Dreams Fulfilled through the Unlikely Gift of Chickens


Mama Lily is a grandmother who has gone through the alcoholics’ rehabilitation program at Empowering Lives (ELI).  She is also raising two of her grandchildren.  Carolyn is aged 20 and her sister Violet is aged 19; both have completed high school.  She adopted the girls when they were in the equivalent of 4th and 3rd grade respectively.  Carolyn has now completed high school. 

Mama Lily’s, who is currently in her mid-70s is a testament of the efficacy of ELIs poultry program.  Less than six months ago, she was gifted with five chicken and a rooster.  She says that she took care of the five chicks and now has 38 chicken in her homestead; and, two of her chickens are currently incubating 15 eggs each. 

She dreams of one day having a dairy cow.  She hopes to purchase some sheep which she will in turn sell at the right time to achieve her dream of being a milk producer.

The girls say they are motivated by what their grandmother has been doing, and what the project is able to accomplish.  They have also become skilled in rearing chicken and hope to eventually be responsible for their grandma’s poultry farm. 

The chicken are a local breed, this is because local chicken are resilient and have over the years developed resistance to avian diseases found in the region, and therefore do not need a lot of vaccines.  Besides the use of commercial vaccines, they also utilize traditional herbs.   They are, however, crossbred with a higher stocks for improved productivity. To avoid in-breeding, the cockerels are disposed once the hens lay eggs. 


Brad Johns