I am living and working in Uganda with Amazima Ministries, but my eyes are set on eternity.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oink was my first word

I never feel as though I'm in the right mindset to blog.  I'm always too tired.  I always don't feel like my writing will be good enough.  I never know what to say or how to say it.  This leads to long stretches with no updates.  I apologize for this.  Even tonight I don't feel like I am going to put together anything great.  Either way here goes...

The housing for both my pigs and goats
I've been meaning to give an update on my animals for a long time and figure now is a good time to do so. 

Inez and Shakes
If you have been following my blog you know that I started with goats.  I had a rough start because of wild dogs, but am on the rebound.  Right now I have 1 big male named Floyd, 3 females named Gypsy, Inez, and Maizie.  I also have two young males, Shakes and Mowgli, that I plan on selling once they are full grown.  All of my goats are just local goats except Maizie who is a milking goat.  The local goats don't produce enough milk to make it viable, but Maize is a cross between local and milking (obviously she probably has an official breed, but I'm not certain what it is).  She can produce around 1.5-2 liters of milk a day.  If she was pure she would produce 3 or more.  Many people in Uganda raise goats for meat and almost all of them just raise the local breed.  The exotic milking breeds cost at least 4 times as much so they are much more rare.

More recently I have purchased a few pigs.  I grew up raising pigs and showing them at the county fair.  We never did it on a large scale, but from birth I think I have liked pigs.  Pigs cost 2 to 3 times more than goats so I just started with 1 boar and 2 gilts.  About 2 weeks ago I had my first litter.  It was a bit disappointing with only 4, but I'm still please to have a few piglets.  My male is named Mr. Darcy and the females are Flowers and The Baroness.  I'm guessing for future litters I'm not gonna put the effort into naming them all, but this litter was 4 females and they will be called The Supremes.

Mr. Darcy
The Baroness

Flowers and The Supremes
The Supremes

I am also trying to figure out chickens.  I have never raised any chickens so I have a bit to learn.  I built a chicken coop behind my house and I'm hoping to have 10-15 layers. 

I have a young man named Dominic who lives in the boys quarters behind my house (boys quarters are common here.  basically they are small buildings with a couple bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom.  people often allow either ground keepers, security guards, or house workers to stay in them as a benefit of their job).  Anyway, I don't need a whole lot of assistance at my house, but it is nice to have somebody at the house during the day when I am at work.  Dominic cuts the grass, takes out the garbage, washes my truck, and feeds the dogs.  I honestly don't have a whole lot of work for him so I figured this chicken venture could be a good educational opportunity for him and myself.  I am planning on making the initial investment and let Dom learn how to take care of chickens and in exchange he will be able to sell the eggs they produce.

Young layers produce much better than old ones so I decided to just buy 2 hens and rooster and let them hatch 10-15 that will become my longer term layers.  First two hens were a failure.  They laid around 20 eggs, but wouldn't sit on them to hatch em.  These first two were what they call Mzungu (white person) chickens.  I changed them out for a couple local hens.  Hoping these two want to be moms.  I also learned that chickens will eat their own eggs.  Had no idea.  On my to-do list this week is clip their beaks so they stop, people tell me it will.

Last on my animal list are my dogs.  I can't say I have ever really been a dog person, but since being in Uganda it has grown on me.  I think my issue in the states was that they had no purpose.  In Uganda dogs are the best security you can have.  They don't fall asleep on duty, they always know when somebody is near the house, and they only demand food and love as payment.  A large majority of Ugandan's are scared of dogs.  The reason for this is that almost 100% of dog owners own them as guard dogs.  There are no yippy dogs that ride in purses here.

I started with a hand-me-down dog named Max.  I say that and it sounds like he might not be that great of a dog.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  He comes from a long line of pure bred Ugandan street muts.  Max can be a bit obnoxious at times, but he is big, his bark is loud, and he can easily intimidate anybody he doesn't know.  He is great!  I then found him a companion named Evelyn.  I raised her from a pup and she did well enough, but she chewed the electrical wires on my truck 4 times which diminished my affection for her.  Lucky for me I found a new job for her.

Recently we have purchased 4 more acres of land in the village where our sponsorship program is located.  Because of the increase in land we needed to add a security guard to patrol the new big area.  We don't have electricity out there and this makes the guards job difficult.  I realized how beneficial it would be for him to have a dog to patrol with him.  Evelyn, the job is yours!

Because she was going out to the land I needed a replacement.  I found a family in town that breeds German Shepards and was able to purchase a pup.  I have decided to name the little guy Shadow and am excited about his addition to my household.


Ok, so this is way longer than I imagined it would be and I apologized if i dragged on.  Maybe it is my subconscious trying to make up for my lack of updates.

Thanks for checking in.


  1. This is the exact sort of blog post I like. Thanks Brad for sharing. I think my favorite is Mr. Darcy because I remember loaning you the book. I'm glad he made such a good impression on you (or maybe he didn't).

  2. Great blog post Brad.

    - Brian

  3. I think now would be a great time for have a moment of silence for Kisses from Katie and all the good goats we've lost over the years...

    Sigh...ok to good post, btw.