Cornish x vs. Rainbow/freedom rangers?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by connor97, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. connor97

    connor97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Which do you like better and why?

    Also, I've heard of some people keeping some of their freedom ranger pullets and that they actually started to lay eggs and were like normal chickens ! Have any of you done this, or do the birds usually have heart failures, legs crippled, etc. like the cornish x do once they are grown? Thanks !
  2. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    In 8 weeks I can have a 8.5 lb dressed bird. That is my goal. They are bought, fed, watered and raised strickly for that purpose. They are normal in all regards.
    If you want a sustainable flock of chickens for meat, pick a different breed.
    I have raised 80 CXers in the last 10 months(first time ever). I have lost 2 to "flip", 2 were put down to leg problems, 1 died during hurricane Sandy and I ran 3 over while moving their tractor.
    I average 7.75 lbs dressed.
    I feel the "flip" issues are overstated. I do nothing above normal. I learned all I know form this site. I limit feed and feed a 19% local mash.
    If you want meat at low labor and quickly. It has to be CX. If you want to raise your own birds from eggs, and raise them an extra 4-6 weeks. Pick something else. But to say the CX is not normal is an incorrect statement, IMO.
    Good luck to you.
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  4. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    For us, it's a matter of taste. We raised 25FR's in the Spring and 25CX in the fall. The CX were on a fermented feed regimen that did help with the quality of their poo - quantity was still a heck of a lot. The FR's were more interested in what was going on around them than our CX - but was it because of the shorter/longer light days? Who knows.

    I've determined that the CX is a great bird overall - but truthfully, I don't find the flavor that different than what I get at our local grocer (Amish free-range birds). I prefer the flavor of FR's - has an almost nutty flavor to the meat. Again, the FR's did more free ranging than the CX; but the CX got fermented feed so one would think it'd be different than the grocer. However, the FR's have a noticeably thinner breast meat - it's not the double breast like the CX. We're fine with that. There is still plenty to go around our table.

    I preferred processing the CX - a LOT less feathers to deal with. But more ick factor on those feathers. The FR's were simply fluffy; all around fluffy and left me loads of feathers everwhere! The frame of the FR was also slightly more vertical, which meant that my husbands hands didn't fit inside as well - the CX has a more horizontal carcass space, so husband could fit his broad hands in there easily.

    The FR's we grew out did well in the heat - but I found I was watering them more than the garden! Once temps hit above 80, they seemed to struggle to keep cooler - we put fans in the run and shade cloth and extra waterers. The CX's did exceptionally well in the cold (coldest October on record) - and didn't have any problems with them at all. Although I think the cold kept them from growing as quickly, as it took an additional 10 days to reach the weight we wanted - or about 125#'s more feed.

    We're not interested in growing out 25 birds again. For our run, 12 is a much better situation. So it's not likely I'll be raising FR's again, unless I can find someone to split an order with me, or find a different hatchery. That's the research for this winter (post Christmas)! Good luck!
  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    We did a couple batches of red rangers this summer. Did not care for them in comparison to our Cornish x. They took forever to grow out and even at 15 wks were still scrawny but we were tired of feeding them. They didn't dress as nicely as the Cornish since they have colored feathers. I don't mind that for myself but we sell our birds so I like to have a nice looking packaged bird for our customers. No one raved about better flavor from them and I didn't notice any difference myself. All in all, more expensive but no better meat than the Cornish x. We will be sticking with the Cornish x for our farm.
  6. SouthernBYChickens

    SouthernBYChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I'm new to meat birds - why do CX (I'm assuming that is Cornish X) require fermented feed and can that just be bought at a local feed store? Thanks!
  7. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    No, CornishX don't REQUIRE fermented feed, its just some people prefer to feed them that way. I raise my on bagged feed and have done just fine. Most people are completely overwhelmed by how much those birds defecate. Lots of food = LOTS of poop. I raised mine in a mobile hoop coop and just resorted to moving it every day. They will free range some if you get them doing it when they're chicks.
  8. SouthernBYChickens

    SouthernBYChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    So, then would you not recommend raising them in a permanent pen because of all the pooping? I have about 400 sq. ft. of closed in pen and then a coop inside the enclosed area. In your opinion, would attempting to raise a dozen of the Cornish X be too much pooping for that area? Just looking for your opinion. Thanks, much!
  9. gtoland

    gtoland New Egg

    May 3, 2012
    We are getting ready to process 62 CX tomorrow. 3rd time this year. We raise them in doors untill they are 3 weeks old and then put them outdoors in a caged area 30'x60' with a sheltered area. They are grown on 19% feed once a day when placed outside. Indoors they always have feed in small cages. They do keep the weeds down and bugs. They are very funny to watch and at feeding time they are a herd following you to be the first at the feed.
  10. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    That should be fine. They don't poop huge amounts starting day 1. Towards the 7-8 week you may notice a larger increase in poop. Just makes you more eager to set a processing date. At the end of the project till in lime and give the land a rest.

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