It didn’t take long for homesteaders to figure out that the Red Ranger chicken is an excellent dual-purpose backyard breed. Even though this bird is used primarily for meat, they will lay eggs if the owner allows for it. Those starting to raise their own chickens should know exactly what they’re getting into with whichever breed they decide to bring home. Let’s take a closer look at the Red Ranger and help you figure out if this one would fit in nicely around your home.
Quick Facts about Red Ranger Chickens
|Breed Name:||Freedom Ranger|
|Place of Origin:||Unknown|
|Uses:||Meat and egg production|
|Rooster Size:||6–10 pounds|
|Hen Size||5–7 pounds|
|Color:||Red or light brown feathers with yellow legs and feet|
|Climate Tolerance:||Extreme cold and heat|
|Production:||Meat and eggs|
Red Ranger Chicken Origins
As a hybrid chicken breed, nobody knows exactly where the Red Ranger chicken got its origins. The poultry industry had wanted some fast-growing chicken breeds that were also able to lay eggs. Because of this, some experts believe that Red Rangers are a cross between Cornish Crosses and Rhode Island Reds.
Red Ranger Chicken Characteristics
The Red Ranger is a type of red broiler bird and was introduced to the market to grow quickly and still produce eggs. Because of this, they are known as dual-purpose birds. While they are pretty, they also do have some health problems as they age. Many of the older birds die from heart failure before they even reach adulthood because they are not able to sustain the fast growth and weight gain.
Depending on what you use them for, the feed that you give your Red Rangers could differ. Growing meat birds means that you must supply them with a different protein content than those you’re using to lay eggs.
Because the Red Ranger isn’t an officially recognized breed, there are no industry standards when it comes to their overall composition or appearance. In fact, many people confuse them with other broiler birds like the Dixie and Freedom Rangers.
Red rangers are excellent foragers and will be happiest if they are raised as free-range animals. They are active and energetic in temperament as well. Because of their independence, you might not have to spend as much money on feed because they will be so good at finding a little of their own each day.
There are only two uses for the Red Ranger chicken. The first is for eggs. These chickens start to lay eggs when they are about 16 weeks old. When they are fully grown, most hens provide you with three or four eggs every week that are light brown in color.
The other use for Red Ranger chickens is for their meat. Most of them are ready to be butchered when they are between 12 and 14 weeks old. Most of these chickens are raised for their meat, despite having less breast meat than other popular meat breeds.
Appearance & Varieties
The name of these chickens implies that they are red in color. While this is true, you might also consider them a lighter shade of brown as well. The feet and legs on these birds are yellow, muscular, and strong. While the breast isn’t as developed as some other breeds, they are still medium-sized, healthy birds.
As a hybrid, the Red Ranger looks like some other backyard breeds. Many people confuse the Red Ranger chicken for the Rainbow Ranger, Dixie Ranger, Pioneer Ranger, and Gingernut Ranger.
Because this breed is believed to have been created here in the United States, this is where you are most likely to find these animals. The United States is a large country with many different types of climates. These birds have adapted to survive in various types of weather, including extreme heat and cold. It wouldn’t be any more surprising the find a Red Ranger on a small homestead in Montana in the middle of winter than it would be to find one in the summer heat of Texas.
Are Red Ranger Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?
Not only is raising these chickens on a small-scale farm plausible, but it is encouraged. These chickens do better when raised in small flocks. They don’t produce quite the same numbers of eggs or as much meat as other breeds, so they’re really ideal for someone who isn’t going to mass-produce them.
While these chickens may not be for everyone, they are an excellent backyard breed that is used to fit a couple of different purposes. While they may not produce to highest amounts of goods, they fit in perfectly for smaller family farms that are looking to raise their own food.
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Featured Image Credit: Joshua Kirk, Shutterstock