Our day-old Freedom Ranger chicks are in and thriving. Our initial losses have been zero! They seem to be active, happy, and are scratching all around the brooder. So far, so good!
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?