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x rocks vs other hybrid meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by FordFamilyFarm, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. FordFamilyFarm

    FordFamilyFarm In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2008
    I want to free range some X Rocks for meat. Reading on line alot of people say they have trouble with them and they prefer birds like the Freedom Ranger and others. Being the X Rock was designed for commercial chicken houses are they capable of forraging for food to keep my feed cost down? I have always raised standard breeds like RIR,Orpingtons,Plymouth Rocks,Etc. I want to raise some fast growing meaty birds.

  2. TimG

    TimG Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    It's not clear that there is significant savings associated with allowing meat birds to forage, they burn a lot of energy looking for those treats. But, I think that people will tell you that the meat birds that do forage tend to be healthier, probably not because of what they are eating so much as because they are getting exercise.

    There are a couple of grow-out journals written by folks raising the Freedom Rangers somewhere in this forum. I'm pretty sure they concluded that even though the Freedom Rangers ranged, they still ended up using more feed per pound of meat.
  3. CARS

    CARS Songster

    Quote:I completely agree! Since I went from "the pen in the barn" to chicken tractors "in the lawn" I rarely loose a bird from heart attack or leg problems. If you really want to exercise them, move their food 20' a couple times a day [​IMG] They love their food!
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    I answered another thread today and said I used to collect the meat birds that had fallen off the trucks on the way to slaughter. They make GREAT foragers. Like CARS said, they LOVE their food, and they'll walk and scratch all day long to get it. Yes, they use up more energy, and MAYBE take longer to grow, but forage is free, they stay healthy longer, and you can grow them out older than six or eight weeks for a much tastier bird about the size of a small turkey.

    They're also very laid back and make great birds for small children to handle. And the hens lay a nice brown egg.
  5. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    Joel Salatin who raises ten to twenty thousand a year says the forage okay, but not great. However, anything your CX forages means that much less in feed bills. Freedom Rangers don't have the feed conversion rate of a CX, but some of that is made up for in their ability to forage, I should think, plus it should make them taste better.

    What an animal eats definitely affects its taste. I've heard people say that hogs fed a heavy diet of fish have a fishy taste to their meat. And my pasture raised BB White turkeys tasted better than any store bought BBW I have ever tasted.

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