Would like to learn how to raise chickens in Africa

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by danluster, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. danluster

    danluster New Egg

    Hello my name is Dan and I recently went with humanitarian group to west Africa. And one of our translators had an idea for raising eggs to make some economy for those people. Do you have any ideas on where I need to start.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It sounds like a good idea but there are potential pitfalls. I worked in West Africa and central Asia. Often the Western companies would try to help out in the local communities to improve things. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it is just a waste of money and effort. I’ll give some examples.

    In Kazakhstan, the company remodeled an existing clinic and put in state-of-the-art dental equipment. Not just the chair but all the fancy equipment. It was a waste. The local dentists did not have the training to operate the equipment and certainly did not have the money to buy supplies. They used the chair and nothing else.

    Also in Kazakhstan, we employees raised money on our own to help out locally. This was money out of our own pocket, nothing to do with the company. We bought computers for the local school. We did not give them money to buy computers, we bought the computers and hooked them up. We also paid the electric bill for the next two years so they would have electricity to run them.

    We remodeled the bathroom at an orphanage. We paid a local contractor to do the work. We bought the materials they needed instead of giving them money to buy that equipment. After a few days the local contractor said he was finished and wanted his money. When we went to look at it, all he had done was tear the old stuff out. He thought he could scam a bunch of construction workers. Oh, no. He did finish the job and it worked.

    In China, the employees would collect clothing for the poor and the company would handle shipping and customs to import that clothing. They learned pretty quickly they could not collect nice new clothing. The local officials would take the nicest stuff for their own families or to resell. The only way the clothing could help the poor was if it was used clothing that could not be resold.

    One last story for the delta region of Nigeria. The company fixed up a boat to be a floating clinic. It had a couple of doctors, nurses, and a dentist plus all kinds of supplies and equipment. The idea was that it would go from village to village and treat the people for free. The local chiefs said, not so quick. They wanted a payoff or they would destroy the boat when it showed up. To me that is corruption and greed, totally reprehensible. To them, that is the way their society has operated forever. It’s called having “influence”. The company wound up hiring the Nigerian navy to provide escort to that floating clinic.

    I don’t mean to discourage you. You’ve taken on a monumental task just by being there and trying to help. You can make a difference but it won’t be easy and you will be frustrated. Don’t expect to save the world, just help a little part of it. And count your successes where you can find them. You will have successes.

    Where to start? I don’t know what the local politics are where you are. Hopefully you have some experienced people there to help you with that.

    I’d consider contacting the US State Department and see if they have any ideas or can help you once you get an idea of what you want to do.

    I’d try to find out if anyone raises chickens there. What kind of model to they use to raise them? The more you can incorporate local customs into what you do, the better off you will be. I suspect what you will find is that the chickens free range and forage for their own food. They are not going to be housed in huge chicken houses where all their food is provided. Maybe you can model Heifer International where they provide animals for the locals to raise.

    Think your plan through. How are the chickens going to be housed? Who will take care of them? Where will they get their feed? How will the eggs be distributed? Hens have a limited laying life. How will you replace the laying hens when they get older? What you want to avoid is setting up something that in not sustainable. You may go to the expense and effort to set this up and provide the hens and they just eat the hens because they cannot afford to feed them.

    Where I was in Nigeria, the basic unit was the extended family. What we consider theft and corruption was just taking care of their family first. The family was more important than a job or a company. They were strong on family values, just not in the way we normally think about it. Don’t blindly trust your translator. They may understand your purpose or they may have really strong family values.

    I probably haven’t helped you much. I’d probably look for someone local to enter a long term contract to help you do what you actually want to do.

    Good luck!!!
    2 people like this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us! Your idea sounds very worthy! I concur with the advice of Ridgerunner. Good luck to you!!
  4. danluster

    danluster New Egg

    I was introduced to bold face corruption when we went. 1040i, the organization I went with, shipped a container in November to Abidjan , Côte d'Ivoire they held the container full of medical supplies, construction material for a school and " community building" , also team members' personal items. When we arrived January 27 it wasn't released. When we left feb 14 still not released. It wasn't until we had senators and house reps contacted about the matter, the customs agents released it. Feb 21 when the second team was there. You can read the story on daily Oklahoman website.
    I understand the family values thing over there. I wouldn't consider it stealing either if I lived in that poverty. And after I get some more info on this I would like to run it by you so that you could find any short comings my idea may have. I think you would be very beneficial to this possible idea. I appreciate the input. Also could I friend you on face book. My name is Dan luster in a brown suit on picture.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't do facebook. I'm too much of an old dinosaur stick in the mud.

    Yeah, you obviously understand. You have two choices. Get outraged, blow up, and just quit or do what you can. One way is easy and accomplishes nothing. The other way is hard and frustrating, but you do actually have some successes. Look for and hold onto those successes to keep you going.

    I'll be glad to look over whatever you come up with. PM me on this forum.

    Thinking more about it, what you really need to do more than anything else is determine what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to give away free eggs, set up a local business to help the area economy, or make individual families more self-sustaining. Unless you know what you want to accomplish you will not be successful.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! Best of luck with your venture. I'm from the South of Africa myself and found chicken keeping can be a challenge in that part of the world. The biggest problems we faced were theft and mongoose. So whatever you do, build a strong coop, a secure run and keep a guard dog that won't help himself to the birds.

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC - great advice from ridgerunner!

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