Category Archives: Kienyeji Chicken Farming

Poultry Equipment to Buy For Your Commercial Kienyeji Farm

In the past, poultry farming in Kenya was mainly small scale and that means many farmers rarely mechanized their farms. They only invested in feeders and drinkers and they were done. The rest of the equipment and materials used in the farm were subsequently only improvised. However, if you are serious farmer who would like to make profits from your poultry farming venture and not just rear them as a hobby, you have to invest in top quality poultry farming equipment that will give your farm a competitive advantage and help you in maximizing your poultry production in Kenya. Investments in poultry equipment in Kenya is not just limited to the large farmers. It will also reduce the amount of time that you would spend in managing the poultry thus significantly reducing the labor costs in your poultry farm.

There is a great variety of poultry equipment that you can use in order to ensure that your farm is running efficiently and smoothly. They also ensure that you do not have to spend a lot of time or money on labor costs. Some of this poultry equipment is not available in Kenya and you may have to import them from countries such as China or South Africa or even Uganda.

Poultry Feeders

These are generally a must-have although some farmers still improvise on this. Check out our article on the improvisation of poultry feeders and drinkers. A good and innovatively designed feeders will allow your chickens to feed efficiently and also reduces injuries and contamination during feeding. Feeders should always be cleaned regularly in order to prevent rodent infestations and incidences of diseases such as coccidiosis. They need to be cleaned on a regular basis, let to dry well and then replenished with fresh feed. The new feed must always remain dry.  The feeders should be red in color in order to invite the birds so that they can feed more often and put on more weight and lay more eggs. There are plenty of feeders, feeder platforms and chick feeders that you buy for your birds.

Poultry Feeders

Some of the common feeder designs include the following:-

Baby chick feeders: These are ideal for chicks. They have a narrow feeding area which prevent the chicks from contaminating the feed with their droppings and thus wasting feed.

Baby Chick Feeders
Baby Chick Feeders

Range Feeders: Ideal for larger birds. They are heavier and not easily blown off.

Poultry Range Feeders
Poultry Range Feeders

Galvanized Trough Feeders: These are very similar to the trough feeders we discussed here but they have a revolving rod at the top and this prevents chicks from roosting on top and contaminating the feed with their droppings.

Poultry Galvanized Trough Feeders
Poultry Galvanized Trough Feeders

Poultry Chain Feeding Systems:- Chain feeder systems provide the ultimate feeding solution that is low labor and low stress in more intensive poultry farming ventures.

Poultry Chain Feeding System
Poultry Chain Feeding System

Poultry Feeder for Chicks:- There are numerous companies with numerous designs for the baby chick feeders. Below is a nice design but the problem with this is that only a few chicks can feed at a time. It is not very efficient if you have over 500 chicks otherwise you will have to buy almost 50 of these.

Broiler Pan Feeding System: The broiler pan feeding system below consists of several parts. The Feed Hopper can have various capacities and has an electronic limit switch. There is an anti-perch line which prevents birds from starting on its tube. There is a drive unit has a pressure switch for maintaining feed levels. Gear motor provides consistent operation ensuring uniform distribution of food in the pan feeding system.

Broiler Pan Feeding System
Broiler Pan Feeding System

Stainless steel serving pans:- This serving pan is an interesting design which I saw on Alibaba.  Not sure of its efficacy though since I have not tried it out.

Poultry Watering Systems

Clean drinking water is a critical factor in poultry production. Your poultry must always have access to clean drinking water at all times. To prevent diseases such as fowl typhoid or coccidiosis, these waterers must be cleaned on a daily basis and replenished with clean water. Using red waterers, like red feeders, will encourage the chicken to drink more often so as to keep hydrated and healthy. In baby chicks, special care should be taken by using proper drinkers in order to prevent them from drowning. There are numerous waterer designs which are available in the Kenyan market. Some are not easily available and you may have to import them into the local market. Some of the drinkers available in the marketplace include  the following :-

Automatic Bell Drinkers:- With the automatic bell drinkers, you can ensure that there is a constant supply of clean and uncontaminated water to your poultry. The drinker will also prevent spillage of water in the poultry farm which will prevent coccidial oocyst which might infect birds and cause coccidiosis. It also ensures that there is no direct picking from droppings thus contributing in effectively ensuring there is no incidences of diseases in your poultry farm attributed to hygiene issues. The design of the automatic bell drinkers ensures that there is no perching or defecation in the water by the poultry thus making the drinking water free from any form of contamination. When you use the automatic bell drinkers, the farm beddings will be 100% dry. Prices vary based on desired sizes.

Poultry Bell Drinker
Poultry Bell Drinker

Chicken Nipple Drinkers:- The nipple drinkers are very efficient and suitable for commercial farming. Chicks simply tap at the nipple ends to drink water. There is zero contamination and zero spillage of water on the ground. Below is a nipple end for the poultry nipple waterers or poultry nipple drinkers. This costs only Ksh.200 so you can even construct your own nipple drinkers using plastic pipes and a jerrican.

Chicken Nipple Waterers or drinkers
Chicken Nipple Waterers or drinkers

With lots of technological products available in the market, you do not have to insert your chicken in boiling hot water  and pluck the traditional way. You can invest in a little poultry plucker machine.  This is a good investment if you will be dressing your poultry in your small farm. You can pluck feathers quickly without damaging the skin of the poultry. The machine can dress several birds in less than 10 minutes. It is a good poultry equipment addition if you are running a semi-intensive farming operation.  It also cleanses the chicken skin after plucking and can you can proceed with packaging.

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Beat the Competition through Efficient Poultry Farming Techniques

Efficiency is very key to success in poultry farming in Kenya

With the right investments and management techniques, chickens can be pushed to dizzying levels of production which ensure maximum profitability for the farmer.  As long as the requirements of the birds are met adequately, it is possible to fully maximize on the potential of your chicken breeds whether they are KARI Improved Kienyeji chicken, Rainbow Rooster, Kuroiler, Fast White layers, Kenbro or the Indbro breeds amongst others in Kenya.

Poultry farming is very capital intensive if you are going to do it on a very commercial scale.  There is the purchase or the rental of land depending on the options which are available to you; the cost of building the poultry structure, the cost of acquiring the birds; cost of equipment, cost feeds, vaccination and labor costs amongst many others. In order to ensure that the operations are not just and efficient but also profitable, there are certain requirements that you will need to manage when making your poultry investments.

Housing: The most important is undoubtedly the housing part. Most people will simply design a corrugated iron structure with poor insulation and they are ready to get going. It is affordable, right? Unfortunately, poor ventilation is definitely going to impact your production efficiency in several ways. Poultry housing must be constructed in a certain way in order to provide the birds with an optimal environment for production.  There are certain types of housing that are conducive for cold climates and certain types of housing which are better suited for hotter climates. This will affect your poultry as follows:-

Hot Climates: In a hotter climate with poor ventilation, there will be higher temperatures inside the chicken run. As a result, feed intake is going to drop and this will be followed by an acute drop in production. The birds will be under great stress and their immune system is going to drop thus exposing them to lots of avoidable diseases. Higher temperatures will also increase the intake of water and this will result in wet manure.

Kienyeji Chicken House
Kienyeji Chicken House

Colder Climates: In colder climates and poor ventilation, feed intake is going to increase and this will in turn lead to poor food conversion ratio or FCR. Based on your location, the flock will also be susceptible to various diseases such as Coryza.

Water: The poultry must be supplied with sufficient clean drinking water. Without that, there will be no life and production will be quite low. Water is one of the most critical factors in maintaining high production levels. If there is a lack or shortage of water, you will see a sharp decline in production, high mortality rates, and the immune system will be lowered thus exposing your flock to various poultry diseases.

Poultry Bell Drinker
Poultry Bell Drinker

Feeds, Quality of Feeds and Feed Wastage:-To maximize on your production levels, the poultry must be fed in very high quality and well formulated feed such as well formulated chick mash, growers mash, layers mash, finishers etc. Poor feeding or even lack of feeding is going to seriously impact the efficiency of your chicken production.

Kienyeji Feeding

Hygiene, Sanitation, Biosecurity and Disinfection to Get Rid of Germs:- It is important to keep your poultry operation as clean as possible. This is the way to impact your production in a positive direction. If hygiene levels are not kept high, there are various issues that you are going to grapple with including diseases, pests, rodents and flies. Wastage of feed due to poor management of the farm is also going to have a serious impact on your business profitability. Rodents, if not well managed can serious cause serious feed wastage by eating your commercial feeds. They will also destroy your feeding equipment and can transmit certain diseases. Poultry feed accounts for 60-70% of the production costs and feed should, therefore, not be wasted.

Vaccination Program: The Vaccination program must be well-planned and be up to date for all the common deadly diseases.  Check out our poultry vaccination schedule which is recommended by KALRO and follow it to the latter. Ensure that this vaccination schedule is strictly adhered to. Make use of high quality vaccines sourced from trusted Agrovets and these must also be administered directly by a qualified veterinary officer. However, even with proper vaccination, there is no guarantee that this will save your flock from diseases such as the Newcastle Disease or NCD but when you vaccinate, you minimize the risks. Proper vaccination will cut down on the production drops and also prevent high mortality rates when there are high incidences of diseases in your poultry. The mortality rate may also depend on the severity of the strain of disease.

Lights and Lighting: Lighting is very essential at night, particularly in commercial egg layers as it will help you in maximizing on production and also reaping the maximum genetic potential of the chickens. Lighting is not just essential, you must also ensure that there is Lux or brightness. Without bright lighting, you will be lowering the efficiency of the production and you will not be able to maximize on the genetic potential of your chickens.

Choice of Breeds: If you are going to run a profitable commercial chicken farming in Kenya, you must ensure that you are choosing viable breeds.  There are numerous commercial breeds in Kenya which can be used as layers and broilers.  Take time to learn as much information as possible about the breeds of birds that you are planning to keep. If you are planning to go the Kienyeji chicken farming way, you can choose from a great array of improved hybrid poultry breeds such as Rainbow Rooster, Kuroiler, KARI Improved Kienyeji Chicken, Kenbro, IndBro, Fast white layers and many others.

Management and Administration of Poultry Farming: Management and administration is a very important factor in poultry farming success in Kenya. You need a poultry farming management that is passionate, experienced, knowledgeable, dedicated and skilled in order to bring the best out of your flock and manage the farm efficiently and profitably.  All the above points cannot be achieved without a competent and passionate management.

Apart from good management, it is important to have good administration. This will be critical to ensuring there is efficient measurements and record keeping so that you can keep track of all poultry farming inputs.  Good administration allows you to determine if the poultry products are up to standard: for example, is there optimal egg mass? Is the bird body mass ok? These important measurements will tell you whether you are running an efficient poultry farming operation in Kenya or not.

For example, if you have 6000 layers and are producing 3600 eggs per day, this might seem very good but you are only operating at 60% efficiency. You should be operating at 90% efficiency and producing about 5400 eggs daily if you have 6000 layers. That means you are losing a whopping 1800 eggs per day because you are not efficient! Even your staff cannot steal that much so poor efficiency can be very costly for a poultry farm in Kenya.

 

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Why Most Poultry Feeders and Drinkers are Red or Yellow

Have you noticed that all most all poultry feeders and drinkers in the market are either yellow or red? It is not just a coincidence. Using red and yellow color will attract the chicks more to the feeders and drinkers and allows them to maximize on their feeding and drinking and hence survive better. This is from studies of poultry response to colors of varying wavelengths.

Poultry Bell Drinker
Poultry Bell Drinker

The use of red and yellow colors is most important in the newly hatched chicks. The chicks use their sense of vision in order to eat, drink and survive. The use of red or yellow colored feeders and drinkers will increase the intake of feed and water in the young chicks as they respond better to these colors and this in turn ensures that they survive better in the first weeks.

The red colored feeders and drinkers will attract chicks to source of food and water. There should be a sharp color contrast between the color of feeders and that of the floor. This will accelerate the development of behaviors that lead to better survival and reduce the distress calls for the newly hatched chicks. In the older birds, this is not necessarily the case.

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Poultry Farming in Kenya

Poultry farming in Kenya is one of the fastest growing sectors in agribusiness. If you have some little capital and some cheap labor, you can easily set up a poultry farm and start reaping your profits in as little as five months. There are many reasons why poultry farming in Kenya is so popular with many entrepreneurs. These include the following:-

Chicken in a Run: Improved Kienyeji Chicken Farming
Chicken in a Run: Improved Kienyeji Chicken Farming

Low Startup Capital: Did you know that you can start your poultry farm with as little as Ksh.5000? This is one of the main reasons why many are opting for poultry as an investment vehicle.

Good returns on your investment: With breeds such as the improved kienyeji chickens, it is very easy for you to reap profits from your poultry farmer without any significant investments on your part. These chickens are cheap to source, cheap to feed, hardy and you do not need to carry out very intensive management to ensure that they thrive. Some of the improved breeds that you can purchase include the KARI improved kienyeji chicken, the Kenbro breeds, the Rainbow Rooster breeds from India and the Kuroiler chicken breeds from India.

Large Market: Due to a number of malpractices in the rearing of exotic chickens where farmers inject them with growth hormones and other chemicals in order to make them grow faster, kienyeji chicken offer a better advantage for many farmers. They grow very naturally in an organic environment where they are pasture-fed and are also given very good quality commercial feeds. As a result, they taste better and produce a higher quality of eggs. Which would you rather have? A chicken that is reared in a confined environment and which has matured within a month or a chicken which has grown in natural setting and matured over 5 months? Most of us are eating fattened vifarangas that are the products of growth hormones and these are not healthy chicken meat. It is for these reasons that many Kenyans now prefer the authentic kienyeji chickens and this has led to the fast growth of the Kienyeji farming industry.

You Can Start with Simple Housing

There are farmers who even start poultry farming in Kenya with very simple housing, even mud housing or poultry houses made from timber offsets. You don’t have to save for months in order for you to start investing in poultry farming in Kenya. If you are committed, you can start with what you have, even if it is Ksh.8000 and then grow your poultry flock from there.

For successful poultry farming in Kenya, you also need to have the right sets of knowledge before you can venture into the farming. You need to know what kinds of house you will build, the design and orientation of the poultry house, the space required as well as the right density for the poultry house, the kinds of poultry equipment to purchase, where to source the day old chicks, the various kinds of vaccination required, the feeds to buy, what to feed at what age and many other considerations. Invest in knowledge and training first before venturing into the world of poultry farming.

When you are investing in poultry farming in Kenya, it is always advisable to start small and then scale up from there as you master the poultry farming techniques that will help you manage the farm more efficiently. Buy poultry farming manuals and attend trainings in order to equip yourself with the right skills for success in poultry farming.

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