The Rangers are DONE-10 wks.3 days!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by moenmitz, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Took 73 of the 90 Freedom Rangers in to be processed today-they were 10 weeks, 3 days. My scale wimped out two weeks ago- doesn't go over 7 lbs, so I dont know what the live weights were, but the dressed weight averaged 5 lbs. Had about 10 that were under 4 lbs, and had a few monsters that dressed over 6 lbs. Kept 8 runts back to do ourselves in a few weeks-they were all under 4 pounds alive. Also kept 9 back to experiment with breeding them- those were of average size- didnt want to use any of the real porkos lest they die on me!

    To get to today, we went through approximately 1200 lbs of organic feed- (that was for 90 rangers and 12 turkey poults, but the poults dont eat very much at all) so I am going to estimate 13 lbs of feed per bird. Initial cost of rangers from JM Hatchery was 1.10 each-shipping free. Feed cost figured to about $6 per bird-processing was $3.37 per bird-so we are right about $10-$11 per bird. I have been selling them for $4/ lb- (35 sold so far) so it would SEEM to be a really healthy profit-almost 40%! Except, I have not calculated what we spent on electricity, feeders, waterers, bedding, fencing, pen/ coop building & mileage (its a 90 mile round trip drive to get feed, and 180 round trip to get them processed) Because we have other chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks who all share in this venture, an accurate estiamte on those things doesn't seem possible. I know I am in the hole this year, that is sufficient for me! [​IMG] But, this gives us a general idea of what costs we will be looking at to do this next year, and since next year we wont have so many start up costs, we should be able to find a way to make it worthwhile.

    Overall, we were very pleased with them. They grew well, were nice to look at, foraged very well, and were pretty healthy. All losses we had were due to accidents or delays in shipping except for one 7 week old that was found mysteriously dead- so I do think they are hardy birds (they don't stand up well to having children drop things on them or having waterers set on top of them however)

    Tomorrow, we will see if they pass the taste test! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

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    Lakeland, FL
    Where do you get them processed?
     
  3. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are in Iowa, closest plant is about 90 miles from us in a town called Greene. Pricey, but since it took 6 of us HOURS to process 14 a few weeks ago, we decided we couldnt afford to hire ourselves! [​IMG]
     
  4. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    So my question is..................How much meat did you end up with?
     
  5. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    More than my freezer will hold....

    I will address that problem tomorrow! I haven't finished weighing them all yet, just the ones that were getting picked up tonight so far- I will let you knowt he total later though!
     
  6. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA
    Quote:O.K. thanks. I am interested in knowing.
     
  7. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very interested in the freedom rangers, want to try my hand at meat birds next year, maybe in the spring, so this is very interesting to me. Thanks for all the good info. Do you have a recommendation on the best time of year to raise them?
     
  8. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This was our first time, so my insight is pretty limited. We dont plan on raising any more until spring. I think since one of the big benefits to using them is their ability to actually forage, it doesnt make sense to try to raise them inside during the winter. Here in Iowa, it wont be warm enough to turn them outside until May, so we wont be getting anymore until mid- April.
     
  9. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    Thanks for sharing all the information. It sounds like perhaps yours grew a little bit faster than mine. What protein % feed did you use?

    I'm still trying to figure out if the Rangers are worthwhile to me. I may do a batch of cornish in the spring, and a batch of Rangers in the summer, or maybe I'll split them 50/50. Hard to say at this point. The cornish are convenient, because I can have them processed before July 4th, leaving me free to go on vacation for a week. But I'd have to start the Rangers especially early (early April), when it's quite possible to still have snow on the ground. Alternately, I could just raise them to 9 weeks, knowing that many would be quite small (fryers).

    Lots for me to think about, but I've got at least 4-5 more months to make up my mind... [​IMG]
     
  10. moenmitz

    moenmitz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    28% turkey starter mixed about 50/50 with un-ground wheat, oats, rye & barley, up until a week ago. I ran out of the starter then, so it has been just the grains since then. Since about week 8, they only got feed at night, only grazing during the day. previously it was 24 hr access, save for about a week around week 6 when they were looking too porky so I did not feed them at night, but that was only for about a week and then I decided I was worrying about nothing and gave it back to them. They free- ranged about 12 hours a day from 3.5 weeks old.

    Mine were a mix of all colors, with the dark red and the gold ones being the biggest-tri- color were the smallest, but I only had about 5 or 6 tri color, and I think they were of the replacement batch that was a full week younger than the rest, so I dont know if that is a fair assumption to say they grow slower. They may have just had to compete with the older ones too much, right from the start.

    I am putting one in the oven right now, we shall see if they pass the most important test!
     

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