The Red Ranger chicken has become quite a popular breed for backyard chicken owners and homesteaders. Their dual-purpose use has helped them to secure a spot in many small flocks.
They are able to live longer, healthier, more “normal” lives compared to other broiler breeds. In fact, they prefer to be out and about free ranging while still reaching maturity in an impressive time frame.
The Red Ranger can be used for meat or egg production, though most owners choose this bird for its meat because of its leaner body type. They reach market weight in just 12 weeks!
Red Ranger hens lay large brown eggs at a rate of about 3-4 eggs per week. They mature early and will start laying by 16 weeks of age. They are not known to be broody.
Red Ranger Chicken Breed Quick Info
Red Ranger Chicken Description
|Red Ranger Type/Size:||Hybrid|
|Red Ranger Ease of Raising/Keeping:||Easy|
|Red Ranger Special Care Needs:||No|
|Is the Red Ranger breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?||Common|
Red Ranger Use
|Red Ranger Temperament:||Active|
|Red Ranger Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:||Yes|
Red Ranger Egg Production
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year||175|
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks||Low|
Red Ranger Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male||5 lbs.|
|Dressed Weight Female||4 ¼ lbs.|
Red Ranger Climate Tolerance
Red Ranger Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size||4 Months|
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying||4 Months|
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size||12 Weeks|
Red Ranger Size at Maturity
Origins of the Red Ranger Chicken
Technically, the Red Ranger chicken is a hybrid cross, not a true breed. These red broilers were created to fill a hole in the market for fast-growing yet flavorful birds that produced more eggs and meat than standard dual-purpose heritage breeds.
The original parentage of the Red Ranger is a bit of a mystery. However, it is believed to have included top-producing breeds like the Rhode Island Red, the New Hampshire, the Delaware, and the Cornish Cross.
Some Things to Know About the Red Ranger Chicken
Because Red Rangers are a hybrid cross, there is no official breed standard for appearance.
In general, though, they are a light shade of red with a wide-set, rectangular-shaped body and muscular legs. Their legs and skin are both yellow, and their single comb and wattles are a bright red.
You’ll also notice that they have black points on their tails and wings.
Despite their solid frame, their breast is not as developed as other broiler breeds, which is something to consider if you are going to raise them for meat production.
How Easy is it to Keep Red Ranger Chickens?
The Red Ranger is known for their “chicken-like” tendencies. This may sound obvious, but many broiler-type breeders have special needs due to their size and are unable to do simple things like free range.
The Red Ranger, on the other hand, is an excellent free-range chicken. They are happiest when they are roaming around and foraging for food. They are active, energetic chickens and do not do well in confinement like other broilers often are.
Their red color provides a mild camouflage when they’re out in a field, and they are aware of their surroundings. Even so, be sure to use fencing and other barriers to help keep out predators and keep in your Red Rangers.
Red Rangers are much easier to care for than their broiler relatives and tend not to suffer from the same physical limitations and diseases.
Their temperament is a bit standoffish, but they aren’t overly aggressive. They do best in small flocks and do well with other breeds of chicken. They can be noisy, so they may not be the chicken for you if you live close to neighbors.
Overall, they are an excellent choice for small homesteads and backyard chicken owners who are looking for a dual-purpose alternative to mega-popular broilers like the Cornish Cross.
Special Care and Considerations for Red Ranger Chickens
As with all birds with a single comb, frostbite can be an issue. When the temperature drops, you can help to protect your Red Rangers’ comb with a bit of vaseline.
Since these birds are a hybrid cross, breeding them together will not make more Red Rangers. So if you want to add to your flock, you’ll need to go back to the source and contact a breeder that supplies them.
Overall, these are a fairly hardy breed with few health issues. They tend not to suffer from the heart and weight problems that other broilers do if allowed to live to adulthood. They can live up to two years old if cared for properly.