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Label Rouge vs Paddock system

 
                                  
Posts: 7
Location: Missouri
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I have listened to the podcast and am not sure in my mind what y'all consider a paddock system.

I am picturing a portable coop to protect from predators, a place for nests, a place to water and feed that
is moved between paddocks much like strip grazing with cattle.


It sounds a lot like what the French are doing with their Label Rouge poultry certification does it not?


Could you have the chickens follow your cattle strip grazing by a few days?

 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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The style is much like the Label Rouge.  It is essentially a portable shelter that is moved from paddock (fenced in area) to paddock.  The idea is to provide ample free range food without leaving the flock in one area long enough to either over eat, nor over fertilize.  It provides a long enough rest period (per paddock) to allow regrowth, and hopefully to break any disease/pest cycles.

The main difference with the Label Rouge system, is that here it can be any breed of chicken, whereas in France they typically use the Freedom Ranger which they bred specifically for that program.  The Freedom Rangers are not as popular in the US because they do not produce a bird that is very desirable to the US consumer (small breast, big legs) plus they take twice as long to get to maturity (12 weeks) as a Cornish-X.  Same system, different bird.

Yes, chickens do well following cattle.  I know people who follow cattle with pigs, then chickens.  Good pasture management.  Some let the chix on the pasture while the cattle are still there.

 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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wait a meat bird bred for big legs? wher can I buy some?
 
                        
Posts: 11
Location: NE Washington State
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Brice--Freedom Rangers do have large legs and thighs. The breast is longer and narrower than the Cornish X breast. Rangers also forage well and can be grown out as a dual-purpose bird. Our year-old hens lay a few eggs a week and we are hatching chicks this spring. They get big though...our roo weighs 15# and the hens are 10-12# each.

You can order Ranger chicks from www.FreedomRangerHatchery.com . I think they're in Pennsylvania. Some other hatcheries also sell them as colored broilers and have them drop shipped.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Yes.  They are a great meat bird for those of us that realize that there is more to a chicken than just a breast.
I have heard of some people having health issues with them, but nothing to the extent of the Cornish-X's.  To me, the Cornish-X grows so fast that they do not develop much flavor.  "Big birds that don't taste like chicken."
The FR is a much better bird for free ranging.  They will actually take their head out of the feeding dish long enough to find a bug or two.
 
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