Rangers almost to week 8....

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HillCountryMomma, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    1
    131
    Mar 16, 2008
    Well,

    My FRs are almost to week 8 (this Wed). They sure have grown a lot in the last week!! They sure are eating a lot too.

    Looking at them this morning (and feeling, gotta pick 'em up and do the squeaze test on occasion ya know), they are not nearly big enough to butcher. I'm actually finding it hard to imagine they'll be big enough to butcher in another week even.

    I'm guessing it'll take them till 10 weeks to get to the 5-6lbs dressed weight I'd like them to be at. I'm honestly a little disapointed with their growth. I guess I had just expected more. Didn't want something that was going to explode like a cornishx, but also didn't expect to be looking at 10-12+ weeks of growing a bird either. Some of the smaller hens will probably be on the longer end of that estimate.

    There's quite a discrepancy in size, with the roosters being larger and stockier and the hens overall being smaller.

    They are pleasant birds to be around if nothing else. They have gotten quite docile and are easy to get to 'bed' in their tractor at night. I don't mind dealing with them, even now that they are free range (in an enclosed 50'x150' or so area).

    I must say though, based on their performance thus far I think I'd be looking towards Ideal and their Red broilers for my next batch of meat birds even if the FR company hadn't gone out of business. I'm actually quite curious now to try the Reds this fall.

    Darn Rangers better at least taste good.

    Liz
     
  2. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    from what i read on here, it's very deceiving. the chest cavity is deeper than the cornish and so, although they don't look like they have much chest meat, it's in there. and if you like dark meat, the FR's have a much bigger leg portion.

    and nancy, (greentree) just posted that they tasted much better than her cornish.

    having raised the ideal black broiler with the FR's, i found the FR's to grow a bit faster than the blacks. but that coulda just been me.
     
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I do my FR's at 9-10 weeks, rather than 8. I also notice my last batch of Golden Rangers didn't do nearly as well as previous greys, reds and black. I attridbute it to my crappy weather, though. The Red Bro's are certainly hungry little beasts.

    Also, they do actually put on a lot of weigth in the last two weeks.
     
  4. HillCountryMomma

    HillCountryMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    1
    131
    Mar 16, 2008
    Thanks y'all.

    I'm all for being pleasantly surprised by a deep chest cavity and lots of meat when we go to butcher! [​IMG]

    Grey... our weather is horrible too. We've had a brutally dry, hot spring. Day temps in the mid to upper 90s. It's horrible. I've been going out in the afternoons and hosing down some of the foliage in the shade for the birds. They like to lie down on the wet dirt/foliage. They spend the heat of the day lounging around panting. Poor critters. Maybe if it were cool and they were up eating instead of trying to stay cool they'd be a bit bigger. Texas is hot, but the heat hit early even for us.

    The birds are very stout, and they blow away any of my layers (even the bigger ones like Orpingtons). Guess I just had *really* high expectations from all the hype about the Rangers.

    I have to give them credit for being able to endure the heat. I don't think the cornishx birds would be making it. I'm worried about the Rangers, but at this point there isn't much I can do. They have shade, there's usually a breeze, and I have lots of water out for them (a 5 gallon and a 3.5 gallon at different ends of their pasture).

    Grey, any idea what your birds typically weigh at 8 weeks? I hadn't planned on being able to butcher till 9 weeks, but I was really hoping to do it right at 9. I might be able to do a few of the biggest birds, but not all of them that's for sure.

    Liz
     
  5. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    If they're too busy keeping cool, they haven't been eating as much as they normally would have. So, that makes sense that they are a bit delayed right now. Consider the alternative, though, which is packing them into temperature controlled barns with no sunlight and 22 hour flourescent lights. You're doing the right thing. And consider also in that heat, you may have lost a lot of Cornish X's. [​IMG]

    I'm not really good with weights, since each of the different colors (grey, red, bronze, etc) have slightly different growth profiles. I usually take them all in when I have the largest bird being 10 lbs live weight. In the past this has been the 9 to 10 week mark. The ones I took in at 9.5 weeks yesterday were a smaller batch than previous.
     
  6. FarmerRob

    FarmerRob Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    0
    119
    Jul 13, 2007
    Georgia
    I was just at the Freedom Rangers site and they have shut down the business for unspecified personal reasons. Too bad, I was looking forward to getting some for my freezer.

    So who knows what the next best thing is? Maybe the CornDel?
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    4,889
    16
    261
    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Red Bro broilers from JM hatchery are the same bird. They'll be offering the red, gold, tri color and bronze lines shortly as well.
     
  8. FarmerRob

    FarmerRob Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    0
    119
    Jul 13, 2007
    Georgia
    Thanks for the quick reply on that Grey one--I will check them out!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by