The bad news; one chicken has died.
On Sunday, one of our egg-laying hens was discovered deceased.
The good news; it was then eaten. None gone to waste.
The better news; our chicken farm representative has agreed to replace the bird, even though the death was technically outside of the ‘warranty period’.
The best news; the other 139 hens seem healthy and happy and continue to produce lots of eggs as they get comfortable in their new home.
Ati chicken update
Their ‘new home’ is atop a small mountain here in Malay, Aklan on Panay Island in the Philippines — near where we are living during a pause in our global wandering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last two months, with the help of numerous, generous overseas donors, we rebuilt and restocked the typhoon-destroyed hen house which belongs to the Ati tribe – a disadvantaged indigenous Filipino people.
The ‘ready to lay’ hens were delivered last Wednesday. And the weather on the day of delivery was lousy: rainy, windy, cold, by Philippine standards.
But the birds didn’t seem to mind too much. Within four hours we had dozens of eggs. And now, we are getting about 100 medium-to-large, salable, fresh eggs – every day.
The company rep says both the amount and size of the eggs will gradually increase as the birds truly settle in over the next few weeks.
Chickens seem happy
Actually, despite the death, the chickens currently look great compared to the soggy state they were in upon delivery last week.
The chicken farm rep said they would naturally clean and groom themselves – and they did. As you can see in the photos, they are truly handsome creatures; bright, creamy white with deep red combs and wattles (the soft fleshy growths around the head).
Perhaps it was the stress of the rain-soaked delivery that caused the one bird’s demise. But again, the rest of the flock seems content and productive. So hopefully, it was just a catastrophic individual medical problem. Who knows.
There will be no investigation or autopsy. There can’t be. Erlot, one of the Ati tribesmen, cooked and ate the dead hen for Sunday supper. We’re told someone has a cell phone photograph in case the farm rep needs to verify our ‘insurance claim’.
Of course, from here on, we can’t expect free replacement hens should there be any more fatalities. But the purchase agreement ($1,500 for 140 ready-to-lay hens) does include ongoing consultation and care services with the chicken farm rep/expert.
Incidentally, in total, the birds are consuming 12 to 15 kilos (25 to 30 pounds) of feed per day. And they can drink up to 18 gallons of fresh water daily in hot weather. There are also calcium and enzyme supplements that are added.
In all, we are glad only one foul flatlined, and for the replacement bird.
Moreover, we remain confident that the rest of the flock will remain healthy and productive and that the budding egg business will be a boon to the Ati during this economically challenging pandemic period.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Ati chicken update: 1 death, many eggs.”
What to read next about our Ati adventures:
- Chicken soup for the soul – Ati style
- Supply shopping with Ati tribal council
- Surreal experience working alongside Ati
What to read next about our travel adventures:
- What no one ever tells you about Morocco’s ‘Blue City’
- Indonesia’s Komodo dragons fight in front of us
- Life in lovely Lisbon for 1 month: what it cost us