviously the little red one will take longer to be a good processing size. :drool
I processed several Red Rangers at 10 weeks, they were pretty big. The rest of them (the pullets) grew a bit more after that but I'd say they would dress out at about the same size and they are 20+ weeks old (got them Apr 23). They free range very well and lay big eggs. I still want to process several of them since I don't need that many layers, but will keep watching to see if there is any reason to do it immediately, like too heavy for their legs. They're at least a size bigger than my buff orpingtons that are the same age. And several of them are real pigs--they climb in the dish to eat while everyone else ranges around the bowl. Fermented feed, so they really like it.
Might be a red broiler. It's hard to tell being such a contrast in size. Nothing compares to CronishX growth rate. They will be butchered in another two weeks but red broilers take 12 to 14 weeks and they still won't be the size of those 8 week CX. Not expected to be either.

Don't let the broilers go past 14 weeks or they aren't broilers anymore. The meat is too tough to broil after that. You're at fryer age then and if you actually waited to over 18 weeks they are roasters. The economy of the birds is to butcher at broiler age. They require nearly all that time to come to respectable size. Double breast thickness like CX and unlike dual purpose birds.
Thank you all for your answers. Is there a sign I should look for to be sure that they are Red Rangers? Here are few more photos of them.
My red rangers were redder than that and had a darker feathering on the tail. These seem pretty dark. Also, mine have yellow legs.
View attachment 1568266 View attachment 1568267 View attachment 1568268 Thank you all for your answers. Is there a sign I should look for to be sure that they are Red Rangers? Here are few more photos of them.
Those look quite a bit like the Rangers we ran this year... but the whole time we were raising them we kept remarking how similar they are to a RIR, but with lighter feathers and yellower feet.

Here's a thread with pics of RIRs for comparison:

And here are 5 week old RRs:

It will probably be easier to tell when they're older. RIR and RR rooster tails look pretty different, and if you're feeding them well, RRs should flesh out a lot sooner than an RIR would.
My red rangers looked like some of yours, and some were more "red" than others. We kept a rooster, and he looks identical to my RIR except he is 2x the size. I process my Red Ranger Roosters at 10 weeks and the hens at 12. They were able to range and scavenge in the pen I gave them (20x45) which was nice and they didn't just sit at the feeder all day. I butchered 11 at the ages given and averaged just over 4.5lb carcass weight.
My male Red Rangers were large by 12 weeks, probably more cost effective to butcher at 10, the females were 2 weeks behind. When I had Cornish X I butchered at 7 and 10 and 10 may have been larger but did not justify how much they ate in those 3 weeks.

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