Processed our first Feedom Rangers today

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Saltysteele, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Processed 11 of our 20 Freedom Rangers today. About 12-weeks of age.

    Brought one home (the rest are in my dad's walk-in cooler) for supper tonight, dressed out at 5 pounds 6 ounces. This was a smaller bird, compared to the rest.

    So far, we're VERY pleased with these FR's. We've had CX's quite a few times over the years, and just we're never really happy with them. Breast abrasions (from sitting 23.9 hours out of a day), sudden deaths from heart attacks and those type of problems, smaller drumsticks.

    We bought 20 to try, and all 20 were still here. These guys didn't grow as fast as CX's, but they were much more active and pleasurable to have around! These are still big birds quick, but not as quick as the CX's. But, if you're looking for a healthier bird, these are definitely the way to go. These guys were still walking around and exploring like a normal chicken today before we made our selections.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  2. Jschaaff

    Jschaaff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice job!! I love hearing about the freedom rangers. I really enjoy the CX's, but the more I read about the Freedom Rangers, the more interested I am in trying them next year too!

    I bet dinner was yummy!!

    -Jessa
     
  3. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I just received my first ever chickens yesterday morning, 50 Freedom Rangers. Did you get yours from Freedom Ranger Hatchery? Is that the only place that calls them Freedom Rangers?

    Great to hear your success, great that they all made it to processing day. As for mine, the hatchery threw in an extra chick, and they all arrived healthy and on morning two, all are still fine, and energized compared to yesterday morning. They are running all around the brooder when I start reaching in now.

    Mind answering a couple questions for me? Your dressed weights seem great, especially since you had no losses.

    1. Can you detail the feed protein percentages you used, and when you used them?

    2. When did you start letting them outside the brooder?

    3. Did you give table scraps?

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Welcome Moonsynth [​IMG] Good luck with your batch of FR - 50 of them? Wow [​IMG] Def. looking forward to following how it goes with yours. What kind of a setup do you have for 50 of them? I have 25 cornish coming this week and 25 seemed like a lot to me. I really wanted to order 30 (what's only 5 more after all [​IMG]) but I held my bad self back a bit as I have 22 others in the coop that are 6 weeks. Good luck and keep us posted!vv:frow
     
  5. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Great job, I would love to order some meat birds next year but since I live in town I am only allowed 15 so I don't think I could get away with ordering 25 freedom rangers. What age did you process your birds at.
     
  6. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    @ mcf3kids: I built a 3x5 brooder. I bought an 80ft length of electric poultry netting to contain the birds in once they are outside. I'll start putting them out during the day at around 2 weeks I think, with a heat lamp and some low chicken wire to keep them contained inside the poultry netting. I'm building a semi-open moveable shelter for them. The shelter and the electric netting will be moved as needed to keep them on fresh greenery. What do you think? I think this system is called "paddock shift".
     
  7. Poupoulles

    Poupoulles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mayberry (really!)
    I have 25 FR in the brooder almost ready to go out. They are almost three weeks and growing really well. You can tell they are meat birds. I am really looking forward to this.
    I built a ~6x10 tractor. It has a curved roof like a hoop house, with a tarp over top. It has a wire floor and two wheels so you pull it like a rickshaw. It worked ok for the cornish cross who came before but lets face it, they dont really get out much! All this is inside a fenced in enclosure that I move every batch/every year. I am fertilizing my orchards this way.
    By this stage (3 weeks) three of the Cornish Cross had already dropped dead. I ended up with 20/25. So far I lost one freedome ranger but it never seemed to pick up after shipping.

    I'd love to know what percent protein feed you fed them (a 5 lb bird at 12 weeks is perfectly respectable to me!), and how long on each % too.
     
  8. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I would love to know this too - and maybe a picture of what they looked like before you processed if you have one. Thanks![​IMG]
     
  9. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi guys

    Sorry, haven't checked back in on this thread. Itsy let me know there were questions [​IMG]

    I bought them at around a month old at the end of May, from a gal who made a group order and one of the people ordering left her hanging with a bunch of chicks. They were fully feathered when I got them, so didn't put them in a brooder.


    I feed hog feed. My dad and uncle owned a hog farm (just sold it last summer), and we've fed the hog feed to our chickens (layers and broilers) for 30 years. My little brother started raising birkshire hogs last summer, so started mixing it for his hogs and sells it to me. It's corn, soy bean meal (protein), and an enzyme mix. It's approx. 17% protein. The gal I bought them from had them on medicated starter until I bought them, and we continued that for a week after we had them (the stuff from TSC). She had an issue with coccidiosis and contacted Michigan State University's ag department. They told her when kept in crowded conditions, it can affect them (broilers) easily, and recommended medicated feed. Before that, I'm not sure what she was feeding, but she is a "do everything natural if possible" type person (not said in a negative way, just that sometimes medicated feed may be necessary). So, we continued it for a week just to give them the medication a bit longer in case stress from moving and a new environment would be an issue. After that, it was the 17% until finish.

    We didn't give any table scraps, but I don't see that hurting.

    I actually did happen to snap a pic with my wife's camera, but I can't find where she put it at the moment (the camera).

    We ate one that night, but I would highly recommend against doing that. Over the years, we have never eaten one the day of processing, for whatever reason. It was tough and literally similar to chewing shoe leather. After a bit of research, I found you need to wait 24-36 hours to allow for rigor mortis to leave (sets in after a couple hours of death).

    After cleaning, place in a container (large tote, barrel, etc) of cold water for an hour or two (keep the water cold), then in a cooler overnight if possible.

    We ate another one a week later, and it was MUCH, MUCH better [​IMG]

    These were much more pleasant than CX's. They were walking around like a normal chicken the day of processing, able to jump up to a perch about a foot off the ground, and not have a heart attack when we were chasing them to catch them [​IMG]

    I'll look again for the camera.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011

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