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Fruitful Vale residents rearing chicks

Published:Wednesday | August 26, 2015 | 11:32 AMGareth Davis
Oswald Rochester
PHOTOS BY GARETH DAVIS Oswald Rochester's chicken coop.


Oswald Rochester is spearheading a chicken-rearing project in Fruitful Vale, Portland, designed to assist residents in the various adjoining communities.

Rochester, who oversees the rearing of day-old chicks to maturity, is excited about his role, which has allowed him to not only display his skills at caring for the young chickens, but also to be a part of a nation-building process initiated by the Digicel Foundation, Hi-Pro feeds, and Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz.

"I basically ensure that the young chicks are fed and cared for. The young chicks are like babies which require a lot of care and attention. They are fed and watered round the clock and are at full maturity after five weeks. The mature birds are then slaughtered and sold throughout the community for human consumption," he added.

The birds which weigh approximately six pounds at six weeks are sold and the money is used to maintain not only the ongoing operations at the poultry farm but also to pay persons in charge of monitoring the distribution of water throughout the various communities, the operation of an Internet centre at Fruitful Vale, maintenance of the multi-purpose facility, and also to assist needy students.

At the poultry farm, which is located in Fruitful Vale, just across from the multi-purpose facility, a coop built to accommodate 600 chicks is now home to 500 two-week-old chicks, while, some metres away lies another coop with 500 day-old chicks.

The facility is complemented with a water storage tank, an abattoir, an electronic plucking device, an electronic water warmer, and a 20-foot cold storage container.

"I feel a sense of pride and joy to be able to assist with the growth and development of the many other communities in this area, including Shrewsberry, Durham, Skibo, Commodore, Grants Gate, Dumphreys, Coopers Hill, and Boundridge. It's not about politics, but rather to keep the community spirit alive so as to prove to Jamaica that unity is strength."