Freedom Rangers in the summer?

CoopDeViIIe

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
126
10
81
Does anyone have experience raising Freedom or Red Rangers over the summer heat? Here in Virginia I can expect mid to upper 90s on the worst days. My batch of Cornish Rocks is about to be done and I don't think they would do well in summer heat so I am considering trying a batch of Freedom Rangers before the fall Cornish batch.
 

cameronfarm

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
183
8
73
Moodus, CT
I have never raised them myself though I have thought about giving them a whirl. I have heard they are more mobile, self sufficient, and tolerant to heat as they are more like heritage birds. Again, as I have heard. Could be just hearsay :)
 

Life is Good!

Songster
9 Years
Apr 14, 2011
1,179
228
236
suburbia Chicagoland
We raised FR's last early summer (end of May to mid July). It was the hottest summer on record.
We then raised CX end of summer-early fall (late Aug to early Nov). It was the coldest fall on record.

I was surprised overall - the FR's did very well in the heat despite having as many feathers as my layers (Black Java's). The CX did very well in the cold and wet, despite having so few feathers! The thing with processing the FR's in the heat however was the feathers stuck to sweat on our arms. (We skinned the birds, not plucked). And with so many feathers, I'm still finding feathers in the processing shed a year later! And in the run....and the tractors....and just about everywhere in the yard!

I did provide two extra waterers the last few weeks when it was so hot (over 95). And a few fans also to help keep 'em cooler. But they still foraged for bugs, chased and ate flying bugs, ate grass in the sunshine....just like nothing doing in the heat. Go figure! I'm hiding in the shade panting, and they're out being, well, chickens!
 

BCMaraniac

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,860
417
176
@CoopDeVille. I am in Northeast Tennessee, about 20 miles from both VA and NC. I am finishing off Cornish X (supposed to be this weekend, but hubby working tomorrow, so will have to be next week). Then another batch in 4 week. Anyway, I have red rangers coming in mid May, along with white rocks and white orpington roos(destined to be capons). I didn't want to take a chance with CX because of the heat and the fact that they are not going to take advantage of the greens and insects in the spring/summer like the Red Rangers. Due to availability of Red Rangers from Murray McMurray, I was not going to be able to get them til July, but checked back and saw they were available sooner(must have gotten more eggs) so I moved up my order to may.
 

CoopDeViIIe

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
126
10
81
There was a good deal at Moyer's so I went ahead and ordered some that hatch on April 30th. We'll see how they do.
 

meganblythe

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 21, 2012
43
18
34
Alabama
I have four freedom ranger hens in coastal South Carolina. We raised them from chicks (along with 22 others, which we harvested for meat) starting last September. We kept the largest females to try out as egg layers. They did fine all winter, sleeping on the ground (had opportunity to go up to the top of the A frame pen where they lay their eggs, but chose not to). But now our weather is turning hot, just in the mid-80s and they are panting and looking very unhappy - I'm a little worried about them adapting to the heat. They are going to have to tolerate much hotter temperatures to make it through the summer down here. The pen is in the shade already, but I sprayed down the ground with water this afternoon and they liked that. They have been drinking from nipple drinkers for the last six months, but started drinking from the puddles as soon as I sprayed down the ground so I'm wondering if they aren't getting enough water from the nipple drinkers. I put a bin of fresh cold water out in the pen and they all started drinking. One eventually climbed in and stood in it. One or two are still panting, but they seem to be a little better. I read somewhere else that you can put a frozen jug of water in the pen for them to lay near to cool off - I'll try that as it gets hotter. I'd love to hear updates from those of you that are also trying out Freedom Rangers this summer. Maybe your chicks will grow up accustomed to the heat! I'm hoping mine manage to lose some of those downy feathers that kept them warm all winter...
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
211
Colorado mountains
I raised 35 Freedom Rangers last summer during some significant heat. It was in the high 80s and even the 90s during the day but since we are in the Colorado mountains it dropped into the 60s at night. When the FRs were about 6 weeks old we had to evacuate our property due to the Waldo Canyon Fire and the FRs spent the next week in my sister-in-law's garage where the temperatures got really hot during the afternoon. I had a fan running in the garage to try to get some air circulation, but all the FRs did just fine.
 

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