Interview and photos by Jesse Winter
Theodora Kubaje has raised guinea fowl her entire life.
“My father was a farmer and my mother. So, as a child, from school I would come and help my father take care of the fowls,” Theodora explains. “It has made me love guinea fowls.”
Unfortunately for farmers, however, the conditions needed to raise them are very particular, which can make raising them a challenge. Guinea fowl babies, known as keets, are highly sensitive to environmental conditions, are prone to sickness, and have high mortality rates.
With support from Global Affairs Canada, the Radio for Farmer Value Chain Development project is providing farmers with the information they need to keep more guinea fowl alive and well.
Thedora says the program has taught her how to cater for her flock’s needs. “The most important thing is the housing,” she says. “Usually the keets grow well. But when they are adult birds, because my housing wasn’t good, they would go wild and stay on trees or on the walls of my house. So sometimes they risk being devoured by hawks when they are still not full grown.” She says she also sometimes loses eggs because they lay them outside.
Last year, because Theodora’s birds were sleeping outside, they were more vulnerable predators and sickness. She had only 25 of 60 keets survive the season.
But she’s not going to let that stop her. Armed with new knowledge from the radio show, Thedora hopes a greater percentage of her keets will survive to adulthood this year. And she continues to work on her housing, gaining motivation to continue thanks to the programming.
“I’m determined until I succeed, I am not going to go back. I have built a whole room for it, and I have no other use for it than for the guinea fowls. So I am determined until I succeed.”