How do colored range broilers do?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by providentialpastures, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. providentialpastures

    providentialpastures Out Of The Brooder

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    Everyone should know that the Freedom Rangers went out of business. Fortunately, J. M. Hatchery has the same breeding stock as they did. How do their colored range broilers perform, in terms of how much they eat, their weight at butchering time, and their flavor and tenderness?
     
  2. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can also do a search and find various discussions of this. They are Freedom Rangers (TM), but with a different name. Greyfields has discussed his (entirely positive [​IMG]) viewpoint of these meat bird alternatives quite a bit. I believe he grows them exclusively now.

    I raised a handful of these to 12 weeks. I don't recommend going that long. My largest dressed at 6.5 lbs, and my smallest were around 4 lbs.

    The flavor may be a little bit better, but if so, it's most likely because the chickens live longer. The unfortunate side effect is that drums and wings can get pretty tough and stringy at 12 weeks (as they would be with any chicken).

    The upside is that the livability of these is great. If you lose any, it will probably be in the first day or two, or during shipment. Also, some of them are very pretty birds, and if anyone ever stops by, you can show them off. [​IMG] Plus, they range well, and act much more like "normal" (not cornish cross) chickens, which may be the biggest reason to have them. They can even fly! [​IMG]

    Unlike the Freedom Rangers site, you do not have the option of separating the types of chickens at order time. You get what you get, which will be an oddball mixture. Some varieties grow slower than others.

    I have mixed feelings about them. I really enjoyed them, but I'm not sure they are as practical for my situation.
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't raise anything else!

    Better vigor, looks, disease resistance, etc. It's a no brainer for a small producer.
     
  4. nmred

    nmred Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know if they are exactly the same bird as what you're talking about, but I tried raising the Red Broilers from Privett Hatchery this summer. I was really disappointed in them. We are at a very high altitude (7300+) and so can't raise Cornish X's. Before this summer we only raised what Privett calls Slow Cornish. They grow slower and so don't have the problems the regular Cornish X would have at this altitude. We switched to the Red Broilers because Privett told me that they grow faster (8 wks as opposed to 11) than the Slow Cornish and were a bit larger. We did not find this to be true at all! At 8 wks we processed 4 out of the 50. We took the largest ones and they only weighed 1.2 to 1.5 lbs. So we let them go another 2 wks and they were still barely 2 lbs. Another 2 weeks and they averaged about 2.25 lbs. The Slow Cornish at this age were all 3 to 4 lbs. I also like the temperment of the Slow Cornish better. They aren't as aggressive with each other or as spooked by us. I also had better mortality rates with the Slow Cornish. Of the 150+ we have raised over the last 2 years, we only lost 3 of the Slow Cornish. Of the 50 Red Broilers we lost 4. Next year, I'm going back to the Slow Cornish. I highly recommend them.

    By the way, we skin our birds rather than pluck, and the Slow Cornish were easier to skin, or so says my husband, who has done all the birds we have processed. And he ought to know. We have now done over 200!
     
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    These are not the same birds the OP is asking about.
     

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