23 March 2009

I dream of a farm supply store....

One that is well stocked, has great customer service and will call me if they don't get what I ordered when they promised. Instead, I navigate the realities of the Uganda livestock supply system.
1. The feed mill has no feed...for at least a week.
2. Feed mill.....We have no idea what is in our feed? No idea what the protein content is? No idea when it was milled?
3. I ordered chicks and on the day of pick-up, there are no chicks available. I don't get a refund or extra chicks for my time and their broken promise.
4. I want creep feeders to help save feed. I take a picture and measurements down to the agriculture supply area of Kampala and after two dozen stores, no one has ever seen or heard of a creep feeder. Repeat the same for a stand for waterers to help keep litter out of my waterers. Solved the watering stand dilemna with some wood, nails, wire and a staple gun. I can now build anything with nails and a staple gun. The local welder designed creep feeders for me. Problem is you cannot get rust-proof metal here in country, so after 6 weeks of use, the creep feeders are already rusting. I tried though.
5. The drug supply shops are out of multivitamin. electrolyte and antibiotic powder.
6. There is no Marek's vaccine available in country at present. This is after being told my day old chicks had been vaccinated for Marek's.
7. The expiration date has been scratched off the vaccine vial.
8. I got a layer chick in with my broiler chicks. I got two cocks in my batch of layer chicks. I got 5 local chicks mixed in with my hybrid broiler chicks.
9. Chick store - I have no idea what breed of broiler chick, layer chick, etc we have.

My next poultry project - to design my own feed saving feeders that allow me to put an entire 70 kilo bag of feed in it. I am currently feeding my broiler chicks twice a day and even with the feeder height aligned with the back of the broilers, they still manage to scratch large quantities of mash out of the feeders. I tried to talk to the feed company about making broiler crumbles or pellets, but they stared at me like I was from outer space.

Just another day here in paradise. Thankfully, I love challenges!

2 comments:

jon hallsted said...

Jeff,

Here is a book I just got. I think it's right up your alley. "When Charity Destroys Dignity" Maybe you've already heard of it or read it. http://www.wmausa.org/page.aspx?id=239312 You can order it at that website.

I ordered it and had it sent to me here in Romania....it's articulating many of the jumbbled thoughts in my head about unhealthy dependency in missions work.

Anonymous said...

Christine, You ARE from Outer Space, didn't you know that??
Obviously you know more about raising chicks than anybody else in all of Uganda, at least Western style-disease free, proper nutrition, sanitary housing, not to mention proper shipping and handling and "getting what you paid for". I think this is all part of the education you are supposed to be getting living in a 3rd world country.
And you know if you need anything that I can get here and ship to you, just ask!
Love, Aunt PAm