All about Freedom Ranger Chickens
Did you know that chickens originated over 8,000 years ago in Southeast Asia? Chickens are believed to be a domesticated version of a red jungle fowl. They were introduced to the rest of the world through sailors and traders. As of the year 2020, there are approximately 1,600 chicken breeds worldwide! Some are bred for their eggs (known as layers), some are bred to eat (known as broilers), and some are bred for both (known as dual-purpose).
Freedom Rangers are broiler chickens. They come from a cross of heritage breeds. Heritage breeds are chickens bred from a line that existed before the mid-20th century! Examples of heritage breeds include Ancona, Jersey Giants, and Buff Orpington.
Even though Freedom Rangers are not considered a layer, or dual-purpose breed, these birds can become egg layers. Interestingly enough, if a Freedom Ranger and another Freedom Ranger made a chickling, it won’t be a Freedom Ranger! It will revert back to the grandparent lineage and be one of the heritage breeds that made the Freedom Ranger.
Freedom Rangers were developed in the early 1960s to meet the high standards of the French government’s Label Rouge program. The program is considered top-of-the-line in France. The program started as a grassroots movement led by farmers due to the industrialization of poultry. The demand for traditionally farm-raised chicken grew after World War II. The country wanted chicken that tasted like chicken!
Label Rouge focuses on high-quality products by respecting the animal’s well-being and protecting the environment. Even though Label Rouge is higher in price, it accounts for 30% of poultry sales throughout France.
Freedom Rangers grow slowly, reaching 5-6 pounds in 9-11 weeks. This makes their meat more tender and considered more flavorful. These chickens are often sold to higher-end restaurants because of their undeniably delicious taste!
Freedom Rangers also produce more Omega-3 fats than conventionally raised birds. Omega-3 is a fatty acid said to be beneficial for heart, brain, and eye health. It may also help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
When it comes to cooking a Freedom Ranger chicken, the best method is low and slow. These birds are known for being meaty and plump. Roasting is an easy and delicious way to cook these chickens.
Roast in a Dutch oven with the lid securely on at 325°F for 30 minutes for every pound. Face the chicken breast side down and add a cup of liquid (water or broth), with leeks, garlic, onions, a cooking fat of your choice (butter would be divine!), salt, and pepper, plus add any herbs that you may like.
Our pastured chickens live a full life. Running around outside, foraging for food in the sunlight. It’s the ideal lifestyle for all of our pasture-raised animals. Have you tried our Freedom Ranger chickens before? We offer a variety of cuts, whole chickens, and organ meat.
Our Freedom Ranger chickens are:
- Pasture Raised in Mobile Coops
- Fed a chemical-free & GMO-free feed
- No Hormones or Antibiotics
- USDA Processing
- Breed Spotlight: Freedom Ranger Chickens
- Origin of the domestic chicken from modern biological and zooarchaeological approaches - PMC
- 11 Heritage Chicken Breeds Every Homesteader Needs in Their Flock
- Label Rouge (Red Label)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids & the Important Role They Play
- Chickens | Gateway to poultry production and products | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
- 12 Heritage Meat Chicken Breeds - Homesteaders of America