Fast maturing breed?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. I am putting in a chick order soon (from IDEAL I think) and need to pad my order (or let them throw in whatever packing peanuts they want....) since I only want to order about 15 chicks. I am sure I will have to freezer camp the extras, and I am not altogether opposed to this. But the last few times I did this it was with extras of my dual purpose birds. They mature so slowly that by the time they are big and nicely feathered, the meat gets tough.

    So this time, I am thinking I want a fast bird. I want to be able to get a nice pelt off them since I use the feathers, but I don't want to have to wait 4-7 months to get it. By then they are tough and stringy and have eaten too much food to be worth it.

    I don't really want cornish X, I have heard too many bad things. Plus I would like more color variety, if possible.

    Any other suggestions?
  2. DenverBird

    DenverBird Songster

    Dec 8, 2010
    West Denver Burbs
    Freedom Rangers is what I've got coming tomorrow. 12-week grow out.

    Minimum order's 25 though, you'd have to find a partner so share them with.

  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Freedom Rangers [​IMG]

    They live a much more normal life but still grow big and meaty, plus they come in a variety of colors.
  4. CDennis

    CDennis Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Ideal has the red broilers, they are perfect for free ranging, very healthy but I am approaching 4 months and they are just now ready for butcher. It was really cold here and I think that delayed them. I was very happy with my order, just not prepared to feed these buggers for quite this long. If the price was right I would order again. Ideal had great customer service.
  5. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I am another Freedom Ranger fan (for fast growth and tastiness), but I've also heard that Delawares and New Hampshire Reds can be ready in 12 weeks. Anyone have experience with them?
  6. CDennis

    CDennis Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Ideal doesn't have freedom rangers per say...but from my research the Red/Black Broilers Ideal offers are pretty much the same thing. My RB's from Ideal are pretty lots of color variation in entire birds and individual feathers so if Ideal is who you are ordering from they would be a good bet, but they do not grow NEARLY as fast as the cornish x. Upside they look like normal chickens, I didn't loose any to heart attack or any of the medical issues some encounter with CX. Good luck.
  7. Tiffrz-N-Kidz

    Tiffrz-N-Kidz Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    Aledo, TX
    I padded my order from Ideal with their red broilers. It's my first go at a real 'meatie' type.
  8. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    I would love to see any line of chickens that would come even close to beat the Cornish X for a game hen in 35 days !!! [​IMG]
  9. Thanks everyone!
    Sounds like the red broilers are just what I am looking for.
    Do any of you know if the feathers are fully grown out at 12-16 weeks?
    Some breeds I know get big before they are fully feathered in the right color. My last pair of freezer campers were a wyandotte (5 months to fully feather) and a cochin (7+ months and he STILL wasn't done!) who got preserved longer than the should have been in hopes I would get a decent pelt of feathers. It just seems like such a waste to process before the feathers are done growing.
  10. CDennis

    CDennis Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    I butchered all but 5 of mine yesterday I need to look back but they were 16-17 weeks, hens could have still used more time they were all in the mid 2lb range but thick legs, the roosters were all high 6 pounds and look delicious. After butcher I would grow them again for sure. I think it would be good to plan to do males at 14-16 weeks and females at 18-20. If by all their feathers you mean pin feathers yes, and roosters were starting to get tail feathers. They looked like any other chicken at that age just with huge legs and feet. For me, these guys would be best to grow in the spring when they can forage and cut down on your extended feed costs.

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