Are you looking for a two-in-one, dual purpose chicken? These Red Ranger Chickens might be exactly what your farm needs as they can lay eggs and provide you with good meat.
Red Rangers are a good-sized, broiler chicken mainly used for meat and can also supply a decent amount of eggs. They make a good in between of the fast growing typical meat birds like Cornish cross and the slower growing dual purpose birds.
While there isn’t much information on where they come from and how exactly they are bred, these chickens can roam around just about any farm and can offer a lot more than one might think. These chickens tend to do better with a free-range and are extremely easy to manage and care for.
Are these Red Ranger hybrid birds perfect for your farm? Read on to learn all about their kind temperament, where they came from, and how to care for these big meaty chickens to determine if these are going to be your next addition to your farm!
Red Ranger Chickens
|4-6 Pounds at 12-14 weeks
|Heat and Cold
|Medium to Large
History & Origin
Because this is a hybrid breed (like red star chickens are), there isn’t a ton of information on their history. No one really knows where these birds come from and their exact origins. The poultry industry wanted a fast-growing chicken that could also lay eggs.
But, they wanted these chickens to be able to withstand the quicker growth rate, unlike other meat birds. The Cornish Crosses tend to have weaker legs, so they made sure the Red Rangers were healthier.
It is said that Red Rangers are a cross of meat birds such as the Delawares and Cornish Crosses along with crosses of egg chickens such as New Hampshire chickens and Rhode Island Reds. If you are looking for a breed with a strong, well-known heritage to breed your own chickens, Red Rangers are probably not the right fit for you.
Many wanted a meat chicken that they didn’t have to wait six months before they could butcher. They wanted chickens that grow faster but also had the body able to withstand the quicker growth. After breeding a variety of chickens, the Red Ranger was born!
What Do They Look Like?
Since there isn’t much information, these birds don’t have a usual standard like other chickens. There is no recognized official standard at all. Often they get confused with other Rangers and broiler birds.
Red Rangers are often mistaken for Freedom Rangers, Rainbow Rangers, Dixie Rangers, amongst many others. They all are very similar, and the main differences are their trademarked names. Each of these hybrid chickens were developed by different hatcheries essentially trying to fulfill the same goal of a broiler bird that grows quickly, healthy, and is a good layer.
You can usually spot them with their red plumage and lighter brown bodies. They are red like their name states, but not a deep red like a Rhode Island Red, but rather a honey brown-red color. These chickens are around the same size as other broiler breeds. Usually, at 12-14 weeks, they will be an average of 4-6 pounds.
One of the main reasons for a hybrid breed was to make the Red Rangers legs stronger and live longer lives. Thus, these chickens have strong yellow legs and feet that are very thick. There are black highlights on the wings and tails.
Their bodies are usually rectangular, and their chests are smaller than most broiler breeds. Due to this, they do have less breast meat than other meat chickens. If you love breast meat, you won’t find it with Red Rangers.
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Red Ranger Chickens are very independent and act just like a chicken! They tend to be happiest when they can roam free. Because they are so active and have more energy than most birds, they do not do well when they are in a small pen. Due to their independence, you will see these chickens have more survival instincts and can be out and about without getting hurt. Their colors also help to protect and camouflage them as well.
That being said, they are bigger chickens, so if they live a long time, they will get slower, making it harder to fight off predators. If you plan to keep them around for a while, when your Red Rangers start to get older, be sure to watch out for hawks or coyotes, just in case. You may consider getting a livestock protection animal, like a Karakachan (just be sure they are trained as a puppy to not chase chickens).
Most often Red Rangers are not very aggressive. They are best off when they are in smaller flocks. While temperaments can vary to a certain degree, usually, these chickens are happy and carefree. Many feel like these birds are some of the kindest, happiest chickens to raise!
Red Rangers are not known to be broody at all. They cannot breed true with their hybrid genes, so it works out great!
What Is Their Purpose?
These chickens are mainly used for fast-growing meat. They are ready at somewhere between 12 to 14 weeks to be butchered. Even though these chickens are made primarily for meat, they can also lay a good amount of eggs, averaging 170 per year.
They can begin to lay eggs at 16 weeks. If you butcher before 16 weeks, you will not get any eggs. However, they can live a long time, so if you want eggs along with meat, simply wait to butcher after the 16-week mark to get the best of both worlds.
Because they like to roam, many organic, free-ranging, or pasture raising farms love to use Red Rangers. You can also use chicken tractors (mobile coops) if you do not have enough space to let them roam freely.
Because of their incredibly kind temperament, many like to keep these around longer as pets. But, you know we do not advocate eating our pets so if you go this route you will only be getting eggs and a bit of love from them.
Care and Health
Because these chickens are so independent, it is rather easy to care for them. You won’t have to worry too much about them, as long as they have a large area to roam and be free. You will also be able to save more money without buying them as much food as they can survive as long as they have sufficient land. This means the cost to feed these chickens is much less than average.
However, many like to buy feed (or make fermented feed) to provide extra just in case. If you want your chickens to provide a lot of eggs and give you good meat, make sure they have plenty to feed off of. Their feed needs to have a lot of protein as well.
Due to them being a hybrid, you also won’t have to worry about having many health issues. This is because they were made to grow at a slower and thus healthier speed, unlike other broilers. Many broilers die because their bodies cannot handle that fast growth. The Red Ranger, however, was bred specifically to help avoid this fate.
Do Red Ranger chickens lay eggs?
Yes! Red Rangers do lay eggs. Although their primary purpose is for meat, they can average around 170 eggs per year, or 3-4 a week. If you are looking for a chicken to lay eggs primarily, Red Rangers probably aren’t the best fit for you.
What country did the Red Ranger chicken originate from?
There is not much information on where Red Rangers came from. They are a hybrid chicken, making it hard to determine exactly what they are and where they originated.
How fast do Red Ranger Chickens grow?
These chickens were made to grow at a slower rate to help their bodies be able to keep up and stay healthy. Some Red Rangers have been able to live to two years old without having any health issues.
However, you can butcher these chickens between 12-14 weeks. Typically they will be between 4-6 pounds during that time period. You can wait longer and enjoy the eggs as well.
How long do Ranger Chickens live?
Some Red Rangers are known to live around 2 years. This is mainly because they have such great survival skills and were bred to keep them healthy and strong. However, some state they can live further than that, up to 6 years. It really depends on how long you want to raise and feed them. The better care you give them, the longer they can live.
What two breeds make a Red Ranger Chicken?
It is unknown what breeds make a Red Ranger Chicken. Many believe it is a cross between New Hampshires, Delawares, Cornish Crosses, and Rhode Island Reds. The Poultry Industry probably chose the best meat birds and egg-laying birds to provide a healthy, good-quality chicken.
Can you breed Red Rangers?
You cannot truly breed Red Rangers. This is mainly because they are already hybrid birds, so they won’t be true Red Rangers when you breed them. You will see different features from a variety of chickens instead. You’ll never know what you will get!
If you want more value or a two-in-one kind of deal, a Red Ranger may just be the perfect chicken for your farm!
If you need more help with taking care of your chickens, check out The Organized Chicken Keeper for a complete system for managing their health through keeping their supplies stocked and coop clean.