Freedom Rangers too small??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by stanglover2001, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So today the freedom rangers are 11 weeks old and I weighed the biggest one we have and he came up to 4 lbs 10 oz but felt small still. Would it hurt to hold them til they turn 16 weeks? Would it help if I add the heat lamp back? It's been cold and snowing here in TN which isn't normal for Dec. My CornishX didn't even get as big as they should been. My other FR's are so much smaller than the one I weighed. What'd be the longest you'd hold chickens over that you sell to family??
     
  2. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    20 weeks is when they start to grow the small hairs that seem to avoid the plucker, also when they become interested in breeding and to many can be a pain. If it's cold there they are burning a certain amount of calories to stay warm; the heat lamp would conserve that.
     
  3. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So as long as I butcher by 18-19 weeks the taste and texture will not be affected? This is my first attempt on FR's I only have 13 and they're all pretty small looking, I only sale to family and a few co-workers of the DH.

    Last time I only did CornishX and they did awesome, but it was too hot outside and I lost 3 to lack of water. This go round it's too cold and they're just not gaining weight, and there is nothing to range on [​IMG]

    I'm having no luck... [​IMG] Guess it's outside I'm going to hook the heat lamps back up... This weekend I'm going to butcher my last 2 of 3 Cornishx they're the same age and just havn't gotten to an ideal weight yet. [​IMG]
     
  4. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Strangelover,

    I live about 20 miles east of Nashville and have had the same problems of you, except I started my FR around September. Mine averaged around 5lbs processed (which I got processed in Bowling Green, KY at SS Enterprises). I emailed Kendall Fox at Freedom Ranger hatcheries about grow out times and he said the following about age:

    Hi Jesse,

    It won't hurt the meat at all. You will just have a bigger bird and have more feed in it. The meat should actually taste better since the flavor in a chicken comes from age, but one week won't make much difference.

    Thanks,

    Kendall Fox
    Freedom Ranger Hatchery
    717.336.4878

    I processed my birds around 13 weeks of age (probably 14) and they were just fine. I'm eating some of those nice, long chicken breasts tonight!

    Hope this helps![​IMG]
     
  5. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I'm sure I'll have to hold off on butchering them. I would have had mine sooner if Ideal had sent out chicks when they said they had some to send. I've decided not to buy from Ideal again, just not a great hatchery for broilers (had a few problems with deaths vs the chicks I got from Welp including the amount I paid).

    Soo, it looks as if I'll be butchering them in January... one of the coldest months of course.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I just finished butchering my first ever Freedom Rangers. They grew so fast and became huge. They reminded me of veloceraptor.
    They were from Freedomrangerhatchery.
    26 arrived, 1 died @ 1 week from unknown cause, 1 blew away in a windstorm their second night outside, possum ate another, 1 went lame at 7 weeks, 1 rooster was a runt that was only 3 lbs. 8 oz. at 11 weeks. Other than that all went well.
    I fed 24% protein flock raiser till 8 weeks then switched to 15%.
    Killed 3 at 6 weeks - they averaged 3 lb. 1.3 oz.
    At 8 weeks they were 4 lbs.
    At 12 weeks they were 5 lbs. 5 oz.
    They were on pasture from 3 weeks on - they didn't like snow much though.
    I was very pleased.
     
  7. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Maybe it's because I got them from Ideal? [​IMG] I'm thinking if I EVER do them again it's gotta be warm outside! Sooo depressing, I was so sure they'd all be packaged and in the fridge by now [​IMG]
    I was going to buy from the freedomrangerhatchery but they wanted you to buy 25, and I still wanted to buy CornishX just in case this problem arose. Welp's cornishx are the best/cheapest for my state and they require you to buy 25. By the time I killed 50 chickens I'd hate chicken [​IMG] I only get 25 at a time and so ordered with Ideal, one of the CR's died in transit so I called Ideal and they refunded me a couple dollars. Then after 2 weeks of losing a chick every week I assumed I was either one overcrowding or two feeding them the quail starter was killing them. So changed them to another feed, the purina flock raiser since I used that for my other ones, and stopped losing them but then the cornish kept getting bad legs. I didn't ever have any go down from the Welp chicks. So I'm not sure if Ideal has bad chicks or I killed them by feeding them quail starter. The feed store I got the feed from told me I'd be ok feeding it to them. So here's the lesson.... don't buy broilers anywhere close to the winter and don't feed quail starter to chicks.
     
  8. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    was the quail starter the same thing as game bird starter? higher protein -- like 24-30ish%?

    i'm just wondering for clarification!
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I'm sure it's the same. I think Dumor was the maker of mine. It was a 24% game bird starter. I think that might be why one went lame, I might have pushed them too much. When I realized it was lame I just processed it that day. She was yummy. Next time I may mix in a little 20% to slow them a bit. I was amazed though, by 8 weeks they were pretty much the size of my dual purpose hens.
    The pasture they were on was oats, wheat, field peas, winter vetch and buckwheat. They went through it pretty quick. I agree, butchering gets kind of tiring. I usually did about 5 at a time.
     
  10. stanglover2001

    stanglover2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Acctually, I have no idea... more like an 18% and KTA made it, feed store called it quail starter. I've not had any trouble from KTA's layer pellets for my hens though.
     

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