Raising Chickens in the Philippines should be Easy, Right?
I don’t know much about city ordinances in the Philippines. They’re obviously different in every city. I’m sure some places have restrictions on where chickens can be raised. Most Filipinos would simply ignore those restrictions or find a way around them. Having food on the table is far more important than following rules. Even so, raising chickens can be an exercise in frustration if the chicken coops aren’t built properly. Even when they are built properly, other things can happen to make raising them harder than it should be.
Josie, my wife, bought 90 chicks (sisiw in Tagalog) recently. We’re planning a big party when my younger son, Jonathan, arrives for vacation in December. Those chicks will grow into broiler chickens, ready to eat in 45 days.
Well, we’re down to a little over 70 chicks now. Some neighborhood cat, a stray scavenger, found a way to get into the chicken coop. That chicken coop has been checked a dozen times and it’s secure. The superstitious people here thinks it’s actually an aswang, pretending to be a cat.
Raising Chickens can be Expensive
The last time I paid for raising them, a sister-in-law took care of feeding them. I spent around 13,000 pesos (more than USD $250) for the chicks, the chicken feed and the Vitracin (water + vitamins + antibiotics). Josie’s taking care of the finances this time around, so I have no idea what the total cost will be.
It really isn’t cost-effective to raise a lot of chickens unless they’re going to be sold when they mature. It’s hard to store the meat after they’re slaughtered. The last time, I had to have the meat stored in three different places and two of those places wasn’t in my house.
We have some “native” chickens running around, crapping all over the place. No one feeds them – they’re truly free range birds. No one seems to eat them either but they eventually disappear.
I’m not Fond of Eating Chicken
Judging by how many people I see in every place that sells fried chicken, a lot of Filipinos are very fond of it. I’m not. I’d rather eat a salad than a piece of chicken. Perhaps it’s because I’m always around chickens, in one form or another (alive or cooked).
I don’t like being near chicken coops or having chickens underfoot. Chicken shit is nasty. Chickens are stupid and I think they’re some of the stupidest animals on this planet. I once saw a chicken being slaughtered in the back yard and another chicken strolling through the blood while it was happening.
One of my grandmothers, on my father’s side, used to raise chickens (and pigs and other farm animals). I’ve been around chickens most of my life and I’m simply tired of looking at them.