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Akpo Uyeh: 10 Life Lessons From the Poultry Farm



I have never been a lover of animals. Having lived in the city center, I was used to noise. The sounds of blaring horns, conductors calling out to passengers, hawkers announcing their wares and religious institutions  organizing prayer sessions and the likes was the usual scenario. But I became transformed when my family moved to the outskirts of the city. It was the complete opposite of where I had grown up- the area was very quiet, underdeveloped and sparsely populated.

A large percentage of people in the new region were into farming. The women were mostly housewives, clad in wrappers tied up to their chests. There was enough space for everyone. It was devoid of the struggle attached to urban life – the struggle for water, parking space and every other necessity.

Living in the rural area made me appreciate nature and study animals like goats, sheep,lizards, fowls and their lifestyles. My concentration in this write-up would be on fowls(Poultry)

So my Mom ventured into poultry business. Trust me, it came with its own challenges – starting up and managing.
Below are lessons I have picked up from this venture and how I apply it to real life situations:

When you add no value, you are as good as minced meat
Fowls that were just there to consume without producing eggs or having prospect of being sold to make huge profits were killed for supper. They were just consumers, so the best option was to sell them to frozen food owners. This goes to show that to remain in the workplace,one should add value or face the likelihood of being fired. No one wants to employ a liability.

Cleanliness is next to godliness
The poultry must always be kept neat and disinfected to prevent the spread of diseases. The poultry equipments and apparatus are to be washed regularly. Handling of the poultry requires one to be clean. To avoid being contaminated with bad eggs in an organization, one should strive to maintain his/her values rather than blend with anything negative.

Only the strongest and fittest survive
Fowls that were lukewarm were deprived of food, water and other benefits. It was the strongest and smartest ones that got the lion’s share of everything that came their way.
In life, one has to think, act and work smart. Being tenacious and courageous would take one very far. Those who are onlookers would forever wait while those who are active and goal getters would get the best of everything.

Waste can be recycled to produce other products
As smelly and obscene as poultry waste is, it is still useful. Farmers use them for manure. This usually comes with a  price tag.
People should focus on the good things that can come out of something bad. We should see solutions rather than problems.

Do not allow anyone to cage you
The fowls were caged, so their movenent was restricted. In real life, people would respond to you based on the limitations you allow. As the saying goes: you should not make any one make you feel inferior. There is so much one can do when one does not cage himself or herself. Explore!

Water is  necessary/universal solvent
As much as the fowls were greedy for their feeds, nothing could replace water. I watch them as they gulp down water continuously when given, leaving their feeds.
A large percentage of the human body constitutes water. Doctors recommend, at least, 8 glasses of water per day. Drink water and watch the wonders it does for your body!

Poultry business is not child’s play
The larger the chicks,the bigger the risks; the greater the commitment and inputs and the greater the profits.

Life is all about risks. All things being equal, little (investments) efforts produce little results, big efforts when channelled properly produce big results. Even the bible says if you sow sparingly, you would reap…fill in the gap. Which one would you opt for?

Sickly fowls are isolated
This is done in order to prevent the spread of diseases. People with negative attitude and energy should not be allowed into one’s space to vitiate the individual.
As the saying goes, iron sharpens iron; so people with like minded interests and values should be together for  better productivity.

Nurturing provides maximum output
The fowls flourished, looking well taken care of. They produced massive eggs. This meant increase in profits.
Any organization that wants to increase output/profit should invest in their workforce in form of trainings, allowances, incentives, work leaves, appraisals, feed backs etc. Basically anything that would motivate the employee to do more than what he/she is paid to do. A conducive work environment is key to boost productivity.

Do not give up!
At the onset, the poultry business consumed all resources – time, money, space. The return on investment was nothing compared to cash input. However, Ma remained undeterred. She kept on keeping on.
People are tempted to give up when things do not go as planned but one must learn to be tenacious. Understand the ropes; connect the dots, and fill in the gaps until every thing makes sense and there is maximum yield.

I end with these words; every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
Never say never. Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

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