Freedom Rangers 16-18 week dressed weights?

itsmatt

Songster
14 Years
Mar 19, 2007
32
39
114
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Hi folks,

I'll keep this brief. :)

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere - I've overlooked it if it has - but I'm going to finally start raising meat birds here on our slice of Virginia in 2022.

I'm leaning toward the Freedom Rangers for our first run of birds - probably 30 - getting chicks in January. I definitely prefer dark meat to white meat and don't need my birds ready for slaughter in 8 weeks. I've helped process Cornish Cross before and certainly eaten lots of this over the years. Just want to try the rangers first.

:rolleyes:💭I thought you were keeping it brief... c'mon Matt.. get to the point already.

Here's my question: Has anyone had experience raising Freedom Rangers to something like 16-18 weeks?
Ideally, I'd like an average dressed weight of 7 pounds if possible. That size whole chicken works very well for our household for our standard rotisserie dinner, then white chicken chili and then chicken stock from the carcass.

Thanks muchly,
Matt
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,227
15,782
626
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Matt, I have not. Though I've given some consideration to bringing in Rangers, I've decided to cull my way towards my own. Still, a quick thread search turns up...

This post (5-5.5# @ 3 mo)

This instructional Thread (7# average at 9 weeks)

This mention, 2.75# as 6 weeks

This lengthy thread (6#@ 9 weeks) - I didn't skim it all, there should be weights at later ages

and this one, from way back when.

Note that these are LIVE, not Dressed, weights. To get 9 pounds dressed, you need 10# birds. That's basically CX territory, and nothing else. Feed and method is also a big component. Birds that free range, a big selling point for Freedom Rangers - its in the name - don't put on weight like tractored or caged birds. The increased activity level offsets, in part, the effect of foraging in reducing feed costs - just as it would with any other breed.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,575
3,757
476
NEK, VT
Slaughter at 10-12 weeks and cook two birds at a time.

The younger a bird the more tender it is. High heat cooking is no longer an option after 14 weeks of age- younger is better if you grill. No idea how hot you rotisserie.

The other thought is feed to meat conversion. Your price per pound of chicken grows far faster than the birds after 12 weeks of age.

Birds are less money and more tender. Give it a try, butcher some around 12 weeks to compare to the birds at your desired target weight later. A cleaned bird of of 9 pounds, no organs or neck, will be closer to 2 lbs lighter than live weight. 1.5 lbs difference when smaller.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
5,227
15,782
626
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
I butcher every week. My birds are almost all mutts. Consistently, my processed weight is about .68-.72% of live weight. Usually process between 15 and 20 weeks. There are some breeds famed for meaty early, my CX all yiedled over .72 - and some breeds famed for early bone growth, and then filling out (the big, slow grow birds like Brahma are a good example I've first hand experience of) all below that .68 figure. But my dual purpose mutts? .68-.72%
 

itsmatt

Songster
14 Years
Mar 19, 2007
32
39
114
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Matt, I have not. Though I've given some consideration to bringing in Rangers, I've decided to cull my way towards my own. Still, a quick thread search turns up...

This post (5-5.5# @ 3 mo)

This instructional Thread (7# average at 9 weeks)

This mention, 2.75# as 6 weeks

This lengthy thread (6#@ 9 weeks) - I didn't skim it all, there should be weights at later ages

and this one, from way back when.

Note that these are LIVE, not Dressed, weights. To get 9 pounds dressed, you need 10# birds. That's basically CX territory, and nothing else. Feed and method is also a big component. Birds that free range, a big selling point for Freedom Rangers - its in the name - don't put on weight like tractored or caged birds. The increased activity level offsets, in part, the effect of foraging in reducing feed costs - just as it would with any other breed.
Thanks much for the links and info.
Muchly appreciated,
Matt
 

itsmatt

Songster
14 Years
Mar 19, 2007
32
39
114
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Slaughter at 10-12 weeks and cook two birds at a time.

The younger a bird the more tender it is. High heat cooking is no longer an option after 14 weeks of age- younger is better if you grill. No idea how hot you rotisserie.

The other thought is feed to meat conversion. Your price per pound of chicken grows far faster than the birds after 12 weeks of age.

Birds are less money and more tender. Give it a try, butcher some around 12 weeks to compare to the birds at your desired target weight later. A cleaned bird of of 9 pounds, no organs or neck, will be closer to 2 lbs lighter than live weight. 1.5 lbs difference when smaller.
Thanks - This is definitely something to consider. :)
Muchly appreciated,
Matt
 

itsmatt

Songster
14 Years
Mar 19, 2007
32
39
114
Spotsylvania, Virginia
I see I was typing before coffee. CORRECTION: To get 7# (your target) dressed birds, you need 10# live weight. Sorry about the typo.

And I agree with @Egghead_Jr - I've found it better to select for birds at the flavor and texture I desire (age), rather than a target weight. For a whole host of reasons.
No worries. :)

Thanks muchly,
Matt
 

iwltfum

Songster
Sep 10, 2018
694
1,394
241
Maine
Hi folks,

I'll keep this brief. :)

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere - I've overlooked it if it has - but I'm going to finally start raising meat birds here on our slice of Virginia in 2022.

I'm leaning toward the Freedom Rangers for our first run of birds - probably 30 - getting chicks in January. I definitely prefer dark meat to white meat and don't need my birds ready for slaughter in 8 weeks. I've helped process Cornish Cross before and certainly eaten lots of this over the years. Just want to try the rangers first.

:rolleyes:💭I thought you were keeping it brief... c'mon Matt.. get to the point already.

Here's my question: Has anyone had experience raising Freedom Rangers to something like 16-18 weeks?
Ideally, I'd like an average dressed weight of 7 pounds if possible. That size whole chicken works very well for our household for our standard rotisserie dinner, then white chicken chili and then chicken stock from the carcass.

Thanks muchly,
Matt

I've butchered 6+ pound freedom rangers in just under 9 weeks so I'm sure another week or two and they would be 7+ easily in your time frame.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom