What's up with Freedom Rangers / Colored Rangers this year?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sparklee, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    414
    0
    129
    Jul 28, 2008
    We got the birds from JM Hatchery.

    I'm comparing/contrasting the birds from last year with the birds we got this year.

    This year: The birds are not all close to the same size. Not a consistent size. There was little difference in size last year, except male vs. female.

    This year: Coloring off. Tri-colors that have some barring genetics are very yellow. A few yellow birds are spotted with what appears to be barring genetics. The Columbian genetic ring of black-tipped feathers around the neck was present in red, light red, and yellow birds last year, but this year the Columbian genetic ring around neck/shoulder area of black tipped feathers is inconsistent and is sometimes just a spot of feathers on the middle of the back of the neck.

    Why is this? Anyone know how often JM Hatchery gets new breeders from France? Have they gotten any lately or is this year's batch of birds evidence that they're using second generation breeders for their birds these days. That, I think, would account for the inconsistency in the sizes and new feathering that was not present last year.

    Anyway, just thinking about next year and what we'll be doing and curious if it's just us who noticed a difference in the JM Hatchery birds this year. I love the flavor of the JM Hatchery birds. I really have no complaints. I don't feel ripped off or anything. Just curious. Wondering if my broodies could hatch enough meat birds (dual purpose NHR x Dark Cornish) at the right time so that I could raise them all together at the same time.
     
  2. TimG

    TimG Songster

    1,349
    14
    174
    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    Quote:Except for one outlier, mine were remarkably consistent in weights this year.

    Do you have New Hampshires, or would you be acquiring some for the cross you propose?
     
  3. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    414
    0
    129
    Jul 28, 2008
    Quote:Thanks for info. Maybe it's just our birds? ::shrug:: Oh, and the lady who we split our order with, she thinks there's a difference from last year's birds. Not enough to keep us from ordering next year though.

    Quote:Huh? I'm confused as to what the purpose is of this question. We have New Hampshire Reds right now. Do you have NHR? We've got a few Delaware ladies, too, that might be fun to mix in with the Dark Cornish, too. So you see, when I start getting into that, then why would I need to order Freedom Rangers next year (no matter how much I like them)? I'd end up with too many birds and I think I'd like to experiment a bit and see what we get hatched out. Of course, they'll take longer and be smaller birds than the Freedom Rangers, but they'll eat about the same amount. And since the dual purpose birds will roost at night starting at ??? about 5 weeks, then we won't have to move the hoop house as often, plus dual purpose seem to eat more bugs and grass in my limited experience.

    Even though you didn't ask, I'm not trying to duplicate the Rangers. That's more complicated than I want to get since ... who's doing the breeders for the Poulet Roue now? It used to be Sasso, but I think someone bought them out. Anyway, the breeding that they do is beyond what I feel like doing. I just want something quick and simple, but better than just eating Barred Rocks, which is what we did two years ago.
     
  4. TimG

    TimG Songster

    1,349
    14
    174
    Jul 23, 2008
    Maine
    I asked about the New Hampshires because I've been looking for New Hampshires with good meat type qualities. My search has come up rather empty -- I'm told that the hatchery New Hampshires are generally much smaller than is desirable for meat, and the few individual breeders I have found have told me that they have been breeding more for color than size.

    I have some Delaware & Ranger pullets that I'd be interested in crossing with a good New Hampshire. I know that the cross with the Rangers would produce varied results since the Rangers are hybrids, but think a stable line could be developed that might grow bigger and faster than a cross with the Delawares (though not as big and fast at normals Rangers).

    Tim
     
  5. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Songster

    680
    1
    149
    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
  6. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    414
    0
    129
    Jul 28, 2008
    Quote:Ah. That makes perfect sense. Sounds like a good idea that could give some excellent results.

    Our NHR, though, are hatchery quality. They're good sized for hatchery, but then my experience is limited and I haven't seen what a meaty NHR should look like. Ours are bigger across the breast than Barred Rocks (but that's not saying much). I got 5 NHR males last year and kept the two biggest. This spring I put those NHR boys in with 6 NHR girls and have 4 pullets from them this year. Next year the largest NHR pullets and hens will be mated with my largest two Dark Cornish males, unless I change my mind. (I seem to be quite fickle with what I end up doing with chickens because there are so many variables.) I had wanted to mate the Dark Cornish with the NHRs this spring, but ended up with not enough pens for everything that needed to be done with trying to get enough broodies into new broody boxes and getting more NHR hens hatched as replacements. It will be fun to see how a DC X NHR pans out.

    We also hatched a couple more NHR males and bought 2 more Cackle NHR males. I haven't had much of a chance to get a good look at any of them yet to judge how we're doing with the size.

    I'm glad to know that there's not much out there with the breeders for large NHR bred for meat or I'd just start lusting for some. I hate that feeling of desperation to get something new that I think I just have to have.

    Anyway, thanks for reply.
     
  7. eKo_birdies

    eKo_birdies Songster

    552
    2
    121
    May 11, 2010
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:mine are DRASTICALLY different in size as well... there is no consistency.

    what sort of containment do yours have? my situation is most likely because they truly free range unrestricted on 40 acres. the smaller ones seem to be the ones less interested in the feed offered and more interested in foraging. they also are the ones that venture the furthest. this is all despite there being food available at all times during the day.
     
  8. Sparklee

    Sparklee Songster

    414
    0
    129
    Jul 28, 2008
    Quote:mine are DRASTICALLY different in size as well... there is no consistency.

    what sort of containment do yours have? my situation is most likely because they truly free range unrestricted on 40 acres. the smaller ones seem to be the ones less interested in the feed offered and more interested in foraging. they also are the ones that venture the furthest. this is all despite there being food available at all times during the day.

    They only started going outside last Wednesday. And not even all of them will go out of the hoop house. We had some unforeseeable changes in our situation and were able to move the hoop house, but not let them out 'til last week. They are about 8-9 weeks. So the size differences wouldn't be because of their activity level or feed intake. ::shrug:: My friends' have been going out in a fenced area for a few weeks now and she has discrepencies in size, but last year mine were out on lovely pasture and had very little difference in size. Who knows?

    Your are out unrestricted on 40 acres? My Freedom Rangers didn't travel more than 30 yards last year ... at the absolute most 40 yards. Even my layers don't travel off of about 4 acres. You've got Ramblin' Rangers! [​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    358
    61
    121
    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    This is our first batch of FRs, so we can't compare to anything, but it is interesting to hear about the barring and Columbian genetic influence. Out of our 25 from JM Hatchery, only one has obvious barring (a tri-color cockerel), and the other tri-color, a pullet, has more blended large patches of dark colors. Several of the others have the black speckled neck feathers--some clear rings, others just a few specks here and there. At 9 weeks most of ours are very similar in size except for three hens that are a bit smaller. Out of 25 we have about 6 hens (hard to count when they are so active) and three of them are yellow. Aside from those and the two tri-colors, the rest of the Rangers are shades of red. We are keeping the barred cockerel, one nice red cockerel, and all the hens to see what breeding might bring us.
     
  10. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    7,480
    184
    311
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    This is my first year also. Even though JM forgot to send an email conforming shipment and my chicks sat at post office for 2 1/2 days done to phone being broken and them not giving me any yellow slip in box. I only lost 2. The rest all seem healthy and they are feathering out faster then the CX's that were hatched 3 days earlier. I have one tri colored and a whole lot of yellow ones. Their kinda greedy on the tri colors huh? I'm feeding them medicated feed for first 2 weeks, They were in a whole lot of poo when I finally got them. But all in all they are good. YUM YUM [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by