Cora and Enya decided to raise chickens and sell eggs to raise money for Conservacion Patagonica. Daughters of German wildlife biologists Barbara and Christoph Promberger, they live in Romania, where their parents are working to protect forests and the wild carnivores who live there. Their visit to Doug and Kris Tompkins in Patagonia a few years ago made a big impression on them, so they decided to do what they could to help us out.
When did you visit Patagonia?
We came with our parents in April 2009, to visit Doug and Kris and see Valle Chacabuco and all of Patagonia.
What do you remember best?
Very very many wild animals! We saw San Lorenzo and spent time with Doug and Kris– we visited Reñihue for the first couple of days and then went to Patagonia. The nature there is very nice!
Can you describe where you live?
We live in Romania, in the village of Sinca Noua. There are lots of forests here, and there used to be lots of animals. Now, many people shoot them. There used to be many wolves here, but now there are only 6, because people kill them, and also hunt the deer that they need to eat.
Can you explain the conservation project your parents are working on?
Our parents are working in Romania, in one of the most wild areas in all of Europe. They are trying to protect the forests there, which are home to animals like wolves and bears. They have ten rangers to make sure no one cuts the wood.
What is an average day for you like?
We wake up at 7:30, eat breakfast, and at 8:15 we start school (we’re homeschooled, and we practice English, German and Romanian. Enya does school for 7 hours a day and Cora does 4. We have no homework. After lunch, we might go to piano lessons, play, or ride. From 6 – 7pm, we go to the chickens and take care of them, and say good night to each of them, because each has a name. Then we eat dinner, play, and go to bed.
How many chickens do you have?
We have 31, but one died because she fell into water and five got eaten by the pig, so now we have 25. Some of their names are: Rabia, Runyon, Ophelia, Puchoycha — some German names, some Romanian names.
How did you come up with the idea for the chicken project?
A while ago, we had a list in our house where we’d get, say, 10 cents for doing a chore. We collected the money for a long time and at the end, we had $250 euros. We decided we wanted to give it away to help nature, so our mom and dad said they would give us another $250 euros. We decided to give half to the Sea Shepherd and half to Doug and Kris with Conservacion Patagonica.
After that, we wanted to try a new, bigger project, where we could raise money for nature.
How long have you been raising chickens?
We got the chickens in March. They were very small, so we put them in a small box with a light. During this time we had to check on them very often, to give them food and water. Then after ten days, they did not need the infrared light any more. As they grew, we gave them more space, with a little pond, where they can play and look for worms. At first we thought we had 30 hens, but it turns out we have 29 hens and one rooster. And now we got another rooster in August.
Who do you sell your eggs to?
Our parents run a horseback riding center, where people come and stay. So we sell them to them, because they would otherwise have to buy them at the market.
How much money have you raised?
We don’t know exactly but we will let you know by email! We think about $450 up until now.
Do people know you are raising money for Patagonia?
Depends who– if they are just staying for just one day, we don’t have time to make friends with them, but if they stay longer, we tell them about that. And if they have kids, we take the kids with us and put the chickens to bed, and tell them about our project. Many times the kids who visit us also want to do a project that helps nature.
What is the future of your chicken project?
We would get more chickens in the springtime, which lay two eggs per day, and keep on going with the project. It is very fun to raise chickens!
Do you have plans to come visit us again in Patagonia?
We want to come back in 2014. We really want to see the guanacos again and maybe even try to pet one! We are excited to come back because the nature there is just great, and because Doug and Kris are so nice and we don’t get to see them so often.