Do to the extreme temperature swings here in Central Oregon we decided to book end our production with Label Rouge birds. These birds are designed to thrive on a pasture model. So far they have done well. We sampled weight at 7 weeks and averaged about 4 lbs. Not too bad. They still have 3 to 4 weeks to go. This is also our first batch with our own ration.
Mortalities have been minimal…one during brooding (never developed feathers) and a couple on the pasture (at least one was pinched during pen moves). They are great looking birds and have done well consuming pasture grass.
Down side is the breast…I doubt we will have too much luck marketing these birds. First off, our price per pound is higher due to the longer grow out time and second, they will be less breasty than the Cornish Cross. On the upside, this is a great bird to raise. They have been hard workers on the pasture, we have had no picking or aggressive behavior and they have been very hardy during the tough spring months.
In general this feels like the right bird to raise; however, the market will have to be the judge. Razor breasted birds have a tough time making it to the dinner table. We will see….