Chicken run in rural Africa

Chicken run in rural Africa

November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013

What on earth is a Kuroiler?

Kuroilers are a very special kind of chicken. For farmers in rural Africa, they can help provide a transition from cycles of poverty to self-sufficiency and increased economic opportunity.

Highly adaptable to local environs, Kuroilers are hybrid creatures, almost twice the weight of their indigenous counterparts, providing much more meat. They are prodigious egg-layers, supplying families with roughly ten times as many eggs per year as average chickens.

Kuroilers are also better at evading predators and more resistant to the poultry diseases that often plague native chicken species in Africa—a boon to impoverished families.

Women will typically raise the chickens in small, backyard operations. By switching to the new birds, they not only improve their financial condition but their social status in the community as well.

According to Biodesign researcher and resident chicken expert Jagdev Sharma, a program to introduce the birds in Uganda has already been a great success. “The village farmers who are raising Kuroilers are impressed with the returns they are getting both in the number of eggs and the size of the males. We are unable to meet the rapidly rising demand for this scavenger.”

The next phase of operations seeks to raise the birds locally through the establishment of African breeder flocks, (rather than importing Kuroiler eggs or chicks from India, where the breed originated).

Sharma reports that a hen belonging to the first Ugandan breeding colony recently laid her first egg—another milestone in the project. The breeding flock will eventually generate some 15,000 day-old chicks per week.  

Now it’s your turn to join the chicken frenzy!

For just $30 dollars, you can supply a rural family with a backyard flock of 10 Kuroilers.

  • Thus far, 117,871 Kuroilers have been distributed to rural households in 39 districts. Farmer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; formal project evaluation is pending.
  • The Ugandan government has provided UGX 509,264,900 (US$ 198,776) supplementary funds to expand Kuroiler distribution to meet the increasing farmer demand.
  • Six distribution centers called Mother Units have been installed in strategic locations within Uganda. Additional Mother Units will be installed when the production by the parent flock reaches peak levels.
  • A 28-minute video on women empowerment, poultry husbandry, economics and family nutrition has been developed and translated into five local languages.
  • Two community workshops on women empowerment were held, one in the North and the other in Central Uganda. Over 400 women attended.

 

Written by: Richard Harth