How many of you FULLY Free Range your Cornish X Meaties? Tractors do not count.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by aoxa, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    My protein is quite low in the feed. I don't really monitor protein I add to be honest. They get a lot of the organs as I have mentioned. They get any cooked meat that is not OK to give to dogs (ie: chicken bone in, turkey bone in etc.) dogs get the ham and steak bones. That and all the protein they get on range from field mice and bugs.

    Crickets: I wouldn't worry. If they don't get them right away, they'll get them later. They can run, but they can't hide ;) Well I guess they CAN hide, but they will be found eventually.

    Crickets are a favourite. We have an abundance of them naturally in the spring. Supposedly they are mating in the fall, but I don't hear them at all now as I did in April and May.
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict


    Too fibrous..even the dog has a bit of trouble with it until it rots a bit and gets gamey. I take out the liner of the gizzard and use it in stock...then the dog gets it. We used to eat the gizzard, the hearts and livers but have gotten away from all that...not sure why. I really love the hearts! Livers were great wrapped in bacon and baked, or floured and fried. The gizzards were usually cut really small and used in stuffings or cornbread as a bit of texture.
     
  3. tackleberry

    tackleberry Out Of The Brooder

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    I free range my meaties completely. The ones i have left, about 15 are starting to lay eggs. I have only lost one to predation and that was because the kids didnt get him in at night. It was hidden in the grass and they missed him. He wound up losing his head but the dogs chased off the critter before it could eat any more. I will kill the rest after the weather cools down in about 2 weeks. These meaties are close to 20 weeks old, maybe older. The only ones left are the females. I ahd about 4 males die of heart failure a few months ago when we had a heat wave for a couple of days but otherwise these birds thrive outdoors on bugs and other chickeny type things. I can not, in good conscience raise my birds like a factory does. So they roam and wander. They arent as tender as pen raised birds but that is cured by brining them after they have rested. I plan on canning about 10 of the birds that are left. From now on though i am doing meaties on a smaller scale. No more 100 bird sets.
     
  4. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Picture of my free ranging meaties. They are FR, so don't quite count, but I see many people are not free ranging them either.

    I was putting up a fence, but I got tired of moving it, realized the roosters never come down the hill that far, and left it. It's been fine.

    Mine came from bruceh.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    100 birds. wow. Nope. I did 50 and that was too much. I would rather do four small batches through the year. Would be easier to handle.
    Crazy huh? They are called FREEDOM RANGERS and yet many do not free range them. Ironic.

    Great job!
     
  6. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think mine might be coming close to processing. I picked up a few, and they feel about 5 lbs. I want them to get a bit bigger as I would like my average to be 5 lbs. Two are not going to make weight, and both are pullets, so I am going to try to keep them in my laying flock and set their eggs crossed with my mutt roosters (big guys, part Australorpe, part Jersey Giant, part Wynadotte, part who knows) and see if I can add a bit more flesh to a second generation of backyard birds; I processed some of the first generation's roosters, and they were OK eating, but not enough meat. Assuming they survive though...even though they are not big, they waddle a bit, and it is not the feed....it's genetics....I can say this because I have an EE cockerel and two bantam Cochins in there (mother and daughter) and they do not waddle at all, are not fat, just have lovely feathers from the protein. I'll back the surviving ones down after processing day.

    It's good to see them roaming around, even if it's not too far. And it's way more humane than a poultry house. I have been in more than one such production house....yuck. Dusty, hot, stinky, dim, too many chickens. Mine are having a good time being chickens, and just one day will be bad...they won't like gong without a meal, the spoiled brats.
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Live weight would have been quite a bit more than final product. I didn't include any organs, necks or legs or anything in that. I also clip the ends of the wings off for the dogs, as I find them a pain to pluck

    [​IMG]
    Just the tip after the tendon, not the entire wing. This actually is the very best thing you can use on a dog with yellowing teeth. Cleans it right up.

    [​IMG]
    Here is one of the 4.5 pound chickens.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very pretty!
     
  9. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Today is process day for my CX they are 8 weeks old. They were fully free ranged daily from 7am-8pm(or dark). They slept in a tractor but had free range of my yard starting at 3 weeks of age. They are pretty big and feel super heavy. Here are a few pics from this morn.
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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
    3 people like this.
  10. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken Pickin -- I LOVE your birds! [​IMG] Such healthy, happy little guys just living a great chicken life.

    We processed some of ours today, too. They have free ranged from about 1-2 weeks old in a very large yard that is fenced for protection. This morning I had trouble catching the ones that were ready to process. I usually weed out the "lay abouts" first time around and didn't have very many in this batch. Sure, they waddle, but there's nothing prettier than all of those white birds spread around the green grass. It makes me somewhat sad when people talk about how they just lay around in poop....
     

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