Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!

by Corals for Conservation
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!
Happy Chickens for Fiji Food & Climate Emergency!

Project Report | Oct 27, 2015
The Project work in Vanuatu Begins At Last!

By Austin Bowden-Kerby | Project Leader

Dear Friends and supporters of the Happy Chickens!

I leave for Vanuatu on November 4th!  The airfares were surprisingly inexpensive (US $320.), as my dates were flexible, and so this two week trip promises to be the first of several trips throughout the comng months. 

The communities on Efate and Tanna islands are prepared and have been patiently waiting for the commencement of the project.  We have had several local ni-Vanuatu volunteers arise to help, and our local NGO contacts will also be assisting on the ground with logistics. 

A primary goal of this first trip will be meeting the farmers and assessing the existing chicken flocks which have survived the hurricane and then making a work plan for meeting the specific community needs.  Other activities envisioned will be rooster exchanges between farmers to improve local breeding focks and the demonstration of Happy Chicken methods that strengthen the weak areas of traditional methods.  

Based on the knowledge gathered thus far, the chicken farming methods used in Vanuatu appear to be identical to those used by Fijian communities, with the major weak points being the survival of newly hatched chicks in the face of predators, the lack of shelter from heavy tropical rains, and the lack of a proper secure laying areas for the adult chickens. 

The major activity at this first point of introduction will be construction of mobile rearing cages to increase chick survival.  These secure pens are bottomless and allow acess to the ground for scratching and foraging, with the pens moved several times each day over grass and weeds.  The mother hens are allowed to keep their chicks in the pen, and remain with them for the first 2-3 weeks.  If chicks from an incubator are being raised, they must be put in a box at night for warmth for that initial period.  The mobile rearing cages are quite revolutionary in that they can quickly increase the productivity of chickens in the community, easily doubling chicken numbers within a year. The 1x2 meter pens are durible and can be used year after year and shared within the community. 

After struggling for months with Vanuatu and Fiji Biosecurity regulations and red tape, trying to get the chicks from our Fiji hatchery into Vanuautu, we have decided to work on long-term sustainability of the project by establishing improved breeding flocks in Vanuatu, just like we have done in Fiji.  We have been assured that we will eventually be successful in bringing in the improved Fiji chicks, but official protocols have to first be developed, which may take several more months.  I will meet directly with Vanuatu Officials while in country to try to speed up this process.

If we are able to access imported brown layer chicks in the capital, we will begin rearing this highy productive yet poorly adapted breed to adulthood, in preparation for our crossbreeding program that is focused on producing well adapted highly productive local chicken breeds.  We will also be on the lookout for unique local breeds that might be especially adapted to local conditions, for use in crossbreeding trials but also focusing on conserving them as unique heritage breeds, to be conserved as unmixed stock by particuar families and communities. 

I will post another report on the outcomes of this exciting trip next month, after I return from the field.  Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  

Thank you again for your kind, generous, and loving support!

Austin        

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Sep 1, 2015
By Air and By Sea Chicks Arrive on New Shores

By Austin Bowden-Kerby | Director

Jun 1, 2015
Upgraded Breeding Pens and Hatchery Improvements

By Austin Bowden-Kerby | Project Director

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Organization Information

Corals for Conservation

Location: Samabula - Fiji
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Austin Bowden-Kerby
Samabula , Fiji
$44,711 raised of $75,000 goal
 
449 donations
$30,289 to go
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