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How long can I keep my colored rangers?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kimslack, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. kimslack

    kimslack Songster

    Oct 13, 2009
    Western NY
    I have only 11 colored rangers and they are about 11 weeks by week's end. This is my first time with meat chickens and I only got a few so I could try raising them. I'd like to slaughter throughout the summer and early Fall. My neighbors say that I'll have to continue feeding them the broiler feed which is kind of expensive.

    Is it better to slaughter all at once in the next two weeks or so or can I let them grow more thru the summer and into Sept and Oct when I believe they will become roasters? I have them in a chicken tractor (these are the most expensive chicken dinners I've ever eaten LOL) Is the meat quality better now or will the meat be just as good in later months?

  2. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    The older the bird , the tougher it will be. Aging in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, then Long and slow cooking will be most beneficial.
  3. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Taste should actually improve with time. I don't know if they develop problems as they get older (mine are about 14 weeks now), but heritage breeds aren't all that tough through the age of 20 to 24 weeks. So, lacking any problems attendant with this particular hybrid, seems to me they would be fine through that age.

    Just real real big. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure why you would need to feed them broiler feed once you get them to the size you want them, though.
  4. dirtdoctor

    dirtdoctor Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Hollister, Califronia
    A long time,,, as long as they are wrapped in the freezer properly, [​IMG]
    Remember MEATIE birds are designed for fast growth, longer they live, the harder it is on their bodies, hearts legs etc... ever see some of the meaties with bowed legs? heavy birds have a short life span. Let it live along time and you end up with a tough bird. 8-13 weeks is a broad brush stroke for most meaties. Rangers given free range growing will do well at 13 weeks, where a ration of feed, available at all times, in a smallish sized coop, (not much exercise) can put on weight in 6-8 weeks.
  5. sparky134

    sparky134 In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2009
    How true. Mine are 8.5 weeks and the I had to process 3 cockerals due to leg issues their live weight ranged from 6 - 7 lbs. I raised them in a fenced in coop area the size of 15 x 40 for 26 FR. and I can see major issues with the legs starting at about 8 weeks. Not so much with the pullets.
  6. phoenixmama

    phoenixmama Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    Gilbert, Arizona
    Quote:You can keep them around. I still have two freedom ranger hens from J.M. that lay the most wonderful double yolkers...every time. No, I'm not kidding. I kept 10 or so of the hens around to see how they'd do...just for kicks. No, you do not have to keep them on broiler feed. Depending on the climate where you live the larger ones may have a difficult time getting through the rest of the summer. I'm here in the low Sonoran desert...it's hotter than Hades here and we are entering our monsoon season, so it's humid too. The two that I have left were the smallest of the bunch. They are doing *okay* in the heat. The larger of the remaining girls had to be sent to freezer camp...they couldn't handle it. We had a 115 degree day and lost one...so I've been keeping a close eye on the 2 that are left.

    They might toughen up a bit...but the flavor will only get better with time. Coq au Vin is on the dinner menu for tomorrow's supper...with a lovely freedom ranger that had an exceptionally long, happy life for a meatie. [​IMG]

    Edited to add: they are about 6 months old...
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  7. kimslack

    kimslack Songster

    Oct 13, 2009
    Western NY
    Thanks all for the info. I was busy last few days with Fourth of July festivities. I will begin slaughtering them in the coming weeks and go by size. I guess that means leave the hens to last and the cockerals go first. It'll be fun seeing how they taste. Kim

  8. ChikeeMomma

    ChikeeMomma Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Mid Michigan
    I'd think they'd be fine. I still have two that I kept for layers. They are big, healthy ladies. They show no sign of health issues. So if you were going to stagger the processing over the summer it should be okay.

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