Processed our Freedom Rangers!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by anniemary, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. anniemary

    anniemary Songster

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    Mar 23, 2009
    We processed 17 of our FR this weekend. They were 11 weeks old. Started with 51. Lost 2 within a week of shipping. Lost 1 to illness or stress when we moved them to pasture, and one to a hawk who got trapped in the chicken tractor.

    I started them on chick starter for about 4 weeks filling the trough in the morning and at night. Once I moved them to pasture at 4 weeks I started meat maker. I prop open the tractor in the morning so they can free-range over our 5 acre pasture. I only fed them at night and calculated that each bird was getting about a 1/4 cup of feed.

    I'm a little disappointed at the weight. I realize they aren't the cornish X's which is fine, but I think other people have had better FR weights than mine. The smallest was 3 lbs, the largest was 4. Most of the 17 were weighing about 3 lbs. 12 oz. I weighed them as packaged below.

    Overall, I'm very proud of how processing went. Whizbang plucker was heaven-sent. And I think Im getting pretty good at the eviscerating.

    Thank you for letting me share! :)



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  2. foamspoon

    foamspoon Songster

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    I have 15 Red Rangers I bought from McMurray. Mine are only 2 1/2 weeks old and are getting bigger each day. I am looking to process at the end of September. And maybe try a larger group if that goes well for another run.
     
  3. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Songster

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    What's Meat Maker that you started feeding at 4 weeks? Just recieved 16 Red Rangers from Murray today :)
     
  4. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

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    Our FR's at 11wks were a bit bigger that yours - most were over 4lbs. The hens we held back and did a week later so they too could grow a bit more....
    Nicely packed up!
     
  5. anniemary

    anniemary Songster

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Thank you!!!

    Do you think I'm not feeding them enough? I was worried about that. :-(.
     
  6. anniemary

    anniemary Songster

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    We did Sprout MeatMaker 21% protein from Fleet Farm, 50 lb bags. I have yet to find a feed mill in my area.
     
  7. Heny Penny

    Heny Penny Hatching

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    We are about to process our FR's too. I barely feed mine because they free range also. I think mine actually get less than 1/4cup per day. They are already 16 weeks old though. I'm worried they're TOO big. Will their meat be tough since I've let them go this long on an almost purely wild diet? Did you do anything differently right before harvest? Ie. feed them special feed with extra protein? Thanks for any experiential advice!
     
  8. anchutka

    anchutka Chirping

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    I purchased my first 30 Cornish X at tractor supply in spring and at 8 weeks they where from 4 to 5 LB. I still have 5 of them left and they are laying eggs now and doing great. I fed them Dumore starter from the first day and later changed for Purina Flock Raiser. I really liked how fast they grow. So I decided to get more and ordered 50 chicks from McMurrey. Started them with the same feed, but let them run free at about two weeks. They getting their Flock Raiser now + corn twice a day, plus whatever they catch. They are now 7 weeks and looks like its another 7 weeks to go until they grow enough.. A little out of my expectation :(
     
  9. anniemary

    anniemary Songster

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    Mar 23, 2009
    I think the FRs are supposed to grow slow. I don't think they'd be too tough. I think if they were a year old, maybe, but not 16 weeks. I keep them penned up the day of harvest and don't let them free-range. I do feed them at their regular time the night before, 8:30 pm, but we don't process until the afternoon so they go 12 hours plus without food.

    This really makes a difference. We had to cull a bird last night because his foot was so badly injured. His craw was full and all the intestines were much fuller. It made processing more difficult!

    I have also stopped buying feed. A local brewery gives us spent grains for free. The chickens LOVE it. I'm going to see how it does with my next batch. I'll probably do chick starter until I put them out on pasture at 2-3 weeks (depending on weather). Then, move to the grains. Between the pasture and the grains, I hope I'm doing ok.
     
  10. 3 NH reds

    3 NH reds Songster

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    I processed ours last year at week 16. They are a slower growing bird vs Cornish but they have better health/ less issues. We let ours eat Free choice and leave it out in the coop, I made a feeder out of a 5 gal bucket. They had no issues from having food 24/7. We can't free range out here, the only rooster we let free range was gone before week 2. I saved the big rooster and two hens for breeding. The hens lay some huge extra jumbo eggs sometimes and the rooster broke the scale at just over 16 lbs.
     

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