This year we’ll be raising “French Freedom Rangers” instead of the standard American meat breed, which is called the Cornish Cross. We’re making the change because Freedom Rangers are bred for life outdoors, and will eat even more greens and bugs than the birds we’ve raised in previous years. That should make them even more nutritious. They also fare well on a more varied diet, which opens up the option of buying feed from a local organic farmer who puts less soy in his rations. These birds also have more common sense than the conventional meat breed. For example, we expect they’ll seek shelter on cool wet evenings instead of waiting for us to join them outside in the rain and herd them into their shelter. This sounds better for us and for our chickens.
We’ve conducted taste tests at home, baking up both types of chicken, then eating them side by side, so we know that we be offering a delicious, meaty birds. This type of chicken is apparently very popular in Europe, and was bred to meet the standards set by the French “Label Rouge” free-range chicken program.
The chickens grow a bit slower, so you might (or might not) notice a slightly fuller flavor. They’re also shaped a bit differently, with longer breasts and drum sticks. If you visit our farm, you’ll also see that they have reddish or golden feathers, instead of white.
We’re planning to have out first batch ready to eat in June, but if you want to visit the farm and see them in action May through October, let us know. Our first batch of Freedom Ranger chicks arrives in just a couple weeks!