Since I moved to Zambia, there are so many things I have learned that I never dreamed I would need to know. This upcoming weekend’s activities lead me to yet another one of these experiences!
We have had some staff troubles at Kulunga Bana this year. The end result is that I am now living at Kulunga Bana and running the farm, while our long term volunteer Dorota is in Lusaka caring for Salvation Home. Bear in mind that I am NOT a farmer, nor have I ever had any desire to be! I was the little girl who refused to eat pork at home, because my dad had killed a pig we raised and then had the gall to expect me to eat it!
Now I am a chicken farmer, and I have learned that this comes with a duty I was not prepared for. One of the poultry houses has hens that are getting old, and we are only getting a few trays of eggs each day. I sent Evalisto into the vet to ask what we should do and was quickly informed that “if the hens are not paying their rent, they are called dinner!” Not quite ready to accept the imminent death of my first batch of hens, I tried a two-week experiment and did everything I could to get them to lay more eggs–but all to no avail.
Finally, I made the trip to the livestock center to learn how to tell which hens were still laying eggs and which were not. Boy, did I learn! If you don’t know–it involves a process of catching the hen and then examining its bum with your finger! YUCK. As I listened to the very professional vet explaining the process, my mouth dropped to my chin and I must have looked aghast. Then I proclaimed, “You mean I have to put my fingers in their bums?” At which point I heard laughter break out all around me. Everyone in the place was laughing at me…Surrounded by farmers who knew they had a rookie in their midst, I thanked him very kindly and left as quickly as possible.
I got into the truck and drove straight to Frances’ school. I was telling him what we had to do, and he too broke out into laughter–but he did agree to come out for the weekend and help me. So soon I begin my new adventure. I am determined to conquer the bird’s bum and learn who is still laying and who is not! And yes–I will let the boys kill and eat those that are not. Wish me luck!