Have you wondered why poultry farming in Kenya has become so profitable in 2019 that most entrepreneurs yearn to venture into the business?
Poultry farming is the breeding of birds in general, but the term is more specifically reserved for the breeding of domestic birds.
It is one thing starting a poultry farm and another thing being successful with your poultry business.
If you are passionate about livestock, then I encourage you to venture into poultry farming in Kenya. There are many successful poultry farmers in Kenya whose success stories are a source of inspiration for entrepreneurs.
There no doubt that poultry business is very lucrative in most part of Africa, especially Kenya, and that is why many entrepreneurs are making millions in this sector.
This is my advice for beginners: there is no shortcut in any business venture, and poultry farming is no exception.
This kind of entrepreneurship follows certain peculiar operational principles for one to make a real profit. Should you ignore these fundamental principles, you will be hit by unfortunate loses.
That is why I implore you to study the poultry business in Kenya a little bit before you jump into operation.
If you know how to play your cards and run your business carefully, there are chances you will succeed with a significant return on investment.
Are you wondering the best ways to start your poultry farm in Kenya?
Follow these steps:
Select The Sector That Suits You
There are so many areas in the poultry industry that one can focus on and make real money. This includes the following:
- Broiler production.
- Layers breeding.
- Poultry feed production.
- Meat and egg processing and marketing.
- Poultry equipment manufacturing.
Many people consider poultry business to be made up of only breeding broilers and layers. As you have seen above, it goes beyond what you think.
Most successful poultry farmers in Kenya have combined one or more of the areas mentioned above. And that is how to succeed in poultry farming.
Many people are making real money with other poultry business like poultry feed production, hatchery, as well as the processing and marketing the poultry products like meat, eggs, feathers, etc.
Which Poultry Bird Is Thriving In Kenya
The next thing to consider before establishing your poultry business in Kenya is the type of bird to raise. As a poultry farmer, you may come across many domestic birds that you may wish to rear for your business.
Some of these domestic birds include, but not limited to, the following:
- Guinea fowl
The determination of the production type of your poultry farm is most critical.
Before you select any of the poultry birds listed above, you need to consider what you want to achieve in the course of your business. Some poultry birds are better raised for their eggs while others are good for meat production.
However, chicken production is the most common in most part of Kenya. This is because fowls can be reared for both meat and eggs under most circumstances.
In most cases, people only think about chicken when they hear about poultry.
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Scale Of Poultry Farming In Kenya
In Kenya, this kind of business is run on either small, medium, or large scale.
The small scale poultry farm is where about 1 to 1000 birds are raised.
Medium scale poultry farm is where there are about 1001 to 10,000 birds are raised.
Large scale poultry farming is where more than 10,000 birds are raised.
Most poultry farmers in Kenya operate small scale farming.
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Is chicken farming profitable in Kenya?
Poultry farming, and more especially chicken farming has become the most profitable business in Kenya as a result of high demand for chicken. This is because the chicken grows faster, and their availability for the market is just around 3 months. The broiler chicken has been in high demand due to the quality meat they produce.
The most common chicken breeds used by poultry farmers in Kenya are:
- Kari Improved Kienyeji Chicken.
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Select The Right Location For Your Poultry Business
Another equally important factor to consider in your poultry farming business is the location. The site you choose for your business should be one that is favorable for your business and has all the required facilities you will need.
One pro tip is to site the poultry farm as close to the town and city as possible. Never site your poultry farm too far away from the town.
So why should you site your farm a little away from the town?
Here is the secret;
Land in the settlement is always expensive as compared to those outside the towns.
This is more pronounced in the cities where the prices are abnormally high. In addition to that, you tend to get cheap labor in these areas.
Don’t also think of setting up your farm in residential areas since poultry farms produce a way too offensive smell that people in the settlement can’t cope with.
Always consider the health of others, not only the stream of income that may come into your pocket.
That notwithstanding, you need to avoid areas that are moist or often flooded.
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Poultry Housing System In Kenya
Like any other livestock, domestic birds need a decent housing system with facilities like feed, water, shelter as well as protection from predators.
Whether the structure is an already established one or is new, the most important thing is to provide a conducive atmosphere inside the coop.
You may not need any cumbersome design from an architect because you can do it yourself. Just keep in mind that you need feeders, incubator, egg tray, nests, perches, as well as proper lighting in your unit.
Another thing to consider is the space of the structure. The critical thing to note is that enough space is essential for adequate ventilation.
Some people prefer buying an already made coop. If that is you prefer, then go ahead but mind you that most of the time it is more expensive than building your own structure.
Nowadays, you can search online and come up with a simple but neat design for your poultry farm.
Some poultry farmers in Kenya also use the DIY hen coop, thus a wooden box with sawdust and covered with wire.
You have to be cautious when you are using the chicken wire. Though it is cheap, it doesn’t provide much protection for the birds due to the large holes.
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Maintenance Of The Structure
You need to ensure the proper functioning of the unit as much as possible. Don’t wait till something is broken down before you think of repair.
Preventive measures must be put in place at all times. As has always been the case, prevention is better than cure.
The housing unit should have an optimum climatic condition for the birds to thrive well.
You must always avoid these environments:
- High or low temperatures.
- Poor lighting system.
- High or low humidity.
- Deficient or excessive ventilation.
Planning The Capital For Your Poultry Business
Depending on the scope of your business, poultry farming in Kenya can be capital intensive.
Some of the factors that may determine the capital requirement for your business include:
- The scale of the poultry farm.
- The kind of technology used.
- Location of the poultry farm
- The kind of poultry bird reared.
On the low end, you will need about 25,000 Kenyan Shilling to start your poultry business.
Equipment Needed For Your Poultry Farm
Some of the equipment needed for your poultry farm are listed below:
- Manual and automatic drinkers
- Lighting system
- Egg tray
There are a variety of brooders or heaters for poultry farm in Kenya. The commonest ones are the gas and electric brooders.
The brooders regulate the temperature and achieve a warm and adequate environment.
If the environment is very hot, the chicks will pile up at the ends of the coop. However, it would pile up under the brooder or in the center of the unit if the temperature is low.
In either of the two circumstances in which case the chicken is piled up, there could be an increase in the mortality.
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The Manual And Automatic Drinkers
Providing clean, fresh water with adequate flow is essential for poultry production. Without proper water consumption, feed consumption will decrease, and bird performance will be compromised.
Open and closed drinking systems are commonly used in poultry farms in Kenya.
The manual drinkers are used during the first 7 to 15 days, using one for every 50 chicks.
It should, however, be noted that this type of drinkers has some disadvantages such as possible water shortages, that may make the birds thirsty.
On the other hand, automatic drinkers can be used from the second week of age.
The valves and guns facilitate handling since the chicken will always have fresh water, and it is not necessary for the caretaker to fill it like in the case of the manual drinkers.
For you to succeed in poultry farming, provide nutritious feed for your birds.
During the first 10 days of life, food should be provided in the form of sifted crumbs served in flat trays or on sheets of paper so that the chicks can reach it immediately. At least 80% of the floor must be covered in paper.
The automatic feeder systems must be full at the time of lodging, thus allowing easy access to the food initiator.
A total of 40 g (1.4 ounces) per bird should be measured and placed on the paper before lodging. To stimulate the chick’s appetite, more feed can be added at regular intervals during the first 3to 4 days of age.
Changing to the main feeding system should be done gradually from the fourth or fifth day when the birds begin to show more interest in this system.
The transition to the main system must have been completed by the sixth or seventh day, and by the seventh day, the food trays must have been removed.
Once the transition has been made completely, the food should be gradually changed from a crumb or minipélet to a good quality pellet.
When the feeder is not at the proper elevation (too high or too low), the level of food waste is increased. In addition to the economic loss, accuracy in the feed conversion calculations is lost.
Additionally, when birds eat the food from the floor, there is an increased risk of bacterial contamination.
The feed must be evenly distributed throughout the feeder system to give all birds the same opportunity to eat at the same time.
If the feed is not uniformly distributed, performance is reduced. As a result, waste and scratch damage associated with competition for feed at the feeders are increased.
The success stories of poultry farming in Kenya are so loud and clear. You cannot go wrong if you consider all the points outlined in this article. There are also other pdf documents as well as youtube videos on poultry farming that you can find on the web. Just grab one of these resources and apply it to your business.
If you have any questions or suggestions, then use the comment section below.