When to process our Freedom Rangers

meowsandy

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
47
0
32
This spring we picked up 10 Freedom Rangers with our 20 Cornish Cross, just to see how they compare. The Cornish Cross were processed three weeks ago, at 9 weeks, and averaged 4.5 lbs, dressed. The Red Rangers will be 12 weeks on Monday. They have a fairly large build, when I feel them, they don't seem very meaty. My plan was to process them next weekend, at 12 weeks, 5 days, but they don't seem big enough. Does anyone have experience with letting this breed grow a bit more? Do I have my expectations to high in comparing them to the Cornish Cross?


We are raising them on pasture, by using an electric poultry net, and moving it weekly. They have shelter, and we lock them up at night. They get Organic Chick grower Crumbles, as much as they can clean up in two hours, twice a day. And they get 1/2 gallon Fermented Scratch at noon. From what I've observed, they don't forage any better that the cornish cross did. They are currently on a good stand of clover, and haven't paid it much attention. The picture below was taken a few weeks ago, but it gives you a good idea of how we are raising them.

 

Mtnmomma3

In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 10, 2013
51
3
43
Sounds like you have a great set up for the Rangers. Lucky birds!
smile.png


We also purchase Cornish Crosses and Red Rangers at the same time. The Crosses were 5-6 pounds at nine weeks of age. The Rangers were mostly 3-4 pounds (except a big 5lb rooster) after sixteen weeks. I didn't think they were going to grow any more, since they were the same size as my fully grown layers.

Also (and this is a whole other discussion) we switched to a finishing feed a few weeks ago and while it added visceral fat, I found that the Ranger skin was much more delicate than the Crosses, less fatty. I think with Rangers, we are looking for quality of meat rather than quanity

Let us know how it goes! This was my first time raising meat birds and I'd love to hear how others are doing.
 
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meowsandy

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 7, 2012
47
0
32
Mtnmomma3, thank you for your input. We did end up processing the rangers at about 12.5 weeks. The roosters dressed out at about 4.5 lbs, the hens at about 4. This was the same weight as the Cornish X, but since these birds have a larger frame, it means less meat. The hens were actually plumper than the roos, which I found interesting. I have a theory that the roosters need to be caponized to make a really nice table bird. Taste wise, they are fantastic, but honestly, so are the cornish X that we raised.
 

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