Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Plot 38: A Fowl Place

Now, I know what you're going to say. And I all have to say is some is better than none and late is better than never and you get what you paid for and all that. So instead of apologizing, I'm just sayin' here is a healthy splathering (just made it up. yea or nay?) of information from The Life of Ang in recent times. Apparently my attention has been elsewhere.  Haven't you heard of Pinterest.com and Homeland, the HBO sensation?!?!? Both are highly addictive and highly time-consuming, so be warned.

And now, we get to the point.

Uganda is land of many lovely things, but since my arrival here, one thing that has always baffled and bemused me was the state of the chicken eggs for human consumption.  I am a sort of connoisseur of eggs. Any one who knows me well will tell you this. I have been known to consume a fried egg and cheese sandwich for three meals in the same day, so I'm sure you'll believe me when I say, in general the eggs found here are just not right. The color of the yolks are the demise of the Ugandan egg. To say they are in the yellow family would be an outright lie. They're white. And when there is no sunshiney color, there is no sunshiney taste.

One can purchase 'Yellow York' eggs from the supermarket at a premium price but the product often falls short of its claim. Or perhaps those eggs actually do have yellow YORKS but their YOLKS can only be described as a bold shade of cream.  We first had chickens several years ago before the acquisition of Killer aka Sahara. Since we've had this hunter on our hands, we pretty much ruled out the possibility of having any other living thing within the compound besides Tuna, but at times, even that is a stretch.

However, handyman Felix Chill had an itch to do some building on a Saturday some months ago and decided the thing to build would be a chicken coop which would be secured by a deeply dug and cemented fence. As most Chill projects go, Phil started with gusto, no plan, and in his pajama pants. I had to slow him down considerably and ask him to account for the number of chickens he would try to sequester to the all-too-tiny coop he was plotting. I think his initial response was 20 which meant we would've been right there with the worst offenders on the bench for inhumane caged chicken factories. Other things that went unobserved by Phillium included the height of the coop - he wanted it several inches from the ground, but also wanted to use the dropping as fertilizer, so how shall we scrap them out with no space, silly!?! - and the sealing of the wood did not seem to concern Phil - hello? we live in the tropics - a door for the coop was forgotten and the list goes one. Despite these minor setbacks, Phil trundled along for the better part of an hour, at which point he was bored and turned over the completion of the project, to actual handymen and night guards Kabito and Henry (if you are a regular reader of this blog, you might be noticing a trend in which Chill projects usually are not finished by Gilly himself).  He did however, later dig some significant trenches for fence post.

We started with a turkey, as you do when you build a chicken coop. It was several weeks before Thanksgiving and we thought it a great idea to get us a gobbler so we could feast on the traditional foods of my ancestors, or something like that. However, the turkey was kind and quite pretty for a turkey, so we did have it in us to eat him.

We then got 10 tiny chicks which lived in the garage for 3 months. They were acquired while I was in Mozambique and Ann, mother of Felix, was visiting Kampala so she nurtured them like a momma hen - making them little obstacle courses to keep them from becoming bored and feeding them by hand so they would get used to humans.

True to form, Phil became impatient, knowing that the little chicklets would not lay eggs until they were around 6 months old, we had to get some bigger girls to fill the job. That is when these five moved in with Thanksgiving Dinner.

Now days, all the chickens live in the coop and the turkey lives to see another day and another and another and another....you get the idea.  BUT SERIOUSLY,  he must go soon because he's very territorial and mean to the chickens. He doesn't like human women either and hates the color red. Mainly, he's too moody to go on, so soon he will meet his maker (but we've been saying that for months).

We even added this nice laying box to provide a soft, private space for the hens to do their business.

The fence has done its job, keeping out Sahara despite her ever-lovin' desire to sink her teeth into the gobbling turkey, but unfortunately, Sahara doesn't seem to be the only threat.  The coop recently had a night visitor who was not invited and not welcome. A serval cat jumped over the wall attacking two ladies before being scared off by the fearless night guard, Kabito.  However, the damage had already been done and the chicks didn't make it. RIP.

The coop now has a door and all the birds get tucked in each night away from harm.  We always have fresh eggs with very yellow sunshiney YOLKS.  So come on over for a famous fried egg and cheese sandwich and we might even treat you to a turkey dinner.

UPDATE: I have had TWO double yolks in the past two weeks! These chickens are amazing!


  1. Those sure are a lot of babies to look after... Respect! Also for the coop. I like continuous improvements =)

  2. Those sure are a lot of babies to look after... Respect! Also for the coop. I like continuous improvements =)