Category Archives: Kienyeji Chicken rearing

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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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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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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Where to Find Market for Your Kienyeji Chicken

Kienyeji chicken are some of the hottest selling commodities in Kenya today. Most Kenyans are looking for healthier and better quality of meat which can only be found in the ethically raised Kienyeji chicken which grow under natural or very organic condition and grow full cycle without any “boost”.

Also, recent unethical practices by some broilers farmers have driven Kenyans away from the exotic chicken breeds to the Kienyeji breeds grown by honest farmers practicing very ethical farming techniques. The last thing that you want is having toxins accumulate in your body as you enjoy your favorite chicken meal.

The market for the Kienyeji chicken is, therefore, quite huge but all have access to this lucrative market. Some people may invest in Kienyeji Chicken but they have zero clues on where to sell them for a good price. Well,  you do not have to worry anymore. I am now connecting farmers to buyers and buyers to farmers via my Kienyeji Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KienyejiChickenFarmingManual. To sell your Kienyeji Chicken, just post on my wall at the page or send me an email at improvedkienyeji@gmail.com and I will connect you to Kienyeji buyers. The service will be free for the first few months and thereafter I will charge a small fee for getting you the Kienyeji chicken Market.

If you are planning to invest in Kienyeji Chicken Farming and need some information and comprehensive guide on how you can go about this step by step, you can buy our Improved Kienyeji Chicken Farming Manual.

 

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Various Terms Used in Kienyeji Chicken Farming

There are various items that are generally used in order to describe the various kienyeji rearing systems and techniques. In the recent years, farmers have been exposed to Improved techniques that involve improved Kienyeji breeds as well as improved kienyeji chicken management techniques in the traditional kienyeji farming. The term most commonly used to describe the innovation in the Kienyeji rearing is Improved Kienyeji Chicken Farming and it generally results in better yields and more profits in the pockets of farmers.

Some of the common terms that you are likely to encounter include the following:-

  • Traditional free range
  • Improved Semi-free range system
  • Pasture-fed chicken rearing ‘
  • Organic kienyeji chicken rearing
  • Humanely grown chicken
  • Grain-fed chicken

So which of these is the best for you? What is best you depends on your environment, space and circumstances. In any case, the kienyeji chicken can be reared in almost any environment as long as you can get a little space but it is always best to do this where there is good space in order to unlock the various advantages that come with the free-range system such as good meat quality and healthy meat.

Organic chicken: This is the best method for getting the best meat quality but it is very expensive and not suitable where you are rearing your kienyeji for commercial purposes. In Kenya, generally, you will have a hard time sourcing purely organic foods that will be sufficient to feed your kienyeji chicken.

Free range system: In this system, the chickens are on the floor of the kienyeji chicken house and not locked in cages. Additionally, they are allowed to roamed outside for pasture and scavenge food as well as little sunshine which is good for meat quality and muscle development. In the Improved Semi-Free range system of rearing, the chicken are confined in a space inside a chicken run that Is fenced with a chicken wire.

Pasture fed chicken: – In this farming system which is also called the traditional free range system, the chicken are fed naturally and are free to roam about and feed on the pasture. This requires a lot of grazing space in order to meet the chicken’s feeding needs. Another drawback is that the chicken may not get sufficient feed to satisfy their requirements. The biggest advantage is that it is organic and the chicken are exposed to very diverse and highly nutritious feeds.

Grain fed chicken: Grain-fed chicken are simply chicken that eat grain in any of the rearing systems mentioned above but these need to be supplemented with other feeds in order to ensure that the feeding is well-balanced.

 

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