This weekend our family grew by six…’kuku’ that is! (That’s ‘chickens’ in Kiswahili) We bought a chicken house about a month ago and were waiting for confirmation that we did not need a city permit to keep chickens on our property. Finally, after confirming this, last Saturday Dan drove with David, a Kenyan we know, to pick out 6 chickens for our ‘nyumba ya kuku’ (chicken house).
We’ve been talking as a family about getting chickens for some time, but the question was always, ‘which kind?’ You see, many of the imported chickens here in Kenya are not as resilient, healthy and easy to raise as the Kienyeji (meaning ‘of the country’) chickens, which are indigenous to Kenya. The Kienyeji are also the only chickens here that lay yellow yolk eggs, the others have a whitish-grey yolk. The problem for us in deciding was this: every Kenyan we spoke with about getting the Kienyeji chickens told us that in order for them to lay eggs, you MUST have a rooster. We weren’t too excited about being awoken by a rooster’s crowing each morning (though many of our neighbors have roosters that we hear regularly). This needing a rooster to lay eggs made absolutely NO SENSE physiologically to me, but after hearing it again and again from everyone we spoke to, we decided we should just trust the locals and get a rooster so they will be sure to lay eggs. So our home now has 6 new members. Their names are: ‘Charles’ the rooster, ‘Henrietta’, ‘Gwenevere’, ‘Midnight’, ‘Penelope’, and ‘Alfreda’. The lady who sold them to us says the rooster and three of the hens are older, so those hens should start laying in June, while the other two are younger and will likely not lay until September. Life is busier around here with our six new family members to keep track of, but they are a lot of fun too…and I have to admit, they’re pretty cute! I’ve included some photos for you to enjoy, and perhaps you’ll agree with me on their cuteness. Cock-a-doodle-doo from Nairobi!