We have been wanting to introduce a hardy bunch of hens at Aanandaa, who can deal with the natural climate, and eat off the eco system. Locally, we could not procure desi hens in large numbers. Some villagers who were willing to sell, were quoting outrageous prices.
The hunt for desi hens led us to Keggfarms in Gurgaon. They told us about the local breed Kuroilers which are extremely hardy, and good egg layers. Keggfarms actually runs a nationwide livelihood program where village women buy a few Kuroiler chicks and keep them in their backyard, throwing them scraps and grains from time to time. The hens gives ample eggs in her lifetime and is then sold for meat - giving the village lady a huge ROI on her investment. Keggfarms usually sell only day old chicks. We requested them to inform us when they have a batch of 3-4 week old chicks, as we did not have the confidence of handling day old chicks, after the bad experience we had the last time.
On 15th March we picked up 75 hens & roosters, and drove them to Aanandaa in our Duster. They were comfortably transported in 3 crates, which looked small, but allowed the hens to squat quite comfortably. A little music, slightly open windows, and occasional chatting kept them calm throughout the journey.
On arriving at Aanandaa, we immediately gave them some water, and feed. Then we let them explore the area while we built their coop.
Once the coop was ready, we managed to shush them all into the coop.
We went to Barwala and bought two feeders (one if sufficient for 50 hens). They were happy to peck at their food from these. A farm hand slept with them for the first few nights, but they indeed are quite sturdy, friendly towards animals, and settled in well.