Jumping in with both feet - 50 Freedom Rangers coming on 8-25

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by remadl700, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. remadl700

    remadl700 Songster

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    We have been raising chickens now for a year and using them for eggs and meat. Before this winter we decided to order our meat birds and stock up.

    SO ... we have 50 coming on August 25-27. I have never managed that many birds, we currently have 24, 5 of those will be culled in a month. What I am looking for from everyone are things that I need to be thinking of while managing that many birds. We made the decision to get FR's because of the poor experience we had with the CX birds and comments from this site. Currently are birds have free range of the property but I don't think we will let these guys do that. The thought of 70+ birds running around sounds a little out of control. We will be selling some of the birds as chicks, some at a month old and some at Freezer camp. We are going to keep about 25.

    Any suggestions on when to sell and what price we should be asking?

    We have access to chain link fencing 24x12 feet with a 10x6 building. This is my choice but let me know if we need to get something bigger. Also when I say I don't want 70+ birds running around 5 acres it doesnÂ’t mean I won't let them out in the afternoon to stretch a little they just will not have "FREE RANGE" like the layers will.



    Were planning freezer camp sometime in mid December.

    The more I think about this ......[​IMG]
     
  2. TimG

    TimG Songster

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    Quote:They will be 12 weeks in mid November, they should be plenty big enough by then; I think you're unnecessarily adding a month.

    While my Rangers do wander the yard, they don't range and explore like the layers I have. Having 25 of them free ranging won't be as noticeable as having 25 layers ranging. At least in my experience.
     
  3. remadl700

    remadl700 Songster

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    Quote:They will be 12 weeks in mid November, they should be plenty big enough by then; I think you're unnecessarily adding a month.

    While my Rangers do wander the yard, they don't range and explore like the layers I have. Having 25 of them free ranging won't be as noticeable as having 25 layers ranging. At least in my experience.

    Will I be losing out on the feed to butcher weight conversion by extending them? In other words increasing the costs significantly to get them to the 14-16 week point?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

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    The FR don't stray to far from their food and if you plan on keeping them penned up, plan on moving it a lot. They poop a tremendous amount. We have 11 CX's and 23 FR and have them free range during the day then pen them up at night, We have to move it every other day. The smell is not so nice. If you let them grow the more they eat and in Dec it will be a kind of cold to process them wont it?
     
  5. TimG

    TimG Songster

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    Quote:They will be 12 weeks in mid November, they should be plenty big enough by then; I think you're unnecessarily adding a month.

    While my Rangers do wander the yard, they don't range and explore like the layers I have. Having 25 of them free ranging won't be as noticeable as having 25 layers ranging. At least in my experience.

    Will I be losing out on the feed to butcher weight conversion by extending them? In other words increaseing the costs significantly to get them to the 14-16 week point?

    Yes, I think you will. They will not continue to put on the weight during weeks 12-16 like they did during weeks 6-10. My cockerels were plenty big enough by 10-11 weeks and the pullets fine at 12 weeks.

    As I recall -- you can check my grow out journal thread -- the three cockerels I butchered myself at 11 weeks dressed out at 5-15, 6-0 and 6-6. A week later I had 7 (mixed boys and girls) done professionally and there was one boy that dressed out at about 8 pounds. The girls were a bit smaller, but I don't think any were under 5 pounds (I just checked, one was 4 lb 12 oz).

    I lost a 20 week old pullet last night, she weighed 9 lb 10 oz. That doesn't sound like much weight gain between 12 and 20 weeks, at least not relative to what they were putting on between 6 and 10 weeks.
     
  6. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Songster

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    I processed my FRs at 10 weeks and got 6lb carcasses ready to roast. Some were 4.5 some were 6.5.
     
  7. remadl700

    remadl700 Songster

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    Ok - got them on 8-27. All alive and peeping and exactly 50. I purchased (Based on there recommendation) medicated chick starter $12 , one heat lamp $7.5, chicks plus shipping $115. So far at $2.69 per chick.

    I'll keep posting on wieghts and costs.
     
  8. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

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    I raised 30 Rangers this spring, butchered in July at 12 weeks. There were a few at 5 -6 lbs. A bunch at 6 - 7 lbs, several at 7 -8 lbs. So unless you want small turkeys, you don't need to grow them out too long. Another time I would think about butchering at 9 - 10 weeks. And during their last five weeks, we had a horrible hot spell, 3 weeks long, when the birds didn't eat much except morning and evening. Had they been eating normally, I have to believe they'd have been much larger at 12 weeks than they were.

    One thing different about Rangers, which others also say - they drink tons of water. I needed to refill my waterer two or three times a day, and not just because it was so hot. Give them lots of room to move, they love to run full speed when they come out in the morning, and at times all day.


    Be ready for them to be curious and friendly. They're lots of fun to have around. I hated to see them go. Someone kept close track ot their Rangers a year or two ago...do a search on Ranger Grow out journal and see what you find, he posted some video of his Rangers which you will find interesting and entertaining.

    My baby roos were starting to crow when they came out of the brooder at four weeks. They didn't get to a full, real crow by slaughtering age, but it was darned close! They seemed to mature very fast, and not just in regard to their meatiness.

    You'll love them, they're great birds. Enjoy. Oh, and the first one we ate was 6 1/2 lbs and we got eight meals out of him not counting soup and chicken salad. Yum.
     
  9. remadl700

    remadl700 Songster

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    these things are eating .75 gallons of food a day (Approx) and about the same in water. Its all free choice but this will increase the cost sigificantly. I will weigh the next feeding and allow 24 hrs and weigh it again to give everyone an exact amount in lbs of food a day for 50 FR's.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  10. jaku

    jaku Songster

    If you had problems with Cornish X's, you will love Rangers- it's a trade off for meat and growing time, but they are beautiful birds that will eat anything thrown into their pen and are very hardy.
     

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