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 | Jul 23, 2023
Happy Hens Continue to Provide Protein & Hope, 10 Years Later!

By Austin Bowden-Kerby, Project Founder | Energetic Permaculture farmer and "Chicken Man"

Kevu gets his juvenile chickens at the workshop
Kevu gets his juvenile chickens at the workshop

Looking back to Happy Chickens beginnings now a decade on:

If we count the two years of struggle before GlobalGiving began to help us, the Happy Chicken project is now ten years old!  We have during this time produced and distributed over 50 thousand improved village chickens from our Happy Chicken hatchery.  We have also taught dozens of small-scale farmers in chicken breeding and hatching at farm level in the communities, via use of local hens and assisted by the distribution of 70 small incubators to farmers in 2022, resulting in local self sufficiency and long-term change, rather than dependency.

Our food security project for the dorm at the nearby elementary and high school is continuing by raising Tilapia fish, from the pond secured behind a chin link fence. Ford Motor Company provided a small grant to help with that, via GlobalGiving.  The children come from two very remote villages, a six-hour walk through forests, grasslands, hills and streams, so the dorm is essential to attend school.  We earlier discovered that the children (starting from class one) were getting very little protein in their diet, and so we are doing what we can to remedy the probem in a sustainable and permanent way. A priority for 2024 will be to use the donations to the Happy Chicken project to provide chicks for the students to raise and to send home chicks with the students to their communities after they are trained.  Our efforts require follow up and your donations are vital!  Thank you to all our donors, both new and those of you who have given for years!  

Our hatchery was closed from February to May, due to low lay during the summer molt.  During this lull we changed out the older hens, many of which were >3 years old. The hens have begun laying well again now, and we got seven dozen eggs last week, and now it is up to two dozen per day!  Production is expected to rise to full capacity of 20-25 dozen chicks hatched per week by August. 

Our chickens are truly happy, as they are free to roam wherever they like, and to forage, eating the coconuts we open for them, dig for worms, and play all day long, from dawn until dusk when they go home to roost. They know their house, and return to lay, to rest in the heat of the day, to get out of the rain, and to sleep.

We have begun charging the more prosperous farmers the equivalent of 20 USD dollars a dozen, to cover the actual cost of production and labor, and allowing us to hire a full-time local person Eroni to take over most of the work (Graddaddy Austin will be 70 next year). We continue to provide free chicks to needy families, disabled people, widows, and youth groups, as well as to communities which set aside no-fishing tabu areas on their  coral reefs.  We completed a workshop for 27 community members here at the Teitei farm, from five remote village communities in May- sending home with them 8 dozen 1/3 sized 6-8 week old chicks, as well as feed and materials for mobile rearing pens.

The Happy Chicken project is a labor of love for both the chooks and for the people. We are committed to continue our current hatchery operations and to continue breeding for hardiness and production in these tropical condtions, to increasingly use natural foods and to train communities via livelihoods workshops and to distribute many thousands of chicks.

Circle Pen: for rearing 3-8 week old chicks.
Circle Pen: for rearing 3-8 week old chicks.
Training on making a fenced chicken pen.
Training on making a fenced chicken pen.
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Organization Information

Corals for Conservation

Location: Samabula - Fiji
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Austin Bowden-Kerby
Samabula , Fiji
$44,725 raised of $75,000 goal
 
449 donations
$30,275 to go
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