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Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers

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1 Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:00 pm

rosewood

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We are thinking about raising something different for meat chickens next spring. We lost about 40% of our CGs last year and need to do something different. We are wondering where other people got their Freedom Rangers. Seems to me there is a hatchery that ships to US post offices in communities near the Can/US border with health certificates. We are looking for somebody answering with experience here>

2 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:06 pm

Sultan

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Well this year I went down to the states with my dad to get some chicks from murry mcmurry hatchery. They supply the health papers for 65 dollars, there is no hassle you just cant get certain birds.

3 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:14 pm

rosewood

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Our foundation stock quite a few years ago came from McMurrays, but they do not sell Freedom Rangers.

4 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:16 am

debbiej


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I bought Freedom Rangers from Beau Peep Farms in the Lower mainland BC. Google their website.
They arrived healthy sturdy chicks. I never lost one. Took them all to Al's Feather Be Gone for processing , the Meat Inspector was at Al's when I brought them in. He was very impressed with them. They all dressed out great and are very yummy, not full of fat,

5 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:23 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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I believe ideal or myer hatchery carries them. If u think that you might like to share an order let ne know as I can pick them up in Orville (borders ossyos) and u could meet us in kelowna? I was not planning to do any until early summer most likley.

Anne

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

6 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:14 am

turkeylurkey


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Here's the url of the hatchery: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] .

This website has lots of information about how the variety is developed and how it performs. I'd suggest clicking on the FAQ tab.

I'd also suggest contacting them to see if they can provide the US Department of Agriculture health papers. I haven't seen these (FR's) offered by any other hatchery or distributor in the US.

US Hatcheries usually state they only ship to US destinations, but if they can provide the health papers they will ship to a border US Post Office for pick-up by Canadians.

McMurray has a "Cornish Roaster" that we tried a couple of years ago. They were a lot hardier that the Cornish Cross. I think the main difference between these and the Freedom Rangers is that these are still white chickens whereas the FR's are coloured.



Last edited by turkeylurkey on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding information)

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7 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:48 am

rosewood

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McMurray has a "Cornish Roaster" that we tried a couple of years ago. They were a lot hardier that the Cornish Cross. I think the main difference between these and the Freedom Rangers is that these are still white chickens whereas the FR's are coloured.


We tried the McMurray cross a few years ago along with come CGs from Miller. It was a disaster as 5 made it to maturity out of 25. Just to balance the stats out we have had years where we butchered 27 out of an order of 25 due to the 2 extras they add.

8 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:52 am

turkeylurkey


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Just to confirm: You had a mixture of McMurray's "Cornish X" and chicks from Miller?

If you look at McMurray's catalogue you will note they offer a "Cornish Roaster" as well as the Cornish Cross Rocks. It was the "Roaster" we tried. Can't remember exactly but I think we only lost 1 or 2 in the early stages.

Ideal Poultry offers "Black Broilers" and "Red Broilers" that sound like they'd be more suitable for free ranging.

I'd caution anybody who has raised the fast growing Cornish Giants or Cornish X and is contemplating switching to the slower growing varieties that they are going to allow more room for a more active variety. The point of raising "Freedom Rangers" is to have a meat bird that can grow outdoors on pasture.

The broiler industry in North America is huge and are using the same hybrids sold to the backyard grower. If there was a high mortality rate amongst the commercial flocks they'd be trying to fix the problem. I'd guess that most of the problems the backyard grower experiences are due to housing and feeding conditions.

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9 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:19 pm

ipf


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The other thing to remember with most of these hybrid meaties is that they have a recessive dwarfing gene built into them, so if you try to breed from them, you are quite likely to get 1/4 homozygous little runts. You could weed that out with a couple of generations of judicious back-crossing/testing, but. . . .

10 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:55 pm

turkeylurkey


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ipf wrote:The other thing to remember with most of these hybrid meaties is that they have a recessive dwarfing gene built into them, so if you try to breed from them, you are quite likely to get 1/4 homozygous little runts. You could weed that out with a couple of generations of judicious back-crossing/testing, but. . . .

Good point! I'm sure some people who acquire these specialty broiler types think they are going to establish a breeding flock.

If a person takes the time to thoroughly read the "freedom ranger" website they should note that these are a hybrid of four different breeds.

http://www.guppy.ca

11 beau peep price on Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:12 pm

pawsdaisy

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no hassle with the border health checks etc. Geoff will make an order for you, I think he's only charging 3.50..might pay to check into that Stan. No power, haven't you got a gen.?

12 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:53 pm

Cathyjk

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turkeylurkey wrote:Here's the url of the hatchery: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] .

This website has lots of information about how the variety is developed and how it performs. I'd suggest clicking on the FAQ tab.

I'd also suggest contacting them to see if they can provide the US Department of Agriculture health papers. I haven't seen these (FR's) offered by any other hatchery or distributor in the US.

US Hatcheries usually state they only ship to US destinations, but if they can provide the health papers they will ship to a border US Post Office for pick-up by Canadians.

McMurray has a "Cornish Roaster" that we tried a couple of years ago. They were a lot hardier that the Cornish Cross. I think the main difference between these and the Freedom Rangers is that these are still white chickens whereas the FR's are coloured.


I contacted the folks at Freedom Ranger Hatchery and they supply health papers, I think it was 100 dollars. I would have to go dig up my email from them.

Yes here is the response:

Hi Cathy,
I can provide the form but there is an additional $100 charge for the service. It actually costs us a little more than that to get the vet out. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks & God bless,
Kendall Fox
Freedom Ranger Hatchery, Inc.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
(717) 336-4878
----------------

And from Beau Peep farms website
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Freedom Ranger (Broiler) -- $ 3.50
The Freedom Ranger is an alternative to the typical Broiler. These birds come in three colour varieties and have been developed to be pasture grown! Hardy birds, excellent foragers! The breeding stock is imported from the regions of Burgundy and Brittany (France). The genetic stock is derived from the American and European old heritage breeds of chicken and was developed in the early 1960’s to meet the highest standards of the French "Label Rouge" Free Range program. Currently, the Freedom Ranger genetic stock is used by most non-factory farm production models (alternative) all across Europe and also by small pastured poultry producers in search of a traditionally raised farm chicken - just like the heritage breeds, healthy and with a succulent flavor and texture. Since these Freedom Rangers are a slightly slower growing hybrid than the typical white CornishX, they are naturally better suited to the higher welfare and all true natural rearing systems (full pasturing, free range, organic, certified, backyard etc.…). The Freedom Rangers are unsexed (males and females). Process at 9 to 11 weeks!

13 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:13 pm

ChicoryFarm

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We did Freedom Ranger birds this year and got them from the hatchery that turkeylurkey is speaking of. All 425 arrived alive and health papers were $100 total. The owners of the hatchery were great.

They taste very good but they varied in weights greatly at 11 weeks of age, dressing out anywhere from 3.5lbs to 6lbs and some with white skin, some with yellow. They were also harder to pluck, having a lot of quill feathers. In a group of 6 people who ordered them, only one or two birds were lost per flock to natural causes, so that was good.

I probably wouldn't do them again though given the large variation in weights.

14 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:01 am

rosewood

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Just to confirm: You had a mixture of McMurray's "Cornish X" and chicks from Miller?

If you look at McMurray's catalogue you will note they offer a "Cornish Roaster" as well as the Cornish Cross Rocks. It was the "Roaster" we tried. Can't remember exactly but I think we only lost 1 or 2 in the early stages.


It was the McMurray Cornish Roaster that we tried several years ago. We had an order of Miller Cornish Giants at the same time in another run. When we got to 5 rosters left we put the remaining one in together with the CGs and sent then all to be butchered together. We have been growing meat chickens for over 10 years and have had some failures and successes. Some of the failures come with reasons (BC Hydro as an unexpected upgrading scheduled) and some do not.

15 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:07 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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I think this was a particular bad year for millers. I had about 20% loss from my 1st batch and 10% from the second. I do know why I had the losses and it was managment related. My aunt also had large losses this year and hardly any the year before.

Personally I would have to factor in the extra cost for the birds ($3.50 vs 1.50) 100 dollars for health papers and the extra time to grow and feed with not predictable weights. I would end up charging $6 lb and I dont know if people are willing to pay that!

Anne

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

16 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:19 am

Cathyjk

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fuzzylittlefriend wrote:Personally I would have to factor in the extra cost for the birds ($3.50 vs 1.50) 100 dollars for health papers and the extra time to grow and feed with not predictable weights. I would end up charging $6 lb and I dont know if people are willing to pay that!

Anne

The 3.50 birds come from a hatchery in BC, not the US hatchery. The ones from the Freedom Ranger Hatcher are 1.50 a bird to 1.10 a bird depending on how many you order, plus the 100 dollars health certificate, plus shipping, plus you have to drive to a border crossing to get them.

I think the 3.50 a chick works out probably close to the same from the BC folks as ordering from the US.

17 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:56 am

CynthiaM

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I think that maybe FarmChiq might want to go in on this (oops, am I speaking for you, girl?). I would be interested in having some to grace our tables, I could help her to look after them, she is not too far from me. Maybe she will see this post and get to a`thinkin` `bout stuff. Beautiful days, CynthiaM.

18 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:18 am

ipf


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Beau Peeps in BC, the souce of Freedom Rangers ( [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ) does not, to the best of my knowledge, hatch their own FR chicks - they import from the US and re-sell.

This adds to the time that a chick is in transit, and unless you can get there and get home really fast, your chicks will be pretty stressed.

19 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:19 am

fuzzylittlefriend

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And Beau peep is still in chilliwack so we either have to pick them up (still a 3 hour drive each way) or have them shipped again. Thats a long stressful journey for any chick!

I suppose if we had a large enough order a run for the border in ossoyos might be worth it?

I guess a good person to ask her thought would be peggy as she would be the one dealing with it for the people in our area anyways. She might charge more if there are more difficult to process then the regular birds.

My aunt might be interested as well.

Anne

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

20 beau peep prices on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:08 pm

pawsdaisy

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I recently got 20 birds from Geoff...and 3 more I would like to get. I did not mind that he charged the chick price plus $0.50 per bird per week so that I didn't need to brood them, lights, feed, water, etc. and they all had their Marak's shot. I picked up the first batch at 8 weeks old and the one's he's holding for me now while I'm trying to make a conection for them at least to Cache Creek are 11 weeks old now. I don't think that I've been over charged at all, for the convenience for me, living offgrid, I would constantly be charging my batteries (gas in the gen. costs) for the elec. brood lite. Saw a way to build a brooder using a kerosene lantern in one of my old books, no I won't be going that route. I can order this late spring middle of June. the rest of the birds I would like, I tell him, he orders McMurray and I get them when it's not so cold and un..sunny. When I do that I could make a trip through Barriere and drop off the Freedom Rangers, same day they arrive at Beau Peep. Anyone interested Rosewood? or Kamloops area for anyone else. Not a problem for a whole Van load, makes it worthwhile. Just not 200 birdies Very Happy

21 one more thing or two on Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:15 pm

pawsdaisy

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I don't know where he's ordering Freedom's just know he's shipping via Air to the island. And he told me to put my order in with him, by Feb. so he can get them when I want them. Wink

22 Freedom rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:50 pm

tlc

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My friend raised about 30 red/brown freedom rangers this year. They came from Pennsylvania USA. They paid 3.50 a chick I think. I butchered them a few weeks ago and they turned out very nice! Everybody was very impressed,including the inspector. We slaughtered them at about 14 weeks. They all dressed out to be between 5-7 lbs roughly. I will be raising a bunch of freedom rangers next season and from now on for meat birds!! I was just waiting to see my friends results before I switched to freedom rangers too, but now I am sold!

23 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:22 pm

fuzzylittlefriend

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Did they say what the feed conversion was? I weighed my feed everyweek for the millers cornish giants and increased it as they grew so they were never over fed. Again I am curious how much feed you will go through for birds that take twice as long to grow and end up maybe a pound bigger.

I love the idea of them but we are lucky to cover our costs when we did the standard broilers and I have to be able to justify it to my husband!

Anne

http://pauluzzifamilypoultry.webs.com/

24 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:13 pm

Island Girl

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Here is a picture of one of our Freedom Rangers on the Right (vaccume packed) vs One of our Cornish Cross (regular packed)

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XOX Monika

25 Re: Thinking of Ordering Freedom Rangers on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:27 pm

BriarwoodPoultry

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Monika, that chicken looks like the hulk! What age did you process your FR's?

If I can find a way to house that many chicks, I might try it in summer. I would probably have to do it after I dis-assemble breeding groups. Sigh. I so need a barn!

http://briarwoodpoultry.weebly.com

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