Slow growing Red Rangers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by maplebendfarmmn, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. maplebendfarmmn

    maplebendfarmmn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2014
    Yeah, same thing. They were supposed to be ready at 12 weeks. So I thought great, no frankenbird and less than the 6 months to grow out the heritage. NO such luck. Carcasses were about 4# but tasted great, better than the barred rocks and the buff orpingtons we have raised in the past. My Barred Rocks are great layers. They started at about 22 weeks and generally lay daily. We'll do frankenbirds next year to see how they do. Going to raise them in tractors on pasture and see how they do.
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Something seems very off with your rangers, I just raise a mixed batch of rangers and rainbows (pioneers, Dixie rainbows depending on the source) and had pretty good results, I butchered around 14 weeks if I remember correctly and has carcass weights from a little over 6lbs for the biggest roosters to around 3lbs for the smaller hens. You don't get a huge breast on these birds like a Cornish cross they are more proportional like a heritage breed but grow larger faster. Do you have feed available at all times as well as free range? If so with the high protein you are feeding and ranging as well I would say you're birds are from poor stock, which hatchery did they come from? I tried hoovers hatchery because they had decent prices and I was very pleased with their stock I got 25 straight run isa browns too and butchered the roosters they made good little fryers.
     
  3. maplebendfarmmn

    maplebendfarmmn Out Of The Brooder

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    They had a "meat maker" feed available at all times. Not sure of protein content off the top of my head. We got them through our local L&M feed store. I think they use Cackle hatchery. We're chalking this up to a learning experience. I don't think we'll be ordering through them again though because our flock of buff orpingtons we ordered the year before for meat had TERRIBLE temperments! Aggressive toward people, extremely flighty (despite bribing with treats), constantly fighting and we even had a few that were starved out by the more aggressive ones. They would fight rather than eat. It was a disaster. Our finished carcasses were about 3# for 7 month old roosters! The whole reason we got them was to raise a larger heritage meat bird with a decent disposition. So again, we will not be ordering through our local feed store again.
     
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Huh, I have generally heard pretty good reviews of cackles birds but I'm sure they have certain breeds that are better than others, they are a hatchery after all, not going to always be paying attention to all the details, but for meat breeds that is not acceptable at all, the whole reason for buying them is to produce meat quickly, if they don't do that then they're not worth having around. That is very odd behavior out of buff orps we used to have a couple old hens they were the gentlest birds ever
     
  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    This is interesting, I have had Rainbows, same as red rangers I think. I liked them I had 7-8 pound birds at about 18-19 weeks. The roosters were angels.

    Now I have crosses between CX's and Rainbows they are fantastic birds. I am planning to hatch the offspring and use them for some of my broilers next year.

    I am a huge fan of CX's though, I raise mine slower and longer than most people, I free range them and limit their feed.

    I get 12-13 pound roosters at 13 weeks and 8-9 pound hens at 13 weeks. I have some now that are 25 weeks old. They are great still. I hope to get eggs for hatching from them in the spring, crossed with my "toads" CX, rainbow crosses.

    The key to a good CX is slow growth limit the feed and let them freeranger for exercise. I use 14% protein on them and make them hunt down bugs for the rest. Now they are on 16% layer mash.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rainbows are a different bird from the rangers the rangers are red like a big production red the rainbows are generally barred in various colors, they do produce a similar carcass, I raised then together with same feed conditions and they were close on average, I would say the rangers were possibly slightly larger over all but most of the rainbows picked much easier with the exception of one large rooster that resembled a barred roc he picked very badly and was loaded with pin feathers. The hens of both breeds were by far the easiest to pluck. I am considering trying a slow growth white boiler next spring just for ease of plucking
     
  7. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

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    By white broilers you mean the CX's?

    They are fantastic birds when grown slowly and you do not have the ascites or legs issues you have with them when feed too much protein and allowed to eat as much as they want.

    Thanks for info on red rangers and DIxies rainbows, So many say they are the same. I have the rainbows, the ones with the multi color barring, most noticable on the roosters. but the hens have itto a lessor degree. on mine anyways. I got my birds from Hoover, same place I get my CX's.
     
  8. maplebendfarmmn

    maplebendfarmmn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice. That is along the lines of what I was thinking for the CX's. We'll see how it goes.
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are regular CornishX as well as a slow white, welp sells them and McMurray has a version called the Cornish roaster I believe. They supposedly produce the same sort out large breasted carcass as the regular Cornish x but take a couple weeks longer to grow out kind of like the rangers and rainbows I've read 10 to 12 weeks rather than 6 to 8 for regular x.

    How did you like hoovers did you have any loss with the young chicks, I just went with them in my last batch because they had decent prices. I still may just try regular Cornish x with a restricted diet rather than the slows as they can be found cheaper
     
  10. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Has anyone tried the Freedom rangers? How do they compare with the dixies, reds etc?
     

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