Kenya Heritage Flock Management for Free-Range Table-Eggs and Meat

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am engaged in project with a village in Kenya. The village is populated with kids that lost their parents to AIDS and elderly that lost their adult offspring to the same. My role is to help first with free-range poultry using their endemic and possibly ancient breed that has been there possibly for at least hundreds of years. Second project to start later is design, setup and operation of aquaponic units. All efforts are low tech and would be considered organic here in the US.


    Poultry issue is to increase egg harvest and survival of chicks hatched point where they can be consumed as well. Presently snakes put a big dent in egg production and mongooses get mostly young sometimes also adult birds. This should be interesting since they do not have option of metal fencing materials nor do they use firearms for predator management.

    It is not all about predator management. Free-range forage management may need some changes as well
     
  2. skyblu

    skyblu Out Of The Brooder

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    good luck, it sounds like a very challenging and worthwhile project. We recently returned from living in Kenya and didn't keep chickens for that very reason - snakes!
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Snakes are normally easy for me whether poisionus or not. I suspect a cultural value involved or egg eaters are nocturnal. Will be fun trying to deny snakes access to nests. We may have to think outside of nestbox a little.
     
  4. skyblu

    skyblu Out Of The Brooder

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    Lol! braver than me! can't even look at a picture of the things!!
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting sounding project.
     
  6. Dagirls

    Dagirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Free range with snakes. Did come from Rattlesnake country but not problems cuz the coyotes were first to get the hens. Possible a barrier that snakes would not cross. glass/ corals?? Rope or garden hose. Not a snake expert. But maybe look that direction. Here we have rats. Of course if you did not know they brought the mongoose to Hawaii to kill the rat and didn't realize they worked the day shift and the rats the night shift.[​IMG]. So on this island we have been pretty good to keep the mongoose out but have rats. They go for the chicks so an easier task to keep them safe. Once grown possibly a barrier .
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Losses to mongoose also a major consideration. Mongoose species unknown to me at this time. Mongoose seem to preferentially target younger birds in village although adults occasionally taken. Raptors, jackals and leopards have not been pointed out as causes of loss and this is likely because wildlife is in very poor shape. They have at least some pariah dogs that I think might be employable as flock guardians. A very major predator alleged are neighbors whose flocks are not producing as well. Some of challenge will be with free-ranging flocks not staying on their designated forage areas. Forage base may not be suitable for supporting level of production desired. The villagers do not have access to nutritionally complete poultry feeds nor do the have funds needed to import wire products needed to make predator exclosures like western poultry keepers now use. They do have forestry products like flexible saplings which they make some really nice wicker coops but they have iniatially expressed as stronger interest in adopting rock and mortar structure. Based on what I have seen with wicker version, the wicker is likely to be the more sustainable option.


    My intent is also to make this into an educational project for folks on both ends.
     
  8. Dagirls

    Dagirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will keep posted on your progress.They could grow bugs etc for protein. larvas. If there is not alot of forage and they have a rock coop to go in maybe they would stay closer to coop. I have chicken tractor hens when they get out onto the farm they stay close to the coop and do come back to roost at night. Ok as I say this one is MIA but most always I can gather them up. But they are a Rhode island variety also.
     
  9. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck to you.
     

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