Red Rangers - 8 weeks - live weight 4 to 6.25 pounds - thoughts??

Dbennett

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 24, 2012
20
0
24
Willamette Valley, Oregon
My first experience with chickens. Feed store sign said Red Rangers.....freedom ranger cross I assume?..

Store's chicken expert said they take 3 weeks longer to finish than Cornish cross.

Yesterday was week 8. I weighed the smallest today at 4 pounds and the largest at 6.25 pounds.

Any input is appreciated; but especially, does that sound like we are on track for week 11 processing?
 

SmokingPistol

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 14, 2012
52
1
41
San Marcos, CA
Most birds are processed at 5-7 lbs. at 11 weeks old they will be a little to big. I recamend processing the 6lbers soon and let the other ones catch up. My grand champ pen was 6.9-7.1 lbs
 

wsmoak

Songster
Apr 21, 2010
355
12
164
a little north of Columbus, GA
Sounds about right, though if they are similar to Freedom Rangers you probably won't want to wait until 11 weeks for all of them.

And 3 weeks longer than Cornish means... 9 weeks, not 11. Commercial birds are processed around 42-45 days.

I started at 66 days and did the roosters, who were from 6.3 to 7.8 lbs, then continued on with the hens, finishing up at 79 days. Overall, they averaged 6.4 lbs. The smallest was 5 lbs.

In my admittedly small sample, the best ones were the younger roosters, and then the hens around 10 weeks. After that, they seemed to put on more fat than I wanted.

-Wendy
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
274
273
Central Oregon
They aren't very big, are they? However, they will grow a lot in the last 3 weeks.

I expect my birds to dress out around 5 pounds, minus the neck and giblets at 8 weeks (Cornish Cross) so I sure wouldn't be butchering any birds at 5 pounds live weight. You'll lose half that weight in butchering.
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
14 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
5,196
702
This world is not my home.
I agree with OB...broiler birds grow very quickly in their last weeks and I wouldn't butcher unless you had to if they are only weighing in at 5 lbs. That's not even worth the work of processing.
 

Dbennett

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 24, 2012
20
0
24
Willamette Valley, Oregon
We have a processing appointment. I know many of you do this yourself; I am happy to pay for this service. Again, these are Red Rangers and they will be 9 weeks and 5 days old at process.

When I made the appointment they asked if I wanted to keep the giblets. DO I?

Help. Do I?

Also, I will try to weigh some tomorrow (nine weeks even) to see our progress.

And, anyone who is counting.......the just finished their 8th 50lb bag of feed.
 

wsmoak

Songster
Apr 21, 2010
355
12
164
a little north of Columbus, GA
Lucky you to actually *have* a processor! There are none here, we'd have to go to South Carolina or Kentucky. :(

If you're not going to make stock or gravy with them, you might as well skip the giblets. I only kept the necks when I did mine, and tossed all the organs.

-Wendy
 

debs_flock

Crowing
8 Years
Sep 14, 2011
5,650
151
253
Shingle Springs, CA
Absolutely keep the giblets! But I would not make stock with them, that would be kind of nasty with liver.

If you don't like organ meat (you'll get the liver, heart, gizzard) and no one you know likes it, you could boil it and feed it back to chickens, dogs, cats. There's no point in letting it go to waste. I have a hard time wasting any of the animals I raise myself, I feel like otherwise they died in vain. Stupid, but I don't feel the same sense of loyalty to store bought meat............it still had a face at some point, so just my hangup.

If you are really feeling adventurous, you could ask to have back the feet. I haven't tried it, but they're supposed to make the best stock! All the cartilage in the feet and tiny bits of meat is supposed to really enrich the stock. I was thinking about giving it a try with the birds I'm processing soon.

Deb
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
274
273
Central Oregon
[[[[[........they asked if I wanted to keep the giblets. DO I?......]]]]]]

That depends upon if you eat any of that stuff. Hearts are really good breaded and deep fried. That's muscle meat. Gizzards are also muscle meat and are good deep fried. They are chewy, though.

I don't like liver, but my dogs sure do. So the dogs get what my family won't eat.

Chances of getting a processor to clean feet for you are probably pretty slim.

The meat on the neck is the very best tasting on the entire bird. I use necks to make broth and then pick off as much meat as I can get off. Neck meat is impossible to get off the bone until after it is simmered to the point that it is fall apart tender.
 
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