Sunday, July 6, 2014

Poultry Project Update

Hello and greetings to TGC friends!  "OleOtya" as they say here locally.   This blog-post pertains to TGC Poultry project that is now fully underway in Wairaka.  Just 4 weeks ago, TGC (with the organizational and planning of Wambi Moses and his staff), made its first purchase of 500 day-old chickens which officially catapults TGC into a new direction of self-sustained poultry production with the aim of eventually supplying local Giving Circle families (and others) with their own small flocks for eggs and meat.  The young chicks, now a month old, are being housed in a newly revamped poultry house that provides shelter, warmth and safety from the elements.  Moses has coordinated the local efforts to gain the necessary knowledge and materials to help maximize the chances for sustained success.   But what you may not realize is the chickens TGC are now utilizing belong to a new breed that has been specifically developed for developing nations, in general, and Uganda specifically!! This new breed is called the Kuroiler (prounounced 'Kerr-Oil-Err') and it is a breed developed by a consortium consisting of a large research farm in India, Arizona State University along with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.  The Kuroiler is a hardy breed that requires no special feed but manages to grow quickly and to produce 3-4 times the number of eggs that the average village Ugandan chicken does in any given year.  Moses and TGC has tapped into this amazing opportunity by working closely with the Jinja District government, specifically Dr. Kiwemba Stephen, who is the regional veterinarian in charge of poultry and other production animal affairs.  On July 4th, Kelly, Ann, Toni, Toni, Azra, Andrea, Moses and Andy met for 45 minutes with Dr. Kiwemba Stephen in his office to ask questions and gain familiarity with this amazing bird, what if offers and how to best ensure success.  It was an excellent meeting and it is clear that Moses and this district veterinary expert are in lock-step on how to best go about continuing TGC's journey into optimal poultry rearing.  Needless to say, we came away from the meeting with vigor and excitement.  Outside the office, Dr. Kiwemba pointed out a Kuroiler chicken that was strutting through the area with cock-sure confidence, large in stature, almost dog-like in its curiosity and willingness to follow its owner into the household for some table scraps.  Compared to the village bird that stood next to it, it was clear that the Kuroiler chicken offers great promise.  I hope you can sense that we are all very excited about this initiative and hope that you will stay tuned as we move forward with plans for the Wairaka poultry project and the eventual dissemination of birds into the community.   Thank you for reading this and sharing our excitement.  Kind regards,  Andy Eschner, DVM

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