Dixie Rangers dying

yarnbarn

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
3
0
9
Wa.
Hello :)
I've never posted before but I've learned a lot from this forum.
Here's my dilemma. Hoping some of you can offer some advice.
I have raised CX meaties for years. About 700 a season. And of course many, many layers. I thought I'd try the ranger type for meat maybe hang onto a few pullets for eggs etc. I have a few customers who like the idea of a 'sustainable' breed chicken.
So, I ordered 100 dixie rainbows. The hatchery included 50 RI red surplus roosters. I've never used this hatchery before - I buy my CX from a hatchery close to me..
All 150 arrived on April 3rd and seemed fine.. Then the carnage begins lol! I lost 25 of the Dixie's the first week. As of today I'm down to 34. Yes that's right I've lost 66 Dixies. Haven't lost a single RIR NOT ONE all are fine. I've tried everything I can think of. You name it: medicated feed, temp check etc etc. they were vaccinated. I have 3 batches of CX in the brooder barn as well and have only lost one. Never have I experienced losses like this. It's nuts!!
So, I email the hatchery the second week. Crickets. Nothing. I email again this time quite angry. I get the bs to call so they can go over my brooder setup. I reply giving her my current loss and phone number and she doesn't even read my the details of email. Says she'll refund me for the amount I have left? Huh?
I really don't want to bag on the hatchery but this is the worst service I've ever experienced. And I really feel the Dixie's are a bad product. They are happy running around just fine, not a one looking questionable. Then I go out a few hours later and there's 4(or so) dead. Not sure if they just have bad immune systems or heart issues...?
Thanks for any help!
 

BCMaraniac

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,860
413
176
Gosh, that is horrible. I am not familiar with the Dixie Rangers, but I assume that it is some kind of hybrid. Sounds like it is a bad breed or a bad hatch. If it were something contagious, you RIR's would be sick if they're in the same brooder.

I think that I would stay away from that hatchery....or at the very least that breed.

Maybe she meant refund minus the amount you have left....
 

yarnbarn

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
3
0
9
Wa.
Thanks for the reply BCMaraniac :). I think you're right about a bad breed.

Update:
I accidentally wrote 'Dixie Ranger' but they're actually called 'Dixie Rainbows'. Apparently Dixie Rangers are a female KKK clan lol!! I had no idea there was such a clan and feel pretty stupid that I wrote that hahahajah!!

I went out yesterday and spent about an hour just watching them. I have concluded that the chicks have no desire to live. They walk on each other (as do all normal chicks) and if one gets knocked over or down it just lays there and doesn't get up. Then repeadly gets walked over and just gives up eventually dying. I couldn't believe my eyes!! These are supposed to be better than CX. The RIR's do not do this - theyre half the size but stronger. My other cornish cross do not do this.

As for the hatchery. She refunded me the wrong amount, and won't reply to my emails. I won't be using this hatchery again: Mt. Healthy (not so healthy haha)
 

BCMaraniac

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,860
413
176
Thanks for the reply BCMaraniac
. I think you're right about a bad breed.

Update:
I accidentally wrote 'Dixie Ranger' but they're actually called 'Dixie Rainbows'. Apparently Dixie Rangers are a female KKK clan lol!! I had no idea there was such a clan and feel pretty stupid that I wrote that hahahajah!!

I went out yesterday and spent about an hour just watching them. I have concluded that the chicks have no desire to live. They walk on each other (as do all normal chicks) and if one gets knocked over or down it just lays there and doesn't get up. Then repeadly gets walked over and just gives up eventually dying. I couldn't believe my eyes!! These are supposed to be better than CX. The RIR's do not do this - theyre half the size but stronger. My other cornish cross do not do this.

As for the hatchery. She refunded me the wrong amount, and won't reply to my emails. I won't be using this hatchery again: Mt. Healthy (not so healthy haha)
LOLOL. I sure am glad I hadn't heard of the Dixie Rangers...
especially since I live in the South! Sadly, I haven't heard of Dixie Rainbows either! I'm just not well-informed, I guess. I guess this has been a very unfortunate lesson. I don't know what the overall consensus is about Mt Healthy on the forum. When your first experience with a hatchery is a bad one, it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't?

I am so sorry you had this horrible experience.

I have Bresse and Marans for meat birds. I like the idea of having sustainability as well. I caponize my cockerels, so I can grow them out longer and still get a tender bird. I have also been learning to poulardize, which is castrating the pullets so they concentrate on growing instead of producing eggs. My first attempts out of 14 pullets, I had 7 layers. I plan to sacrifice one bird this year to really take a good hard look at the anatomy. Once I get a good look, I should be able to get a much higher success rate. it is easier to do than caponizing once the technique is learned. It involves removal of the section of oviduct nearest the ovary. That causes the ovary to not develop. The only problem is that is about the size of a broom straw!. I prefer to not have to order chicks. Of course it takesl a longer growout for the DP birds and you do have to inject some new blood into the flock periodically. You can't get them the size of CX, but still a decent sized bird.

As many as you raise each year, you don't have much choice about getting hatchery chicks, though. I can't even imagine raising that many birds in a year.
Are you raising CX right now? You know, with all of those RIR cockerels, you ought to think about learning to caponize.....just a thought. There is someone here on BYC out in Washington State that caponizes.....in Olympia, I think. I will try to find the name. There are more and more folks who are learning and many who are willing to mentor. There is a thread here in the meat bird section that has a lot of information....Graphic Photos of My Day Learning to Caponize.....if you're interested.


My avatar is a capon from a Marans/Orpington cross from last year. He weighs 10 1/2 pounds....I am going to try to butcher him this weekend.....there are a few ahead of him...LOL.
 
Last edited:

LindaB220

Crowing
6 Years
Aug 23, 2013
6,179
879
341
Portland/Vancouver area
LOLOL. I sure am glad I hadn't heard of the Dixie Rangers...
especially since I live in the South! Sadly, I haven't heard of Dixie Rainbows either! I'm just not well-informed, I guess. I guess this has been a very unfortunate lesson. I don't know what the overall consensus is about Mt Healthy on the forum. When your first experience with a hatchery is a bad one, it really leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't?

I am so sorry you had this horrible experience.

I have Bresse and Marans for meat birds. I like the idea of having sustainability as well. I caponize my cockerels, so I can grow them out longer and still get a tender bird. I have also been learning to poulardize, which is castrating the pullets so they concentrate on growing instead of producing eggs. My first attempts out of 14 pullets, I had 7 layers. I plan to sacrifice one bird this year to really take a good hard look at the anatomy. Once I get a good look, I should be able to get a much higher success rate. it is easier to do than caponizing once the technique is learned. It involves removal of the section of oviduct nearest the ovary. That causes the ovary to not develop. The only problem is that is about the size of a broom straw!. I prefer to not have to order chicks. Of course it takesl a longer growout for the DP birds and you do have to inject some new blood into the flock periodically. You can't get them the size of CX, but still a decent sized bird.

As many as you raise each year, you don't have much choice about getting hatchery chicks, though. I can't even imagine raising that many birds in a year.
Are you raising CX right now? You know, with all of those RIR cockerels, you ought to think about learning to caponize.....just a thought. There is someone here on BYC out in Washington State that caponizes.....in Olympia, I think. I will try to find the name. There are more and more folks who are learning and many who are willing to mentor. There is a thread here in the meat bird section that has a lot of information....Graphic Photos of My Day Learning to Caponize.....if you're interested.


My avatar is a capon from a Marans/Orpington cross from last year. He weighs 10 1/2 pounds....I am going to try to butcher him this weekend.....there are a few ahead of him...LOL.
Hellbinder has an expert coming this weekend to give him and his son a workshop on poularding. I told him that the Graphic Pics thread would be very interested and he ovated me. So maybe we can get some pics and info. I'll keep in touch.
 
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