Chicks Empowered FAQ
You've got questions and we've got answers! Let's get down to business and talk about chickens!
1. What type of chickens are you raising?
The most common question we get about Chicks Empowered! Currently, we are only raising broiler chickens, or chickens specifically raised to sell as meat. We decided to start Chicks Empowered with broilers because:
- They grow very quickly. Within 5 to 6 weeks these chickens will be full-grown and ready for market.
Faster growth cycle = more frequent turn around = more $ in their pockets
- We asked for advice from the experts. We didn't know our layers from our broilers or anything in between. So, we asked other Zambian chicken farmers and followed their advice.
- There is an established market for broilers and a high demand for broilers in the Kunchubwe area.
- Broilers ultimately are cheaper and easier to raise.
2. What about eggs??
We would love to incorporate layers or pullets (chickens who lay eggs) into Chicks Empowered very soon! The advice we were given was to start with one type of chicken and we can always choose to expand later.
Layers are generally more difficult to care for and have a much longer growth cycle than broilers (most layers do not start to lay eggs until around 5 to 6 months). They are also much more expensive!
As the women gain experience, success, and knowledge about raising chickens, it is our plan to add Layers into the Chicks Empowered repertoire.
3. What's the process to raise chickens?
A lot of our time in Zambia was actually spent learning the answer to this question. We had to do a lot of field research to learn the best way to implement this project. Let's not get too deep into the nitty-gritty, if you want to learn more, I wrote this fascinating manual for Alexandre and you're more than welcome to have a look :)
4. How do the women make money?
The key reason for Chicks Empowered is to empower women through chicken farming. Sustainable income is the outcome we not only desire but fully expect.
Chicks Empowered participants make money in the following ways:
- They receive a daily wage. This is basically unheard of in this type of work in Zambia. However, it seemed unfair for the women to work but still wait 5 to 6 weeks before getting paid. Although the daily wage is small, it will help supplement their income until the chicks go to market.
ALL women are expected to participate everyday, however, there is only ONE supervisor each day. Whomever is supervisor receives the daily wage. Everybody has equal opportunity to be the daily supervisor and receive the daily wage.
- They earn a portion of the profits. With the money earned from selling chickens, the first step is to buy all the supplies and chicks for the next batch of chicks. After all the expenses have been paid, we will distribute the profits in the following ways:
50% of the profits will be divided among the participating women
35% of the profits will be designated to a Chicks Empowered savings account. Through these savings, we will be able to expand the project and make necessary repairs.
15% of the profits will be designated to Love Abounds. This amount will help cover some of the administrative costs of running the program. This fund will also be used to further new projects in Kunchubwe Village, like an orphanage, a school, etc.
5. What does success look like? whats next?
When I look at the picture above, I see success. This amazing group of women has stepped out in faith with us, to try something new, to do something different. They've agreed to work hard, to persevere, and to trust us.
We've already made one giant leap, Chicks Empowered has already begun. That in and of itself is exciting and worthy of celebration.
But, at Love Abounds we're dreamers. We want to celebrate every small victory -- finishing construction, the chicks entering the house, selling the first batch of chicks -- but our vision is much larger!
Chicks Empowered is simply one project we've planned for Kunchubwe Village. We plan to start more economic development initiatives, an orphanage, a school, and other projects in the near future.
Ultimately, success is empowering each of these women to be the agents of change in their community. Our hope is for their success to overflow from Chicks Empowered into their personal lives, their families' lives, and into the community at large.
....and who knows maybe we'll venture into goat farming next... Kids Empowered anyone? (Its just too easy!)
Fundraising Update: We've raised over $5,000 for Chicks Empowered! Thank you everyone for your support!
Our work would be impossible without incredibly generous givers. Join us in spreading love in Zambia through giving. We cannot say thank you enough!