Friday, September 7, 2012

Meat Birds

Today I, along with my fellow farm nerdess, Lisa, finally decided on a breed of meat chickens to order. We're going to go with the highly recommended Freedom Rangers.

According to what I've read and what we've heard from folks in the know, Freedom Rangers have many of the benefits of the Cornish cross (an F1 hybrid bird produced by breeding an Indian Game {also known as a "Cornish Game"} with a Plymouth Rock) - rapid growth, good feed/weight conversions - without many of the drawbacks associated with the ultra fast growing Cornish X's - leg deformity, organ failure, skin splitting and poor foraging/self preservation instincts.

We considered trying "slow birds" (more traditional meat varieties, such as Plymouth Rocks and Delawares) to avoid the pitfalls of the Cornish cross. But then, you end up with a smaller bird that takes at least a good month more to grow. That's money and time that could be saved!

And so, we kept coming back to the Freedom Rangers. They sound like the best of both worlds - quick turnaround and great flavor, minus the scary health issues. No franken-chickens for us, thanks.

I'll be interested to see if they really do live up to their glowing reputation. For better or worse, I should have an answer to share with you on the matter by the first week of December, at the latest.

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