Everyone I’ve seen who has tried this breed and has compared them to the standard meat chicken, Cornish Cross, pretty much put them in an identical situation to see how they stack up. Although we have a few weeks left to figure out exactly what we want to do, we’re thinking we want to know how they actually do ranging freely (not in a chicken tractor). It worked out great for our turkey’s last year. They were huge! And had no supplemental feed for a couple months prior to butchering. Can these birds fare just as well?
By far the most interesting comparison I’ve seen to date has been the side-by-side images of a heritage breed liver & gall bladder with the same Cornish organs at Antiquity Oaks and her speculations in regard to the nutritional value of each bird. I’m interested to see how the organs of these guys will look. If they do poorly, I will be highly tempted to head in the heritage route.
What else would you like us to look for over the next few weeks? Let us be your guinea pigs before you invest time and attention into a breed you might not be interested in after all? Are you solely concerned with food consumption, behavior, nutrition, flavor, size, all of the above?
UPDATE: Listed below are the links to posts journaling our experience with Freedom Ranger Broilers-
Freedom Rangers at 3 Weeks
Freedom Rangers at 7 Weeks
Freedom Rangers at 12 Weeks
Freedom Ranger Butchering and Stats (2011)
The Cost of Raising Cornish Meat Chickens (2011)
The Roast-Off (Side by side Ranger vs. Cornish taste test)
One Year Old
2012 Meat Chicken Cost Analysis
2013 Meat Chicken Cost Analysis (Including more reflections on the breed)