Monday, July 20, 2009

Organic chicken

We re-started our organic chicken just a few months ago. We have about 17 chicken for now, mostly female. None so far are laying eggs regularly, should be the rainy season, and there are no “palay” (unhusked rice) to eat yet.

A few years ago, we experimented it, the chicken were free roaming, there were plenty of them already, nearly a hundred perhaps. But there are several enemies for the free-roaming chicken.

One, our dogs. When the dogs are eating, the chicken would come in to eat the scattered food, which makes the dogs angry, some of the chicken have broken legs or broken wings, etc.

Two, the wild animals – monitor lizard (“bayawak”), wild cat (“musang”), even hawks flying more frequently above the farm since they could see plenty of hapless chicken below. And possibly some snakes that prey on the smaller chicken.

Three, thieves that are passing by, they chanced upon the roaming chicken, hit the chicken when no one is looking, carry and steal the injured chicken in their sacks or bag.

In addition, some of the chicken who were terrified or shocked being chased by the dogs or people passing by, learned not to come back to their resting place in the evening, they found other places to spend the night several meters away. Later on we did not know where they went.

So this time, we are building an enclosed area for them.

The lower fence is made of small, native bamboo (“bulo”), about 2 to 3 feet high. Then used fish nets up to the roof. The roof is made of cogon. All native materials except the fish nets.

We have one evening caretaker, Fernando. He works making charcoal in our farm, removing low-lying branches, extra branches, fallen trees and branches. That's mainly his day time job. He's very industrious. He would visit his family in the barrio by late afternoon and go back to the farm by evening.

In the evening, he either rests, or hunt fish and wild frogs in the nearby creek using electrical current. This will be his viand in the farm, the extra he will bring to his family.

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