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In the spring I'm going to get 50 chicks to raise and butcher! Has anyone ever raised the freedom rangers which breed do you think is best. Also if the weather is warm can I raise them completely outside in a brooder instead of my garage. I did that once and the smell was awful! I have a ton of questions, I've done a lot of research about this so when I finally start I'll be somewhat prepared but I'm still a little nervous! Any help would be great!


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Cornish would be faster. Freedom rangers would a very interesting flavor compared to commercial poultry but take roughly 2-3 weeks longer.

For 50 birds, be sure to change the litter often and what could help to reduce wet litter is brooder caps.

They are 2 litter soda bottle caps with chicken nipples in the middle. Chicken nipples make the birds taste better and reduce smell. They are cheap to make or buy. There are a variety of chicken nipple products but those are the cheapest plus you get your favorite soda.

I like paper towels as litter because pine shavings are expensive and they don't eat it. Especially for new arrivals. Chopped straw is my second litter of choice but it needs to be changed like crazy.

Cornish rock hybrids love to poop. (My information is coming from the website which said this about chicks crossed with cornish rocks)

I like wire floor tray with a decent amount of litter (2-3 in) on top because it seems to keep it cleaner and drier. It can be made out of PVC pipe, 1/4 in hardware cloth and zip ties ( hardware cloth wrapped around pvc pipe and hardware cloth ends and tie end on bottom where the chicks don't walk). Then with a poop tray under it. It can be changed if it gets bad with new zip ties and hardware cloth. If done right it's great and keeps it cleaner and less disease happens.

Note: this method the chicks are not walking on hardware cloth but it's still draining the litter. The litter still must be changed time dependent on the litter used.

Also note: One of the links recommend newspaper but sometimes the ink can become problematic if they are attempting to eat it.

This is for turkeys but it still has helpful brooding tips
http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/turkeymanual/ALBCturkey-2.pdf

This one is for chicks
http://www.agritech.tnau.ac.in/animal_husbandry/ani_chik_poultry%20mgt.html
 

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I like paper towels as litter because pine shavings are expensive and they don't eat it. I did that once and the smell was awful
 
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