We are excited to share that Sugar Creek Farm located here in North Iowa is sharing their experience with their Red Rangers with all of you!
Did you know that chickens have schedules? And scretaries (aka “me”) that manage said schedules? Ours do, and they are tyrants to work for, I tell you.
Last year we raised a batch of Red Rangers at the end of the summer just to give them a try. We weren’t sure what our customers would think, but we’d heard good things about the breed so we took a leap of faith that we’d be happy and so would our customers.
We absolutely love raising them. They had fewer health problems overall than the CornishX we’d raised forever. They act more natural- more “chicken-y” if you will-than the CornishX, which means they’re a bit flightier in the brooder stage. But once on pasture they could actually be taught to put themselves in the shed at night!
We were equally pleased with the taste and, from the feedback we’ve had so far, so were our customers. When compared with the CornishX, I’d describe the CornishX as a very neutral meat whereas the RR’s have more of an actual taste and flavor to them. The breasts are somewhat smaller on the RR’s, and the drumsticks somewhat bigger.
So we decided that for 2014, we’re raising all Red Rangers. The one downside is that they take about 3 weeks longer to finish than the CornishX. Which means that my usual schedule of raising 600 birds a year had to be revised. Previously we would raise 4 batches of 150- 2 back-to-back in the spring, a break during the hottest part of the summer, then 2 back-to-back in the late summer into fall.
We’ve always scheduled the first batch of the year so that they’ll be 3 1/2 weeks old when we move them onto pasture the first week-end in May. Yes, there have been years when there were snowflakes in the air while we were moving them out, but it’s generally short lived and when they’re that small we can shut them inside of the shed for a few days if needed and they do fine.
With the RR’s taking 10 weeks to finish, we’ll still base the first batch on moving out the first week-end in May but we continue here.……………………….
Have you raised Red Rangers, did you enjoy raising them? We’d love to hear about your experience. Leave us a comment!