freedom or colored rangers


11 Years
Jul 8, 2008
North Carolina
we have 39 cornish out on our pasture and they are horrid. i am thinking i would like to try freedom rangers next go round.

to those of you who have had both what are the pros and cons?

could i have the rangers in a coop at night and range through the day and not move a tractor everyday?


I made a rookie mistake and builtmy tractor too heavy. My colored rangers went outside at 3 weeks, and are now 5 weeks old. I open the pen in the morning and they free range all day. They can go in and out of the pen at will, and I also leave some barrels with pieces of siding on top for them to hide under if needed. They are in the same pasture as my horses (Mustangs) whom are VERY territorial and have been observed chasing skunks, pheasants, and rabbits out of the pasture. The horses like to hang out by the chicken (according to the high number of "piles" found around the pens) but don't bother the birds. So far I have lost none to predation including the pen of Cornish cross that have been out for almost 4 weeks. I don't know if it is the horses protecting the birds, or if the local predators are just waiting for the birds to fatten up a little more. What ever the reasons, the system seems to be working very well so far. Of coarse the pature is around 6 acres and is surrounded by electric fencing. I think I am going to get the weed whip out next week and trim everything up and drop another line of wire fence a few inches off the ground just in case.

A note of caution it is VERY difficult to make my way out to feed everyone at night. 150+ birds running full speed across the pasture to me is a sight to behold. Makes me very glad that I am 5'10" and not 1'10", or that they are not 6' tall. I'd be a goner for sure!
Hi Susan,

I purchased the Hubbard White Mountain CX from Townline Hatchery this year. I also have the colored range birds from J&M and 100 Dixie Rainbows from S&G Poultry. I have to say for a CX I am very impressed with the Hubbard chicks. They are almost 6 weeks old and VERY active. They are trying to fly still and are constantly running around the pasture. I had them in a brooder until 3 weeks, and then put them out on pasture. I was very disappointed that first week as they seemed to have no interest in the very lovely clover at their feet. The follwing week I added 25 of the colored range birds to the pen and everything changed. The now devour all that lovely fresh grass and clover. Thery are still very active and I am very impressed. None of the health issues I expected with a CX .....yet. I am thinking the key for me is to raise the two breeds sid by side. They seem to work very well together. Plus, I think this strain at Townline has a lot going for it and very well may account for my good opinion. I grew up on a farm and we always raised CX....... but they were the "typical" fat ugly lazy things you always here about. I do plan on ordering another batch of the Hubbards later this summer. It will be interesting to see how that batch does.
I made the same rookie mistake, however, I found PVC to be a GREAT tractor making material for my second one. Wow, the chicken stampede would be a hilarious sight!!
For those of you that free range and pasture keep your birds, do you also provide feed of any sort? Other than water, do you provide anything else for meat birds on pasture? I am seriously considering ordering some, as soon as I find a place to process them close to me.
The colored range birds take a few weeks longer to reach broiler size than the CX. I will be processing most of my CX Hubbard White Mountains (a little slower and more active than the typical CX) at 8 weeks, I expect to butcher my range birds at 10-12 weeks. Most people I have talked to about dual purpose roos say 4-6 months depending upon the breed. I do know of a few people that have Dels ready to butcher in 12-14 weeks.

I think I am going to continue raising mixtures of CX and Range birds at the same time. It seems to be working really well for me.

Feeding: I throw as much feed as I can (local farmer no perservatives, no antibiotics, etc.) in the evenings giving them enough time to eat before it gets dark. In the am I give them about 1/3 - 1/2 as much and open the pens to let them free range. I want them to have enough food to take the edge off, but not so full that the do not graze. So far it's been working well. My birds are progressing at exactly the rate I was hoping for. I will process 1/2 my CX at 8 weeks, and the remainder at 9-10 weeks. 1/2 the colored rangers will be processed at 11 weeks, and the other half at 12-13 weeks.

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