|First chicken farm visited upon Alexis' arrival in Haiti|
Her scope of work included assessing the chicken industry, especially analyzing options and nutrition content of chicken feed and working with women farmers to improve their enterprises. With the assistance of Farmer to Farmer and local technicians, the women are trying to increase their understanding of chicken production as a micro-enterprise, which is new to many of them and holds the potential for them to improve their livelihoods.
|Students stayed for hours and asked many questions|
Program staff commented on how Alexis, as a chicken farmer herself, could quickly grasp the realities of her Haitian counterparts. She could infer based on several behavioral observations and other factors that the chickens were largely under-fed, and this coupled with other environmental stresses were lowering the animals' productive potential. Since chicken feed is by far the largest expense and often difficult to access in Haiti, this finding is understandable.
Among Alexis' many practical recommendations are lower-cost herbal remedies (oregano) to improve animal health and other recommendations to reduce animal stress which could be implemented immediately, like ways to improve hygiene by reducing ammonia, and reducing heat stress. As a follow-on to the project, she and F2F field staff plan to have locally-available feed analyzed in a US lab for nutritional content.
|It can be difficult to get chicks - these just arrived from the Dominican Republic|