First Eggs: Poultry Project Phase II Report
15.02.2013 14:39 von Anthony Collins
The second phase of the poultry project started on August 30th, 2012. In the beginning of this phase, we ordered a total of 200 Rhode Island layers chicken from Guinea. It went through hard times to get hold of the one day old chicken. Upon receiving the chicken from the seller, ten of them died from the severe cold that accompanied the heavy rainfall in Liberia during August 2012. So we got a total of 190 Rhode Island layers chicken. The organization (Kinder Afrikas e.V), was able to allocate fund for the heating of the chicks. The provider of the chicken told us that 10 of the day old chicks died while bringing them from Guinea.
We decided to end the heating process of the chicken in early October 2012. After the heating stopped, we moved the chicks from a little area to a bigger space. Actually, we could not keep them in the previous heating area, since it was no longer spacious for them. It was a space we ourselves designed to grow them from that early young stage to a bigger one. The place was made small to provide warmth for the chicken even when the charcoal pot was off. During the time of taking the chicken to the spacious area; we had a total of one hundred seventy-six chicken moving in the space within the poultry building in mid-October 2012. In November 2012, the poultry was severely attacked by rats. Each morning, we woke up, picking up two or more dead chicken from the poultry, where parts of the chicks have been eaten up. We mixed a bony fish with a rat poison; we placed it around the building. Unfortunately, it really did not solve the problem.
However, the poison minimized the population of rats. Later, we searched the building entire floor for possible rat holes. This paid off, since we found many holes and closed them up with cement. As a result of the holes closure; the rats attack was curtail in early December 2012. After this attack from the rats, our headcount of the chicken dropped drastically; since we were left with only 117 of them. The second phase of the project also started with local materials used in the first phase. Since we never had drinkers, feeders, we had to use the previous local idea to keep the project alive. In November 2012; the chairman of the organization (Richard Poeschl) sent us drinkers and feeders for the project. The team of journalists arrived with these materials and did the presentation. Since then, the chicken had to drink and feed from these modern installations, instead of the plate and the planks put together for feeder purpose. We also changed the sawdust (wood pieces) from the poultry. The sawdust was already compacted with their feces. As such, we brought in new sawdust from Topoe Village community along the Gardnersville Somalia Drive; this change of sawdust took place in January 2013. We paid L$ 2000.00 or USD 30.00 for transportation of the individuals and the 18 bags of sawdust to the MTA campus.
We presently have some chicken related sickness. We are currently treating the chicken with antibiotics; that I took on account from BRAC Liberia sales person on January 28, 2013. We have also faced a serious setback in the lighting of the poultry. We depended a lot on the solar lamps and it served us very well during the first two months (August 30- October 30, 2012). The issue of light became a hugh complete problem in November. Since the 1st of November 2012; the chicken have slept in darkness until February 1, 2013. I paid for a China made lamp which uses batteries; the purpose of this is to provide light for the chickens in the poultry. As you know or may not know, light plays a major role in the egg development of the layers. Currently, this light is functioning well; we only have to purchase four batteries after every three days at a cost of L$ 60.00 or US$ 0.85. However, the lamp takes three batteries, so one is always reserved for future use. The lamp is providing light from 8PM – 6 AM every day. I talked to the chairman about the light situation and the constraints we face with this light issue. He faithfully promised to get some light over to us, but it will take time. If you have followed our last article on the poultry project last year; we did provide little discussion on this second phase of the project. The chickens are now 20 weeks old; at this age we expect the chickens to give us egg soon. However, we may get a slow result, especially when the chickens went out of light for sometimes.
When it comes to the feeding of the chickens, we have got to spend on this aspect seriously. As of now, each feed bag is currently costing USD 37.00 in Guinea. Moreover, we also have to add a transport cost of USD 50.00 from Guinea and another USD 25- 30.00 to get the feed bags to the MTA compound. The feed really make the project very costly; since we have to get it from such a long distance. We have bought a lot of feed over the time. We have purchased 35 bags of feed, which cover the period from August –December 7, 2012(August, 10 bags, October 26, 10bags and December 7 2012; 15bags). The last expenditure on bags of feed was December 7, 2012. We are currently using the 15 bags of feed to provide feeding for the chicken twice a day. The feeding time currently for the chicken is set in the morning at 7:00AM and in the afternoon at 2:00PM. Since the chickens are now 20 weeks old, each of them is to eat 90g daily. With our current head count of one hundred chickens, they eat 9kg per day from the feed within the poultry. (90 g x 100 chickens / 1000g = 9 kg)
However, we divide the 9 kg in two phases each day; 5 kg and 4 kg is given to the chicken in the morning and afternoon respectively. We hope that this endeavor pays off in the near future; as we will do our utmost to provide you the relevant information through our articles on the project. On behalf of this team, I want to thank you for reading this article about the poultry project.
God bless you!