Category Archives: KARI improved kienyeji chicken

High Performing Chicken Breeds in Kenya with Photos

One of the biggest challenges that many farmers in Kenya planning to venture in kienyeji chicken farming or poultry farming in general face is figuring out what chicken breeds to rear. Some farmers buy new chicken breeds without first learning about their qualities and this can result in losses and disappointments. Before picking any chicken breed, you need to learn about its many qualities. Learn the basic information about the bird. The most important information that you need to learn about any breed that you choose include the following:-

  • Age of Maturity
  • Peak Production
  • Age at peak production
  • Body weight at maturity
  • Quality of eggs
  • Quality of meat
  • Is it layer, broiler or dual purpose?
  • Color of eggs
  • Disease resistance and adaptability
  • Feeding and nutrition: are they low input or high input birds?
  • Vaccination

Every farmer has an objective. Before you rush into poultry farming you must clearly figure out your farming objectives and then choose a poultry breed that aligns well with those objectives. For example, you do not just go into poultry farming to make money. That is too vague. You can go into poultry farming to be the largest supplier of kienyeji eggs, a large supplier of poultry meat, a distributor of Kuroiler chicks etc. Specialization is very important and will help you realize success in your ventures.

Here is an overview of some of the best chicken breeds in Kenya right now that every farmer should think of keeping. Some of these are improved local Kienyeji chicken breeds such as the KARI Improved Kienyeji chicken and some are imported hybrid breeds from India which do well in local conditions but produce more eggs and meat and mature faster.

The KARI Improved Kienyeji Chicken

This is by far the most popular of the chicken breeds in Kenya and it has some admirable characteristics. The KARI Improved Kienyeji Chicken produces more meat as well as more eggs than the local indigenous poultry breeds. It is also a highly adaptable bird and will do well even in areas with harsh climatic conditions such as the arid and the semi-arid areas in Kenya.

KARI Improved kienyeji chicken can be reared in both free range as well as the semi-free range systems. These are typically called the semi-intensive systems. It is a good breed for those farmers who want to rear their chicken in a completely free range or organic way without commercial feeding or hormones.

With proper management, the KARI Improved Kienyeji chicken is also a great breed for eggs. Farmers can look forward to anywhere between 220 to 280 eggs per year. Within five months, the KARI hen will have attained 1.5Kgs while a cock will weigh 2Kgs within the same duration of time if it is fed well.  The KARI improved kienyeji chicken farming has a quiet temperament as well as great feathering. Compared to other breeds in the market, it will adapt very fast to the conditions in which it is kept.

Kenbro Chicken

The kenbro breed of chicken is a dual-purpose that can be kept for both meat and eggs. The breed has been in the Kenyan market for quite some time and was introduced over 10 years ago by Kenchic in order to cater for those farmers looking for more productive chickens that are less intensive.

This breed is more disease-resistant and can easily survive when reared in free-range conditions.  With good feeding and management, it will mature very fast and start laying eggs at the age of 5 months. With good feeding and management, the kenbro chicken can easily attain up to 4Kg. It is advisable to buy from Kenchic which has the parent stock for these birds. The bird is a heavy feeder and this is one of the reasons it is able to put on weight very fast.

Kuroiler

This is one of the best breeds in Kenya if not the best. It is a dual purpose bird that is very low input. It perform perfectly well in free range and semi free range or the semi-intensive conditions. With Kuroiler, you do not have to buy the commercial mash. It can survive just ok while scavenging and feeding on the food leftovers in the house. However, to avoid losses, it is advisable to fence a chicken run where they can graze on the pasture and if you have a large stock, you can also supplement their feed with omena, grains, termites and commercial feeds.

The Kuroiler chicken was introduced from the Keggs Farms in India in 2009. The Kuroiler hens are heavy feeders. They need to feed continuously in order to reach their optimal production.  Within four months, your Kuroiler should be weighing 3Kg and within six months, they will be weighing up to 4kh after six months.

Farmers rearing the Kuroiler birds have testified that it has a tastier meat compared to that of the indigenous chickens. The meat has less fat, soft and also tender.  The eggs of the Kuroiler chickens are bigger than those of the indigenous birds and they have deep yellow yolk that many farmers love.  The Kuroiler hen, when well fed, will lay anywhere from 140-150 eggs per year. When crossed with the indigenous chickens, the quality will begin to go down so it is always advisable to buy chicks from the parent stock. Farmers should follow the same vaccination schedule as that of other chickens although the Kuroilers tend to be disease resistant. They also grow very fast during the first six weeks of brooding so farmers will not have to grapple with the brooding-related losses.

The Kuroilers do not sit on their eggs and this is intentional. They have been developed this way in order to maximize their eggs produce. Farmers who want to produce the Kuroiler chicks must invest in an incubator. Farmers without incubators can always order chicks from the parent stock from the leading suppliers of Kuroiler chickens in Kenya.

Rainbow Rooster

This is the other hybrid super-bird. It is a dual-purpose poultry breed in Kenya which can be reared for both meat and eggs. The Rainbow Rooster is a multi-colored bird(from which it derives its name) and a low input bird which can be reared perfectly in semi-free range conditions. The Rainbow Rooster is a heavy feeder and can put on weight relatively first. When well fed, it can put on anywhere between 3kg to 4kg within a duration of six months. Under good management, it will lay anywhere between 180-200 eggs. Like the Kuroiler, it will not sit on its eggs and you will have to invest in an incubator or buy chicks from leading Rainbow Rooster such as Kukuchic which has the parent stock of the bird.

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What Chicken Breeds in Kenya Should You Rear for Profit

When you are planning to venture into poultry farming in Kenya, it is important to know the right kinds of chicken breeds to purchase. Don’t just rush into the latest fads only to fail later and lose your money. It is important to obtain thorough information about every chicken breed that you plan to keep. Know their qualities including the age at which they begin laying, their peak production, and when they begin losing the productive capacity and are now ready for sale.

One thing that we Kenyans should have learnt from the quail scam is that you need to carry out good research about the product that you are planning to invest in. You need to analyze the risks and true market potential. Do not be driven just by the profit motive when it comes to poultry investments. After all, this is something that you plan to invest in over the long term.

When it comes to the poultry breeds in Kenya, there are plenty of great producing birds that you can pick and which will guarantee you a profit without too much cost.

The KARI Improved Kienyeji Chicken

This is by far the most popular chicken breed in Kenya with many farmers. If you are planning to go Kienyeji, then the KARI improved kienyeji chicken should be first on your priority list. Compared to the local indigenous chicken, they produce more eggs and meat. They are very adaptable to various climactic conditions and can do well in the harshest of conditions including the semi-arid regions in Kenya such as Northern Kenya and even coastal Kenya.

If you want to focus on organic production, you can easily rear the KARI improved kienyeji chicken in the free-range or semi-free range poultry farming systems. In one year, the KARI improved kienyeji chicken will lay between 220 and 280 eggs. Within 5 months, they will be able to attain a weight of 1.5kg. The best place to order the KARI improved kienyeji chicken is from KARI but due to the long queue at the facility, you will have to wait for at least 3 weeks for delivery. Other breeders specializing in the KARI improved kienyeji chicken include Wendy Farms which is based in Kikuyu.

Kenbro

The Kenbro chicken breeds are known as dual breeds i.e. they can be used for both eggs as well as meat production. Kenbro is not really a new breed as it has been in the country for the past decade since its introduction by Kenchic. Kenbro is suited for farmers who prefer a less intensive mode of rearing chickens. The breed is generally more disease-resistant and will easily survive on free range. With proper feeding, it will mature relatively fast and start laying eggs when they are 5 months old.

With proper feeding, the chicken can attain weights of up to 4Kgs! More than 20,000 per week of these are produced by Kenchic but there are other farmers who also breed the Kenbro chickens. It is, however, best to buy only from the company since it is them who have the parent stock with which they can produce very high quality birds. Kenbro is generally a very heavy feed so you must prepared to spend heavily on feeding.

Kuroiler

Kuroiler hens are dual-purpose birds. It was first introduced into Uganda from India in 2009. Just like the Kenbro breeds, they can easily adapt to harsh conditions and survive in free range but they generally need to feed on a continuous basis. By the time they are 4 months, the Kuroiler chickens will be able to weigh as much as 3kg. They can hit 4kg by the time they are 6 months.

According to many farmers, the Kuroiler breeds have tastier meat than the indigenous chickens and the meat from the hens is also soft and very tender. They produce larger eggs than the indigenous chickens and they are able to lay between 140 to 150 eggs per year. When crossed with the indigenous chicken, the quality will go down so it is important to keep them pure.

The Kuroilers are generally scavengers although they can also live on the household leftovers. Although they are fairly resistant to all the diseases, it is important to vaccinate them just like you do to the other chickens. The kuroilers generally, cannot sit on their eggs to hatch them so they are just suitable for farmers who have incubators or broody hens.

Rainbow Rooster

This is also a dual-purpose breed that you can rear for both meat and eggs. They are multi-colored birds, hence the name and they are also low input birds and can easily survive on the free-range system. Rainbow Roosters are heavy feeders and will put on weight very fast. They cannot sit on their eggs so you will need an incubator or broody hen to hatch.

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Pecking and Cannibalism in Poultry

This is the process by which chicken pull or peck on the feathers of another. This is called feather pecking. There is also the social hierarchy among chicken called pecking order, a kind of order of seniority or dominance which if interfered with leads to conflict.

Chicken can at times feather peck at each other. This may start as a feather pulling habit and later become a vice if the necessary steps are not taken into account to control it leading to cannibalism. For a start a majority of farmers may not be acutely aware of what their chicken are feeding on due to a multiplicity of poultry feed companies sprouting each day and with it, a host of unscrupulous business people whose aim is to make maximum profit at the expense of hard working poultry farmers. Such irresponsible business people for example cut down on their cost of production by not including all the necessary ingredients for growth and development of the birds. In very extreme cases some grind maize cobs only and sell to unsuspecting farmers.

Overcrowding May Often Lead to Antisocial Behavior Like Cannibalism
Overcrowding May Often Lead to Antisocial Behavior Like Cannibalism

This is a major cause of pecking in birds which make them start striking sharply at fellow birds with their beaks in a state of craving for the missing nutrients or because of the imbalance in their diets. The feed should therefore be properly balanced to ensure birds receive all their bodies require and prevent early ‘eating’ of other birds.

In certain cases farmers feed their chicken on feed that have not undergone proper grinding. Improper grinding with large grains easily leads to imbalance in feed thus aggravating the problem of pecking which is a very dangerous activity in the farm as it leads to badly injured birds and in many cases death. It is therefore advisable to adhere to correct feed formulation (if you are mixing your own feed) or buy your feeds from reputable poultry feeds companies.

Another anomaly that can lead to pecking among poultry flock is salt deficiency. Just like humans, poultry also need salt for acid based balance of the body. In feed mixing red salt is used and in the absence of this, we use ordinary human table salt rich in sodium chloride. This salt should only be added in very small quantities (refer to our poultry feed mixing manual) to avoid again having injurious effects on the birds. This imbalance therefore needs to be effectively managed to control pecking. It is also advisable to give small quantities of salt in water and to give the chicken greens to divert attention when the problem is under management.

Other causes of pecking are overcrowding, overheating, Excessive light, Inadequate nutrition, injured or dead birds left in the flock, intermediate flock size (flock to large for a stable hierarchy to develop or too small for a tolerant system to occur. A group of intermediate size birds then present social problems for the birds leading to incessant pecking and probably cannibalism when a lot of wounds are exposed), flocks of different ages and colours, abrupt changes and inadequate nest boxes.

When a farmer is faced with this situation it is important to segregate the victims and apply medicines to the wounds (contact your local agrovet or veterinary doctor for the right medicine). This is a key requirement in poultry house construction. Each farmer should give provision for a small extra house or room during construction for isolating birds which contract diseases or those that may be affected by injury due to pecking, mating among others.

It is also wise to add perches to the housing environment so birds are free to relax and avoid overcrowding and also dim lights at night to 0.5 tom1.0 foot candles.

Finally, cauterize (burn) the sharp edges of the beak with a hot blade to control injury through pecking. The birds which are aggressive and peck repeatedly should be de-beaked first.

For enquiries, please send an email to improvedkienyeji@gmail.com

“An informed farmer, is a successful and Profitable farmer”

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Join Our Kienyeji Chicken VIP Club

WE have launched a new package of products and services called the Kienyeji VIP Club. VIP members will pay an annual fee of Ksh.2500 and will get access to a vast array of resources and services to boost your Kienyeji Chicken farming venture. As a Kienyeji Chicken VIP Club member, you will get the following free services:-

  • Access all our kienyeji farming manuals for free including the following: The Improved Kienyeji Chicken Farming Manual, the Kienyeji Feed Formulation Manual, the Kienyeji Housing Manual. The membership also guarantees you free access to all the manuals that we will produce for the rest of the year on Kienyeji Chicken Farming.
  • Get free on-phone consultations service on how to start and manage your Kienyeji farming venture. As a VIP member, you can call us at any time and we will allocate time to offer you detailed advice and consultations on how to start and manage your Kienyeji business.
  • Get free information on where to source your Kienyeji Chicken.
  • Get free Kienyeji market linkages: Once your Kienyeji chicken mature, you can talk to us and we will get you the market for your products for free.
  • Free advice on incubation for your Kienyeji Chicken.
  • Get chicken incubator rentals from us at affordable prices
  • Get free advice on where to source Kienyeji Funding as Quickly as Possible. WE will connect you to a direct Microfinance institution where you can apply for Kienyeji Farming Loans and get them approved in a week or less.
  • Get access to our marketing channels and reach 100,000 people monthly: As a VIP member, we will market your Kienyeji Business and products on all our websites, blogs and Facebook pages to help you reach a wider market. Through our marketing channels, we assure you of exposure to a massive market of up 100,000 people that we reach monthly through our media.

Sounds Exciting? Call us on 0717444786 or email improvedkienyeji@gmail.com for more information on our VIP Club.

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Professional Training Services on Kienyeji Chicken Farming

Looking for professional training services on Kienyeji chicken farming and management in any corner of Kenya? We do capacity building in poultry and commercialization of poultry production to self-help groups, CBOs, NGOs and other organizations working with smallholder farmers as beneficiaries in economic empowerment.

The training encompasses the following 3 phases”

Poultry Production and Commercialization of chicken production

Phase 1 of Training on Kienyeji Chicken Farming

1. Role of Indigenous Chicken in Household Economy (Gender roles, food security, income generation)

2. Production systems and profitability (Organized chicken production)

3. Disease control and bio-security

4. Chick Management (DoC-8 weeks)

5. Flock Management ( keeping the flock healthy and productive, flock sizes, general biosecurity, laying, brooding and hatching)

6. Chicken housing ( types of housing, construction of chicken house, roost and perches, maintaining a chicken house, provision of nest and protection from predators and theft)

7. Feeds and Feeding

Phase II of Training on Kienyeji Chicken Farming

8. Breeding Management (Chicken selection and mating, breed selection, characteristics of a good layer/meat bird, cross breeding)

9. Record Keeping and profitability

Phase III of Training on Kienyeji Chicken Farming

10. Marketing and value additions

11. Financial Literacy Training

12. Other diseases and vices

Contact us for further engagement.

For additional information on this training program, call 0711417887 or email improvedkienyeji@gmail.com

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