Monday, November 07, 2016

Chicken Coop Construction: COMPLETION!!!

Chicken house completion has finally happened...although two months became more than four, the house is completed and ready for the arrival of MCCC's 200 egg-laying chickens!!
The burglar bar completion finally happened a week after the third business owner gave me a quote. His staff was incredibly professional and efficient when they came to do the installation. They even helped fix a burglar bar on our hall while they were there! 
Burglar Bar installation-I had to see it to believe it!

The next week I had a momentary panic when the man we bought the chickens from called. When I ordered the chickens, he said the delivery would be happening in September. We were into the second week of October and still needed to finish the cages and buy chicken food. Before I answered, I was sure he was calling to tell me the chickens had arrived. Instead-to my great relief-I learned they would be arriving at the beginning of November! 

Ntate Tau adding drinkers to the chicken cages.
Over the next three weeks, every moment that I was not away to assist with Pre-Service Training for the newest members of Peace Corps Lesotho, I was working with Bo-'M'e to ensure we were ready. Ntate Tau, our chicken cage designer, returned a few times to install the chicken cages. His workdays were some of the most fun as we chatted extensively about numerous topics while he worked.



Ntate Tau and the constructed cages-only feeders left to be added. Hard to believe these cages will fit 200 chickens!
The house actually has room for cages for another 160 chickens should MCCC ever want to expand.

I went to town with 'M'e 'Matseki to buy the food and medicine for the chickens. At our first stop, I was suddenly terrified-the place we had been told to get our food was clearly closed...forever. Thankfully someone directed us to a new store.

When we arrived, we discussed our needs-50 bags of layer feed-and learned that the drought had caused the price of feed to increase 15 Maluti per bag. Our grant funds were not completely depleted, so we were still able to get the three month supply of food. The shop owner was also able to help us secure transport.

Things got a little tricky due to my being away for training. I managed to pay the deposit for the food before I left for two weeks. I then gave my supervisor and another woman the remaining money needed to cover the balance and transport. When I paid the deposit, I explained that the women in the village had the remaining funds and would pay for the food when it was delivered. I explained this in both English and Sesotho to ensure it was clear.

When the food arrived at the shop, however, the shopkeeping called me and sang, "Lijo li teng," which means the food is there. I asked where and was told there! I had to go back and forth a few times to find out it was in town and they wanted us to come and pay the balance in town before they would transport the food out to our village.

I played phone tag with my supervisor before I was finally able to explain to her that she would need to go to town to pay the balance before the food arrived. I was worried about miscommunication because I know my Sesotho is hard to understand over the phone and she had never been to the feed shop before. Somehow everything worked out and by the time I arrived in the village all 50 bags of feed were sitting in our hall!

Unfortunately, we were not able to buy the medicine we need in Botha Bothe. Instead, we have asked the man who sells the chickens to bring the medicine with him when he delivers. Assuming once again my Sesotho was clearly understood, that is happening too. Finally things are coming together!

Fifty 50kg bags of chicken feed should last our 200 chickens just over 3 months.

Project completion makes for a happy PCV!

MCCC’s Egg Laying Chicken Project has been in development since March 2015. After many delays, MCCC and I were able to write a successful grant proposal for a VAST grant through Peace Corps. VAST grants are funded by PEPFAR to help with HIV-related work and OVC (Orphan and Vulnerable Children) care. It is due to MCCC’s work with OCVs that qualified us for the VAST grant. Otherwise, we would have applied for a PCPP [Peace Corps Partnership Program] grant and would have been asking for assistance in funding this grant proposal. I encourage you to consider supporting other PCPP projects.

Posts about this project include:



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