Small Scale Poultry Management
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Info about the Small Scale Poultry Management
In a community made up of about 60 families, mostly poor, who sustain themselves almost entirely through agriculture, many families have a very limited amount of land, and therefore grow crops for their own consumption with little room left for cash crops such as sugarcane or cotton. With prices of cash crops dropping every year, life in the community continues to get harder.
The Committee of Mothers is made up of 27 women who work in the home. All together they have 118 kids living at home. As a group they have done small projects such as making things like bread, soymilk, soy meat, and homemade soap. They have demonstrated a capacity to work together and decided to form a committee with a president, vice-president, secretary and a treasurer, in order to do larger projects. The committee has been meeting since November and is officially recognized by the municipality.
Combined these 27 women have 118 mouths to feed, which is a hard job in rural Paraguay. They also HAD a combined 500 chickens until a large number of them died from a virus called New Castle. We are working on a chicken coop project that would help solve both of these problems and provide extra income by increasing chicken and egg production. Right now the chickens run free. They can catch viruses from neighboring chickens, make a mess everywhere and lay their eggs in the field where no one can find them. By building chicken coops, disease can be contained and eggs will be easy to harvest. Along with the chicken coops, our women’s group has started vaccinating their chickens, and each woman is planting pigeon pea, a protein source used for chicken feed. Right now all they feed them is corn. Adding protein to the chickens’ diets means plumper healthier chickens and more eggs!
After the chicken coops are built, the families will no longer depend on funds from outside resources to keep the project going. Each member will donate a chicken every four months to be sold by the committee. The funds will be used to make improvements to the coops or for repairs, to buy more chicks and for vaccines. The women have already come up with 40% of the materials needed to make the coops, and are requesting Partnership funding for the remaining 27 chicken coops.