Project Poultry: Raising Chicken in Our Backyard

Adjoa Smart and Richmond the Rooster

After receiving a beautiful guinea fowl for his birthday, my significant other suddenly started talking about keeping it  ( as opposed to slaughtering it for dinner, which was the giver’s intention?) and adding some chicken.

This topic has been up for discussion before, but then always ending in a mutual agreement that “now is not the time for such a project”. This time, we both felt it was.

Is it our baby that makes us think its a good time? The idea of that it is nice for a child to grow up surrounded by animals? The fact that we are staying in this house another year? The slow farming in our backyard due to all the annoying ants who clearly need an enemy? I can’t say.

Anyway, a few days later we went to buy two hens and a rooster at the Community 1 market. The smallish hens cost 10 GHC each (our nanny claims they are 5 GHC in the village) and the colorful rooster 15 GHC, all in all about 20 USD. The chicken seller promised us that one of the small hens we bought had already started to lay eggs.

We (so not me!) cleared them of their long “flying feathers” and tied them with to our verandah furniture. We tied them with red satin ribbons only because it was the only string we had at home. It looked so beautiful! After the first night on our verandah, they could move into the vintage hen coop my mother-in-law raised chicken in for many years.
Vintage Hen Coop “God is too good!!”

 

After a day of observing the chicken, the guinea fowl joined the group. Now, the hens Adjoa Smart and  Serwaa Akoto, the rooster Richmond and the guinea fowl Jimmy form an interesting gang in our backyard. Still a bit shy, they graze the paths closest to the compound wall and run off in a haphazard row formation if we come too close.

In the morning we can hear Richmond clearing his throat and crowing as the sun rises. During the day we feed them food leftovers, uncooked rice and other seeds I found in the pantry. In the evening they trot back to their hen coop and stay there for the night.

The first egg

Just a few days into their stay with us, we got our first egg.  Smallish, as the hen that laid it is very young, light brown and luke warm I held it to the morning light.

Project Poultry has so far been most rewarding. I like having them around, I even like being woken up by a rooster crowing! I’ll keep you posted in this space!  

And what happened to the very first egg? Baby Selma ate it for lunch!