I love learning how animals are taken care of in villages in Malawi. We visited an agriculture school campus where I was able to visit with a man learning to start his own chicken business. He was actually sleeping in the pen and traded every other night with another student. They sleep in the pen to look after the newly hatched chicks to protect the chicks from any danger and to see that they have constant access to food and water. Their dedication was inspiring.
In one village I was able to check out a newly built rabbit hutch. The rabbit hutch housed the female and the babies up to a certain age on one side and the males were moved to the other side. They sold the rabbits for income, but also used them to provide protein for the families. This was my favorite one to tour. The droppings fall below and they add them to their compost to add to make fertilizer for their crops.
In Northern Malawi, my friend took me to his home village to visit his sister and mum. His sister showed me her newly built goat house. She lets the goats roam free most of the time, but since goats will eat almost anything, she keeps them put away when she needs to protect her crops. When I was visiting, the goats were in the pen, but one of the babies had found a way to escape. It was crying for it’s mom and was so happy when we reunited it with the others in the pen. They were all very happy when we were able to let them out.
This Pig Pen was located in a different village. We had been visiting another farmer and seeing how well his crops were doing. As we were wandering through a different part of the village, I noticed a group of women taking care of a pig so I stopped to visit with them and learn a little more. It took a little coaxing, but they were finally able to convince the pig to come out for just a few minutes…it was very happy inside it’s little shelter.
They all vary their methods a little, but they all seem determined to provide the best environment for their animals