Freedom Ranger Chickens
We decided to look into a cross breed of bird known as the Freedom Ranger that is raised for meat. We have raised our own beef, eat the eggs that our chickens lay, grow as much fruit and veggies as we can and now are starting to look into raising some poultry for food as well. I wasn't interested in raising the Cornish chickens after so many of the horror stories that we read about. These birds seems to be a nice cross between the Cornish and a Rhode Island Red. This cross makes them a slower growing meat bird then the "norm". We were able to locate some that were just a couple weeks old and scooped them up.
They are a nice bird, very active, pretty and seem to have personalities. From what I can tell we have straight run (which means that we have both male and female birds) They are currently in our Chicken Tractor, which is a mobile chicken coop that helps to promote fertilizing the land for future crops and will next year be one of the gardens that we grow in. This tractor is not located very close to the house and we can't really see the birds like we do in our coops at the barn. I thought that this would help in the butchering process. My hope was less attachment for the kids and myself.
Upon picking them up our three year old very matter of factly stated, "Oh these are what the Meats look like" as we chuckled we had to agree with him that was the perfect name for the new group of birds that we were about to bring home.
The "Meats" are doing wonderfully and will so be heading out. We hope to change their feed out to a higher protein feed for the next two weeks and then they will be sent to a local poultry butcher that goes by the name KNK which is located in Edmensten NY only about 30 minutes away from our home. If this all goes well for us we hope to be able to offer fresh processed chicken for sale here at the Farm. These are pastured raised birds with free choice grain. The are able to enjoy the wonderful hillside here at Bakers Acres during the day. This practice should help to ensure a wonderful full flavored meat. We can't wait to taste test it! Bakers Acres has high hopes of being able to offer it's visitors all of the different flavors of the farm.