The Sustainable Chicken
we have been raising chickens since July 1st 1991. Rainbow Ranch Farms is a California based, sustainable farm and ranch founded in 1991 when Jack Schmidt and I made the purchase of some acres in Pinon Hills, CA. located in the High Desert of Southern California; We originally also had a goose named Nibbles, and she went everywhere with us, much like a pet dog. We had dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and even a horse.
Today the little farm has grown. RRF grows heritage/standard multi-purpose, dual purpose chickens using physio-organic sustainable farming methods. We are certified producers and growers of cattle, lamb, sheep, goats, turkeys, ducks, game and HOGS too.
What We Look For in A Chicken:
A Heritage, Standard Breed
Multi-Purpose, Dual Purpose
Good Setter Hen
Protective Flock Roosters
Good Layer Qualities
Protective Mother Hens
Naturally High Immune System
Excellent Meat Qualities
Strong Legs, Bones, Healthy Organs and Sharp Central Nervous System
Beautiful Full Feathering
Naturally Disease Resistant
Requiring NO Antibiotics
Requiring NO Vaccines
At Least 85% Hatch Rate
Develop a Market Size by 12-16 Weeks
Grow and Perform Well WITHOUT Corn, Soy, Wheat, Gluten, Fishmeal or Flax
Have a Strong, Distinctive, All Natural Flavor with Buttery Finish
Thrive in Very Cold Climate, Hot Climate, Withstand High, Wind-Gusts and Snow
Live Well Among Cattle, Sheep, Hogs, Goats, Turkeys, Ducks and Geese
Produce Nutritious, Delicious Eggs Loaded in DHA, Omega-3 and CLA's
78% or Higher Meat Yield
Nutrient Dense Bones, Meat and Fats
Our criteria are very high, as are our standards, and our poultry needs are far from basic.
Over many years of natural breeding, we have developed a great HERITAGE breed that fits our needs and criteria.
Our signature chickens come from our proprietary and pedigree breeding lines with exceptional genetics. Our Rainbow Prairie Chickens are specifically for wild free-range, foraging. They produce the most nutritious, flavorful, well textured and delicious meat and eggs, as well as make a great addition to any back yard poultry enthusiast. They perform well in most climates, elevations, terrains, pastures, open ranges and even both the lower and high Deserts.
The Rainbow Prairie Chicken is a true, heritage, standard Chicken and NOT a hybrid, or genetically engineered like the Cornish cross, Freedom Ranger, Black Broiler, Red Broiler or even the white broiler.
Much like the Araucana Chicken, each bird has its own, unique and beautiful feathering color and patterns. They can be speckled, spotted, laced, brown, red, grey, striped, white, black-laced, buff, dark, and light. They have strong, thick yellow shanks, red wattles and upright red comb, with a well-proportioned body structure and fully feathering.
The hens lay large brown eggs, and the cockerels reach live market weight of about 5-6 pounds at around 12-13 weeks (if you like a deep texture, or desire the true Coq-Au-Vin bird, let them grow a little bit longer, to about 13 weeks).
The day-old chicks with mother hens begin to scratch and peck from the very first day of hatch. We make shallow puddles for them in our Rainbow Bug-Bars so that they get good hydration from day one. Some of the more aggressive chicks actually begin to eat the smaller worms.
Rainbow Prairie Chickens are excellent foragers; they are very active and have a strong immune system. They are natural breeders, good setters and attentive hens. Approximately 85% of the eggs are fertile.
Here are some Chicken Facts:
White Cornish Cross (Commercial Genetically Engineered) grow 1/lb. each week, from date of hatch. They are lazy, do not forage and eat all day. Some of the worst attributes for small family farmers growing these types are that they have a poor immune system, they develop respiratory disease, have very weak legs, often die of heart attack and must be fed some sort of grain to get weight on and feed contains artificial bacteria to promote digestion. They are ready for slaughter in as little as 3 weeks (as pseudo Cornish hens), or 6 weeks as broilers that's 21-42 days, from date of hatch.
NO BIRD is nutritious or flavorful in 3, 6 or 10-weeks. It's just not possible. It has not fully developed to a mature bird. It may be soft and tender, but not nutritious or flavorful.
Some of the most delicious, flavorful, well textured, and nutritious chicken in the world are maturing cockerels and mature hens, often called stew hens.
Because true texture, flavor, and nutritional content is inherit in mature birds. Actual flavor in chicken does not develop until they reach about 87 days, with proper foraging, scratching, eating, running, developing a strong crop bacterium, excellent digestion, the promotion of strong bones and being REAL chickens.
If you are paying more for a farm chicken, it should be from a sustainable breed (a breed that can sustain it's lineage by breeding naturally, fresh, flavorful, meaty, nutritious, healthy, have a firm texture, be loaded in all the good things that feed your body (DHA, CLA, Vit-E, Vit-A, Vit-B, Calcium, Protein, Fats, and Omega-3), and of course, taste like REAL chicken and NOT like BBQ sauce, Soy Sauce, gravy or Chicken Rub.
Credits, Participants & THANK YOU!
Donating pure-breed heritage/standard breeding stock to RRF - Helping with breeding, hatching and brooding - Donating building materials - Providing skilled construction labor - Donations toward the farm & ranch improvement - Providing financial support for research, development and lab-testing costs - Providing skilled technical support - Donating camera's, computer & repair services -
Dennis Kelley (Kelley Beef)
Donna & John Kane
Kim and Bill Dubois and family
William Signago and family
Mary Erstad (Mary's Goat Ranch)
Lori Enright (American Kunekune Breeders Association)
Fidelia and Humberto Guzman
Linda Wong (Chef: Smart Simple Gourmet)
Dave & Patty Vezina