2021 Meat Birds

Sunny Woodlands' meat birds at 5 weeks old

Our meat birds are about 5 weeks old. We have 24 “all heavies” from Murray McMurray Hatchery.

They don’t tell you what they sent, but there’s a list of breeds they are picking from. We have a definite positive ID on the Speckled Sussex, and some good guesses on most of the rest. I had been assuming that the really big one in the front/center was a New Hampshire or a Rhode Island Red, but then I was listening to a video on meat birds on the “Homesteady” YouTube channel, and realized that maybe that one is the “free surprise chick” that came with the order and could be a Freedom Ranger. Those mature more quickly than the heritage breeds and classic crosses like RedStar and Blackstar sex links that were on the list of possible “heavies” we ordered, and that’s exactly what this guy is doing.

We were going to save the biggest one for breeding, but if that one’s a Freedom Ranger, he won’t breed true, and <…doing the math…> he’ll be our Fouth of July BBQ chicken! My goodness, how, um… symbolic!

More about Red Rangers / Freedom Rangers:

“reaching their peak weight of 5-6 lbs in 9 to 11 weeks. These active, robust chicks are suitable for free range, foraging and pasture environments and produce tender, succulent meat with more yellow omega 3 fat and less saturated fat than fast growing breeds.” but also…
“I have found that they don’t range any better than the CC, took more feed and time to raise than the CC.”
https://www.backyardchickens.com/reviews/freedom-ranger.11710/

The links above are for your enlightenment only, I have no affiliate arrangement with them!

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