Category Archives: Kienyeji Chicken Breed Management

The Dos and Don’ts When it Comes to Chick Brooding

The toughest phase in raising your kienyeji chickens is during the chick brooding. This is the period when they are most delicate and where mistakes can be quite costly.

Many farmers prefer to start raising the chicks on their own right from the first day when the chicks are one day old. It is generally cheaper to acquire chicks at this stage so you can build a fairly large flock within a very short period of time.

Diagram of Chick Brooder Setup
Diagram of Chick Brooder Setup

However, the chick brooding stage requires special as well as intensive care in order to boost the survivability of the chicks. The problem is that many of the farmers who acquire the chicks are generally insufficiently prepared for the first few weeks. As a result, they end up incurring high mortality and huge losses that can easily be avoided.

The first few weeks of the chicks’ life is important not just for the survivability. The chicks may survive but if you didn’t give them optimal care during this stage, it may still end up impacting their physiological and development processes and thus impacting their yield.

One of the most critical factors during this stage is warmth. It is imperative that the chicks are given optimal warmth and protection. In natural brooding setting, the mother’s body and feathers is sufficient to supply the kids with optimal natural warmth.

However, in an artificial brooding environment, you have to try and recreate this environment to boost the chicks chances. You have to ensure that you are getting the artificial brooding conditions. That will require consulting widely and acquiring the right equipment for the task. The type of brooding conditions that you provide will have an impact on the chicks’ growth.

The Brooder

To prevent the chicks from huddling in one corner and thereby overcrowding and getting injured or suffocated, it is advisable that you use the brooder rings which are quite advantageous as they do not have corners.

Infrared Chick Brooder
Infrared Chick Brooder

Additionally, you must make sure that you have fumigated and disinfected the poultry house before you introduce the chicks into the poultry house.

The chicks are generally quite sensitive and delicate while they are still young so the farmer must go the extra mile to provide a sterile environment where they can grow safely.

Make sure that the litter and the bedding is disinfected and dried before they are spread on the brooder ring to line the flooring.

You can also use a newspaper layer to line the litter in the poultry house. This should also be sprayed lightly with some disinfectant. Make sure that you change the newspaper lining on a regular basis, at least after every two to three days. When it comes to raising day old chicks, you must never compromise on the hygiene.

Temperature

Chicks are covered in light feathers that offer very little insulation from the temperature extremes. This makes them fully reliant on the external heat source for survival. If you don’t provide optimal brooding temperatures, the chicks are either going to die from cold or heat stress.

Low temperatures will stunt the growth of the chicks as the feeds they take in is converted into heat instead of being used to power their growth. In brooding conditions, you must there provide a reliable external heat source such as infra-red heating system or just the normal jikos or ovens that will provide the chicks with sufficient heat.

The heat source provided in the brooding area must be centrally situated inside the brooder ring. During the first week, maintain the temperatures at 32 degrees Celsius.

When introducing heat into the brooding area, make sure that you carefully observe the chick behavior. If it is too hot inside the brooder ring, the chicks will move away from the heat source. If it is too cold, the chicks are going to huddle together under the heat source. If the temperatures are ok, the chicks will be evenly distributed inside the brooder ring.

Lighting

The brooder must be supplied with adequate lighting. The lighting is necessary to help the day old chicks locate the food and water inside the brooder ring. During the first 7 days after the chick placement, make sure that you provide bright lighting inside the brooder ring.

However, as the chicks grow older, make sure that you reduce or step down the lighting gradually so as to prevent cannibalism in the birds.

Ventilation

You must maintain very good air quality inside the brooder ring. This is particularly important if you are using the charcoal burners to keep the poultry house warm. A high accumulation of carbon monoxide in the poultry house is likely to lead to gas poisoning. On the other hand, a high concentration of ammonia gas in the poultry house is likely to cause ammonia burns and blindness in your chickens.

Vaccination

We have provided a vaccination schedule for your kienyeji chicken on this website that you must make sure you follow religiously. Also, make sure you provide the chicks with multivitamins before and after the vaccination.

Feed and Water

You can start your chicks off with a starter mash and eventually, you will introduce them into a grower mash. Make sure you provide the chicks with clean and fresh water at all times. Chickens will never forgive you if you fail to meet their water needs. It is likely to impact their development and productivity over the long term. During the early stages, you can also supply the chicks with a chick booster which is a mixture of glucose and vitamins.

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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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INBREEDING IN POULTRY FARMING

This is basically a process by which new poultry offspring or chicks are born or produced by closely related parents or offspring. A farmer may for example set a “brother” against “sister” or “father” against “daughter” in the flock. While this may be a good option when a farmer is looking for certain desirable straits to maintain in the flock, it may be counterproductive when certain bad genes currently existing in a given flock are passed on to another generation. This normally happens when a farmer allows inbreeding to happen several times before stopping. While it is not wrong to retain certain traits in a bird through inbreeding like a bird with a good laying ability, a cock that is very aggressive in protecting hens and young ones or chicken with a good feed to meet conversion rate, this should be done sparingly to avoid stopping only after the bad effects of inbreeding start showing.

Kienyeji Cock
Kienyeji Cock

Nearly all inbred lines generated by full siblingmating in chicken fail after just three full sibling matings. Once the inbreeding coefficient goes over this threshold, the lines tend to fail to reproduce one male and one female to continue the line.So inbreeding in chickens is not a very good thing to do a lot of.

The reason people like to line breed (the interbreeding of chicken within a particular line or descent usually to continue or perpetuate desirable characters) is that it is the fastest way to select for a type that is caused by a complex interaction of genes. If you have a superior animal the fastest way to increase the frequency of the superior genes in your line is to line breed.

Line breeding is just when you take the superior parent (hen or rooster) and cross the progeny back to the parent (father to daughter or mother to son). You then take the superior parent and again cross it to its new offspring from the inbred mating. You repeat this until infertility becomes a problem or the parent dies.

You can select other progeny that presumably will be better than average for your flock to breed in non-inbred matings or to other close relatives to try and set the good traits in your line.

Line breeding can produce very rapid gains in the quality of your line for certain traits, but nearly always results in a degeneration of the reproductive capacity of your line and you end up outcrossing and starting over. Outcrossing is the introduction of an outside breed in the flock to break the cycle of inbreeding.  Line breeding for a few generations can give you some outstanding birds at a higher frequency than you would get by not inbreeding. But eventually this has very undesirable consequences. This is why commercial breeding companies try to avoid inbreeding and concentrate on improving the whole population. The gains are not as dramatic, but they do not fall in the trap of the adverse effects.

The best advice is that if you inbreed always use a superior animal for the mating. If you do not you are just increasing the bad genes in your line.

Any mating between related individuals is inbreeding.  Line breeding and full sib mating cause the same amount of inbreeding for the first two inbred generations.  Theoretically line breeding and full sib matings should have the same detrimental results for the first two inbred generations.  Full-sib mating would be more detrimental for the 3rd and subsequent inbred generations.

The difference is that all the inbreeding comes from the superior parent in line breeding, but half the inbreeding comes from the inferior parent in full-sib matings.  This is why it is recommended that inbred matings involving only birds that you think are good enough to warrant it.

Effects of Inbreeding

  • Hatch rates begin to decline. A bird that lays 300 eggs through to its adult life slowly starts decreasing its hatching rate to even 170 or 100.

 

  • Deformation: birth deformities begin to occur in the birds especially if this has been done several times.

 

  • Higher percentage of failed eggs in the incubator.

 

  • Chicks that are lucky enough to hatch are very weak and their survival rate is very low.

 

  • The quality and palatability of the meat of the inbred chicken also slowly declines and eating such birds may have some bad after tastes or are just not tasty as the pedigree offspring.

 

The best thing to do to avoid the adverse effects of inbreeding is to run two roosters; one who is the best from your flock and one from an outside bloodline. This is called out crossing and the mix of genes this provides is sufficient to prevent genetic defects.

So you can do it sparingly if you must maintain certain superior characteristics in your flock but do not overdo it. Outcross Instead!

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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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10,000 Facebook Kienyeji Fans!!

If you have been following up on our progress the last few weeks, you will know that we have a fairly robust online presence in order to disseminate our services and information as much as possible. Apart from this informational blog on Kienyeji Chicken Farming, we also have our website where you can order your Kienyeji Chicken Farming Manual at KienyejiChicken.com. Our very first blog before we built the two websites was http://kienyejichicken.blogspot.com.

We also built a Facebook Page where we share various tips, updates and get to interact with Kienyeji Chicken Farmers. That Facebook Page can be found here https://www.facebook.com/KienyejiChickenFarmingManual. And that Facebook page has now hit 10,000 fans. To celebrate that milestone, we are offering the Kienyeji Chicken Farming Manual for only Ksh.400 this weekend.

We have more products and services lined up for you in May in order to support your Kienyeji Chicken business. These include the following:-

  • Kienyeji Chicken Feed Formulation Manual
  • Kienyeji Chicken Feed Formulation Weekly Training Programs
  • Kienyeji Supplies in Nairobi

Watch this space and we will let you know as we roll out new services. Happy weekend everyone.

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