Free ranging red rangers

Captain Quark

Songster
Apr 29, 2020
86
197
128
Ontario, Canada
Hello,

I am normally in the quail forums as they are the birds we have :D This year my chicken farmer isn't growing birds out so we've decided to do it ourselves. I have decided on the red rangers (the equivalent mix up here at our local hatchery). We are thinking to start with maybe 20 birds for our first go around as we are new to having birds outside. I see some people have their birds in a tractor on pasture by 2 to 3 weeks old. Can I let the birds out during the day to free range and call them back in at bedtime? Forgive me if this is an ignorant question - there is a lot of info at once to absorb learning about a new type of bird. We could tractor sort of, but it would be challenging. We do have about an acre where they could free range well enough, assuming they come back! I prefer to let them go out and forage during the day then back inside at night. Is this a possibility with these guys, when there are no other adult chickens around to show them the ropes?
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
511
892
211
Maine
Apt explanation from @sourland. Ideally, i would free range all of my birds, but my meaties are to valuable to my family to leave them outside unprotected. That's why we raise them in tractors (pasture pens is what I call them). Once they are big enough to be out and about on their own and not get picked off by aerial predators, they are ready to butcher. Seems to me like dealing with moving them out of their protected area into a free range environment would be alot to manage for such a short period of time. I have enough trouble kicking laying pullets out of their brooders to join their free ranging cohorts. It is at least a week long headache trying to get those birds to sleep in their new coop with older established birds when there is no way to contain them. Just my two cents. I free range my laying hens but do not let my rangers out of their tractors.
 

TOR

Chirping
Dec 29, 2020
41
93
76
Wisconsin
The last couple years I started raising Red Rangers. I keep them inside till 4 weeks minimum anyway. Then I open the door and takes a few days. They will look outside, walk a little outside then before you know it they are cruising everywhere. They will figure out their surroundings and set their limitations where they go unless you restrict them with fencing.
My chickens have never needed training and they return to the barn to roost in evening and I lock them back up.
As mentioned above risk of predators and losing your investment.
Also chickens like flower gardens and vegetable gardens. They like to make dust bath and my chickens usually go on our porch while they roam. We sweep the porch off and I have couple holes to fill in spring by my foundation they have dug making dust bath.
 

Captain Quark

Songster
Apr 29, 2020
86
197
128
Ontario, Canada
One of the farmers that used to grow out chickens for us told me he was using white rock x and they free ranged during the day, then back into the barn at night. Now I'm wondering if I can just free range the Cornish x. Found a couple other threads on them! I hadn't thought you could so assumed I needed a red ranger.
 

RUNuts

Smiling. I'm up to something.
May 19, 2017
5,743
41,289
1,007
State of Confusion
One of the farmers that used to grow out chickens for us told me he was using white rock x and they free ranged during the day, then back into the barn at night. Now I'm wondering if I can just free range the Cornish x. Found a couple other threads on them! I hadn't thought you could so assumed I needed a red ranger.
Yes, the CX will free range. Assuming you motivate them away from the feeders. I was told that full feeders will act as magnets and keep them close. I fed mine for 20 minutes in the morning and for 20 minutes in the evening. The rest of the day they roamed the garden area being famished and having to resort to bugs, grass and whatnot.

Poor things only got to 8 pounds in 8 weeks. Very nice harvest.
 

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