For those interested in Freedom Rangers, here are the results from our first batch. In May we ordered 25 chicks from JM Hatchery. We received 26 healthy 2-day-old chicksall buff colored except for a single very dark chick. We lost one chick at age 3 weeks when a feeder fell on it. Around that time another one was looking lame and was isolated with a companion for a few days but recovered nicely. Other than that we had no health problems. We started the chicks on Nutrena Starter/Grower crumbles. At four weeks they switched to Nutrena Meatbird crumbles and went outside to a free range area. They foraged well and eagerly ate feed twice a day. All along they were fun to watch and they grow visibly every day! Out of the 25, we had 6 pullets and 19 cockerels. Most turned out to be red birds, some with a bit of black or cream marking. Three of the hens were yellow, one was a tricolor (the dark chick). Her coloring is patchy, not barred, with a lacy look on shoulders. One cockerel turned out to be a barred tricolor. Other than him we did not see much barring. We kept out the barred cockerel, one red cockerel, and all 6 hens for breeding and processed 17 cockerels. Due to family scheduling we had to process in two batches three weeks apart. Here are the dressed weight ranges: At 10.5 weeks we processed 8 cockerels. They ranged from 3.5 to 4.5 pounds. At 13.5 weeks we processed 9 cockerels. They ranged from 5 to 6.5 pounds. All are tasty! Though wed heard that FRs have less white meat than grocery store chickens, ours have had plenty. The breasts are narrower but longer. The Ranger drumsticks and thighs are noticeably larger. While I normally eat two thighs (my favorite part) from a store-bought chicken, one Ranger thigh is enough for me. I dont have much of an oven right now so I have crock-potted two of the birds, and the broth seems richer too. The family and some friends enjoyed grilled pieces too. Can't wait to roast one when we get a good oven in. We have not done a cost ratio but Rangers are definitely worth raising. Interestingly, the remaining 8 birds do not eat anywhere near as much proportionately as the flock did before processing. Maybe the girls never did have huge appetites, though I know the dark pullet was always eager to eat since her first meal. These keepers do not seem to be eating any more than our laying hens, while the whole flock of meaties ate quite a bit more proportionately before processing date. We plan to put one Ranger roo in with our laying hens and put some other hens in with the Rangers to balance things out, then switch roos at some point so we get chicks from both roos and see what we end up with. The hens we add will be white- or colored-egg layers so we can tell their eggs apart from the Ranger eggs.