Raising Red Broilers
Every year I try to raise a different type of meat chicken. Raising various meat chickens gives me a better understanding of each type of bird and how to grow them successfully. I also get to taste the meat and see if there is a difference in size, taste, tenderness, and amount of white or dark meat from one breed to the next.
Grow Out Time
This year I raised 30 Red Broilers. This breed is only available as male chicks, but a female may sneak into the group occasionally. Red Broilers do take longer to grow out than Cornish Cross (6-9 weeks) and a bit longer than Rainbow Rangers (9-11 weeks) but will grow out faster than Fry Pan Bargain (16-20 weeks). You’ll want to plan to grow out the Red Broilers for 11-13 weeks. I kept mine for the full 13 weeks.
The Red Broilers seemed to enjoy foraging and had pleasant personalities for being a group of roosters. I did see some “chest bumping” during the last few weeks, and some of the chicks acted dominant over the others. Red broilers are not a bird to raise if you live where roosters are not permitted. They do stay with you long enough to start crowing.
I didn’t track feed when I started raising them, so I cannot give information on total feed consumption from my personal experience, but I didn’t have to buy feed constantly as I might with other types of broilers. I don’t know if this was due to the free-range situation the birds had or the birds themselves. I can tell they did like a lot of the weeds growing around the coop. They were in an area about 50’ x 70’ with a variety of vegetation growing. Other broilers would go straight to the feed trough when let out. Some of these birds did, but often they went to graze. I enjoyed seeing them take bites out of the leaves and wander into some of the tall grass.
The average processed weight for the Red Broiler birds was 4.34 pounds. The range was 3.98 to 4.76 pounds before being cut up to package into boneless skinless breasts, legs, thighs, and wings. The legs, thighs, and wings all had bones and skin intact. The breasts are packaged 2 per pack with an average weight of 0.87 pounds per pack. Legs and thighs each contain 4 per package with an average weight of 1.48 and 1.63 pounds per pack, respectively. There are ten wings in a package with an average weight of 3.01 pounds per package.
Finally, one of the most critical points in determining if I enjoyed raising the Red Broilers is the flavor of the meat. I prepared one package each of the breasts and thighs. I used a simple cooking method so we could get an accurate representation of the taste of the chicken. I put a little oil in the bottom of a frying pan to prevent sticking, some water to add a little steam for cooking, and salt and pepper. The breasts were boneless and skinless. The thighs were bone in and skin on. The Red Broilers were delicious!
The fact that this meat breed tasted good, was a good forager, and was somewhat friendly has made me want to order these again!
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