Enhancing Protein Consumption with Chickens

By Bernice Agyekwena – Communications Manager

A client receiving chickens

Last year, more than 700 chickens were distributed to more than 50 clients of the Growing Healthy Food Growing Healthy Children (GHFGHC) Program. This year, plans are underway to distribute an additional 400 chickens in a bid to address the protein needs of clients by enhancing their consumption of chicken.

Chicken is a source of complete protein and thus supplies all the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own and is very nutritious. Among other things, consuming the animal-source protein supports muscle growth as well as brain development and function.

However, access to chicken and other sources of animal protein remains a real challenge for most rural communities due to the high cost of animal products as well as the challenges that people in rural communities face when trying to raise animals on their own.

A client holding her chickens

Protein deficiency is especially critical for pregnant and lactating mothers since it can result in anemia, which can have dire consequences for both mother and child.

Self-Help’s nutritionists and agricultural specialists are supporting families with both the knowledge of animal husbandry to rear the poultry, and the information about the importance of protein consumption.  It is hoped that when families have easy access to acquire chickens and use them in food preparation, the nutritional quality of their meals will improve and they will also have access to adequate protein in the diets of the entire family.