I received a shipment of fifty Freedom Rangers from Freedom Ranger Hatchery, a small, family-owned hatchery that specializes in birds for meat - sometimes called broilers or meat birds. I evaluate the birds themselves as well as the customer service from the hatchery.
While Cornish X Rock crosses dominate the broiler market and are the typical chicken you buy in the supermarket, Freedom Rangers have been developed from French genetics that go back to heritage chicken breeds.
They are used in broiler businesses across Europe and by small farms in the US. They are well-suited to pasture, free-range, organic, and other alternative methods of raising poultry.
Freedom Ranger Hatchery Chicks
I received a shipment of fifty of these slow-growing broilers in late May. Every single one arrived healthy and alive! That's saying something. I had very little to no pasting up, as they didn't experience much stress in shipping, it seems. They got here very quickly.
The chicks are now seven weeks old and are doing well. They are strong, healthy and great foragers. They love to hunt for bugs and eat grass during the day. They are right out there with my heritage laying stock, treating the much smaller layer chicks gently and foraging right alongside them. They've feathered out very nicely and their growth is quite awesome - for "slow growers" they are doing fantastic in my opinion.
I really couldn't be happier with the Freedom Rangers. We have raised Cornish crosses before and they were just hard to watch. We wanted to range them but they wouldn't leave the feeder - we even had to put the waterer close enough to it to ensure they wouldn't have to walk too far or else we feared they would die of thirst.
These Freedom Rangers are the complete opposite. Yes, they're very happy when they get fed. But they also seem very happy to roam around, move, and generally act just like chickens should.
An update after growing them out and butchering them: these are the best chickens I've ever eaten. Delicious, tender, flavorful meat. Much more flavorful than our Cornish Rocks.
Freedom Ranger Hatchery Customer Service
Customer service at Freedom Ranger Hatchery is impeccable. I knew exactly when my birds would ship. They are very responsive to questions and extremely polite, respectful and helpful. The birds were shipped well - they arrived safe and sound and very quickly, and all were healthy and alive upon arrival.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.