Welcome to this edition of Krystal the Newbie White Girl Living in Africa. On today’s episode we learn how important it is to research what kind of chicken you adopt as your own.
Before I decided to raise chickens, my research was weak to say the least. I had asked around as to what kinds of chickens were available (traditional and hybrid), but when I excitedly asked about a particularly pretty chicken, no one was able to tell me the exact type. I found some internet research that said the dark brown ones are Issa Brown chickens but no one could really verify that outside of the one article I found online. I am sure my lack of French vocabulary for raising chickens didn’t help. So, when I met Frieda I followed my visual heart and said ‘oooohh that one’s pretty I’ll get that one!’ then we boxed her and her kiddos up and brought them home where she has lived ever sense.
Until I went on vacation Freida was a happy go-lucky Chicken who wonders around the courtyard at all times of day and takes on as many roosters as she pleases (seriously I have had her for less than a month and I have seen her mate with four different roosters!? When you got it flaunt it eh Freida?). My very caring next door neighbour came to me after 24 hours of being home with a serious long face and said he needed to talk to me about Freida. I thought he was going to tell me she died while I was away or something. He said that Freida went missing while I was away and he and his kids went looking around the neighbourhood and couldn’t find her until they got home. He asked me what kind of chicken Freida is – because traditional chickens brood and they won’t get up for days as they sit on their eggs. I said she could be because she came to me from Bougoula and I really don’t know a lot about her background so to speak.
That’s when Abdo pointed to a small brown fluffy spot on the bottom shelf of their cabinet in their kitchen… That’s right folks Freida picked my neighbours kitchen to brood for three to four weeks instead of the quality chicken house I have for her. I was a bit mortified and offered that we can kick her out of their kitchen but he said if we move her she won’t sit on her eggs. I said that was fine but he assured me in his Malian kindness that it really doesn’t bother him or his family. And so she sits. In their kitchen. For another three weeks. Welcome to life in Mali!