From logger to sustainable chicken farmer | WWF
From logger to sustainable chicken farmer

Posted on 25 May 2020

In early 2019, several villagers including Mr. Tu Te were selected by WWF-Cambodia and Forest and Livelihood Organization (FLO) to pilot a chicken farming project. WWF-Cambodia gave them incubators and introduced them to innovative ways to build chicken coops. Alongside, they also received training on how to use and fix the incubators, as well as how to give correct feed, vaccination and medicine to the chickens.
For the first time ever, Mr. Tu Te, who lives in Laeot village, Kratie Province, felt safe and happy at home. He now stays at home, feeding and taking care of his chickens. Back then, before this pivotal point of his life, Mr. Tu Te was working in the forest almost every day felling trees and cutting timber close to Prek Prasab Wildlife Sanctuary, where a protected area was designated in October 2018. Mr. Tu Te used to be a charcoal seller, working under fear and a lot of pressure. With or without his knowledge, his activities were illegal and damaging the natural resources of the area.
 
In early 2019, several villagers including Mr. Tu Te were selected by WWF-Cambodia and Forest and Livelihood Organization (FLO) to pilot a chicken farming project. WWF-Cambodia gave them incubators and introduced them to innovative ways to build chicken coops. Alongside, they also received training on how to use and fix the incubators, as well as how to give correct feed, vaccination and medicine to the chickens.
 
Since then, Mr. Tu Te has been making a living off of chicken meat production and raising chicks for sale. He and his wife are now selling 500 chicks per month, with chick costing 5000 Khmer Riels (USD1.25) each. The couple can earn up to USD250 of net profit each month just from selling chicks, even after deducting expenses from chicken feed, electricity bills, medicine and vaccines. It usually takes 21 days from when the egg is laid to when the chicks start hatching, then it takes another 21 days before the chick can be sold in the market. In addition, they began raising pigs, allowing them to generate even more income and properly provide for their three children.
 
“I am happy and relieved. I like the business we have started here with my family. I can feel safe for the first time, since this job does not involve all the risks I had previously with my old job. Now I am concentrating on this business and I want to keep working on it to improve our livelihoods,” said Mr. Tu Te.
 
Raising chickens is not as hard as working in the forest and he can split the tasks with his wife. In the morning, they clean the troughs and the coops, monitor the incubators, then feed the chicks and chickens. Mr. Tu Te plans to expand his work in the farm so that he can increase the number of chicks and chickens for sale each month.
 
Mr. Tu Te has set a good example for local villagers to stop unsustainable exploitation of natural resources around them, and instead embrace alternative sources of income to improve their livelihoods while also helping reduce threats on natural resources in their communities.

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Mr. Tu Te, feeding his chickens at his home in Kratie province.
© Laura Dehaene / WWF-Cambodia
Chicks, raised by Mr. Tu Te, eating feed in the cage.
© Laura Dehaene / WWF-Cambodia