When President Cirino told us of his plans to have a hen coop, we said, sure, go ahead, thinking, aw, sweet. But he and his seniors had bigger ideas – much bigger ideas! Using the balance of monies raised from selling crafts at the market \the Mexican ladies cooking demos, they bought the materials and the seniors set to with a will – and during the heat and the humidity of the summer, that is really something. Even as they were building they were already acquiring some stock – provided by Manny Venegas, really cute little Easter card type chicks all yellow and fluffy chirping around.
Cirino soon discovered it takes quite a few pesos to feed them all – so he went to local tortillerias and fresh produce stalls at the market and asked for their leftovers which he has used to supplement their diet. After approximately 7 months they were little fluffy chicks no more, but accredited eggs layers – beautiful brown eggs, and lots of them! These were for helping to feed the seniors – and surplus were available for sale. Money received was ploughed back into buying yet more chicks (and feedstuff). As of mid November they have over 1,000 hens of all ages and sizes!
They ran out of money before they could put a roof on, but a generous donation from Sra Bertha provided a substantial roll of black plastic to use as a temporary shelter from the sun. Unfortunately we had a surprise end of season overnight rain on the 11th November which turned into a torrential downpour all the next day – rendering the plastic useless. Cirino and two of his men worked that night and the next morning to rescue the chicks, putting them into the main building under cover of the tall roof. Despite their efforts, sadly 60 drowned.
You can read more about the TE by going to Volunteering and clicking on Tercera Edad.