Chicken House Update


Sorry for the lack of posts these last couple of weeks. Near-constant power outages  severely cut into my computer time. There were days we had power for less than 30 minutes and then lost it again for more than 24 hours. Crossing our fingers that things are back to normal.

When I last posted we were still in the midst of construction on the chicken house. During the next few days Kakasii and I went to Dar es Salaam for a family wedding while the fundi finished up. The night we flew back home we stayed at the shamba to take care of a few things there the next morning, including collecting a few chickens that were being gifted to us by family and neighbors there.

chickenincarWhen we got home we settled them into their new house.


There was a slight miscalculation (of about 12 inches) by the fundi that prevents the chicken house from sitting directly against the back wall, leaving only enough space between the chicken house and our house to just squeeze through. But we’re able to manage well enough.

2chickensroosterThe next morning after the chickens arrived Max and Elly were anxious to go out and visit them. They were quite distraught, though, to see that the chickens were pooping on the floor of their new house. So they took their diapers and wipes to the coop with the intention of diapering the chickens!

maxandellyincoopmaxdiaperellywipesWe were really excited that one of the hens started laying the very first day. I had expected it to take several days for them to get acclimated and start laying, but the one that did lay right away was a good layer from our brood at the shamba so she apparently didn’t need much transition time.

Max went with me to collect the first egg.

maxwitheggAnd Elly put it away in our egg tray.

ellywitheggFor the first several days only that one chicken laid eggs. Now a second chicken has also started laying. We bought one more tray of 30 eggs from our neighbor and hope by the time we finish that our own chickens will be supplying what we need. As of now we have five chickens and two more waiting for us to pick up from another relative so if they all produce steadily they should do pretty well keeping up with the demand.
Encouraged by the fun of keeping the chickens, we also started a modest gardening project. Kakasii’s brother Geoffrey gave us some of his lemongrass to replant at our house. So now Max and Elly have two sets up chores–helping with the chickens (collecting the eggs and helping feed them) and watering the lemongrass every day.

ellywateringmaxwateringIf we keep the lemongrass alive, we may plant a few vegetables as well. If the chickens survive, maybe we’ll get a goat!

If we do start a vegetable garden, what do you recommend we start with? What’s easy to grow?

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5 Responses to Chicken House Update

  1. Celia says:

    I hope you plan to write a book about your adventures some day.

  2. Melanie says:

    Squash of any description is usually prolific and pretty easy to grow! Anything from zucchini to summer squash to pumpkins or acorn squash – just limit yourselves to one or two plants at the most, even though you’ll probably want the little seedlings to all survive!

  3. kartwheels says:

    What a fun post! Keep up the good work and your kids are sooo adorable! I understand about power issues too. We live up in Sequoia National Forest and make our own power, but unfortunately, the battery bank is pretty much shot.. Well it goes on from there :). Take good care and I look forward to reading more. Karen

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