Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cat walks and organic eggs

At last. We managed to sneak Shadow out into the street without the two guard dogs noticing. (The askari/guards were feeding them when I carried Shadow across the driveway to the gate.) He loved the outing and couldn't get enough of the sights and smells! What a treat!

I've posted before about the chickens I've adopted. Those in the run at the Guest House and the ones in my garden. I improved their diet a hundredfold; especially the caged Guest House chickens that were getting from next to nothing to eat, to a banquet of fruit and vegetable peelings, bread crusts, crushed maize and maize mash. Once a week I give them a couple of dozen dried fish called daghaa. They LOVE this treat and squawk and squabble in their eagerness to get to it. In addition their water is replenished in clean containers every single day. 

The chickens in my garden have had a better life; even before I arrived they were let out of their run every morning and can scratch and peck in the soil and garden. They also eat anything the dogs leave in their food bowls, which includes cooked maize and meat!

Once a month Edward (my askari) cleans the chicken coop and we sprinkle poison diluted in water all over their drums/beds and perches. We catch the two dogs and I pour a solution over their backs after which they dash off and roll in the sand!

At the same time, Michael, GH askari,  cleans the chicken house over in the other garden. Then we both catch the birds individually and apply poison to the back of their necks. BTW I use the word "poison" / sumu  in Swahili, but it's not at all poisonous to wildlife or domestic animals.  

For the past month we've collected an egg every second day, from the Guest House chickens; yet it was only this week that Edward brought me a clutch of six eggs that he discovered in a box of sawdust in the garage in my garden. (The sawdust is used for the cat's "sandboxes".) Although we buy free-range eggs from the local  people in town, I just had to photograph the bought eggs compared to our eggs. (See below!)

The top two eggs are from the local suppliers who also have free-range chickens but obviously these are getting maize and very little else. The bottom eggs - ours - have bright orange yolks in comparison!

I'm in Shinyanga today, buying the Guest House supplies for the week. Tomorrow I'm flying to Dar es Salaam and will spend Thursday night in this beautiful, first world city. More about that later.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.


  1. I can imagine how much Shadow enjoyed his walk and exploration. One can really see the difference in the quality of the "store bought" eggs and your eggs. What a difference the good diet makes. I've never raised chickens though apparently now the cityfolk here are permitted to do so in their yards. This approval has only happened in the last few years though in the country they can do it no problem.

  2. I'll bet Shadow was very happy to get outside.

    Hopefully your chickens will lay enough eggs to supply your needs.

  3. Oh, I'm so happy for Shadow. I know how he loves his walks!
    Beautiful eggs, Jo, compared with the others. Yes, diet makes a big difference.
    What really amazed me is Penny's comment. Chickens allowed in the city of Vancouver. What's next? (I hope it's world peace.)

  4. You will become an expert in chicken raising, lol ! How nice that you could smuggle Shadow out of the house, lol !

  5. There's definitely a difference!


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