The Freedom Rangers are three weeks old! This past weekend we put the finishing touches on the chicken tractor (well, the Fella is constantly scheming more improvements, but it is now chicken-ready at least) and moved the brooder off the deck (YAY!) and into the tractor.
We built little ladders for them to get in and out of the brooder so they could explore their new world. It was a little bit early for them to be out of the temperature controlled brooder, but they were getting too crowded, and the weather has been absolutely perfect, so we decided to go for it!
Last night they spent their first night outside of the brooder, and were happily scratching and zooming around when I went out to feed them this morning. They are starting to recognize me as Food Lady instead of Godzirra, so I got charged by peeps when I opened the door!
For those wondering, I am now a big fan of Freedom Rangers. They are excellent foragers (one caught and ate a worm the first day we let them out!) and extremely healthy. In my research I came across a few people who complained that they didn’t forage well and had leg issues. I have not had that experience at all. All 26 birds that were shipped to me are alive and doing great. They are growing like gangbusters but also act like normal chickens, and quite frankly seem to be having a blast running around, flapping their wings, and exploring. They did well in a cramped brooder, and although I did my level best to keep it clean and dry in there, it did get damp and dirty every day. If these birds were frail or immune-depressed, I doubt they would have thrived as they did. The final test will be in 7 weeks, but for now, they are getting straight A’s!