18 March 2009

I've Gone to the Chickens

So Jeff can have a week off from blogging to percolate new ideas, some updates on my agriculture projects follow. In the last couple of months, I have made some changes in the projects I commit myself to. First up, chickens.
Broilers here in country come in two types:
1. Raised in commercial settings with a heavy dependence on antibiotics and coccidiostats in order to raise more birds per square meter. The only mordern poultry processing plant, processes birds in the 1.5 kilo range, yielding a carcass weight of about 1 kilo. That is a very small bird by American standards and is a Kadin sized dinner in our household.
2. Off layers sold to local shopkeepers to sell in open markets. One day I am going to take my veterinary kit down to one and try to find as many diseases as I can in the pens they stuffed these chickens into. I think I can find at least a dozen without too much effort. Also, since these are off layers, once they are cooked, they supply about 1 lb of meat, at best.

I have had several friends ask why I didn't raise chickens for the expatriate community here in Kampala. I tried to sell the idea to several of the orphanage projects I was working with, but none of them seemed practicularly interested in a profit making enterprise. So, I took advantage of the untapped market, my knowledge of raising chickens and the chance to prove that small livestock projects, managed well, can be profitable. I can currently raise about 100 broiler chicks at a time. They are grain-fed, organic chicken that I raise until they are about 2.5 kilos. Selling the first round was no problem. I am now about 2 weeks away from having my next batch of 100 ready. At that point, we are going to undertake a chicken coop remodel and expansion so that I can raise 200 broilers at a time (or around Thanksgiving, 100 broilers and 40 turkeys).

Kadin "needies" a movie, so I will continue my chicken adventures in my next post.


Sallie said...

How is Noah going to name 200 broilers????

I really enjoy hearing about your projects. Thanks for the update.


Jeff said...

Woohoo... a blogging vacation!