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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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The Advantages of Rearing Kuroiler Chicken in Kenya

The Kuroiler chicken were first introduced into East Africa through Uganda and then from Uganda into Kenya. It is an Indian breed that is well known for its good quality meat and the large number of eggs that it produces every year in Kienyeji conditions. These birds are scavengers, just like the ordinary kienyeji birds but the difference is that they eat almost all the time. The farmer does need to invest in costly commercial feeding for the Kuroiler chicken as they can easily fend for themselves by scavenging. Thanks to their appetite, they put on weight very fast.

It is a bird that has changed the fortunes of many families in rural areas. These families are able to produce a lot of meat and a large number if eggs without any massive investment. The birds also have a very high survival rate compared to other exotic breeds. The Kuroilers survive in the same condition just like the local kienyeji birds and the most important thing is that they have a higher rate of productivity than the local kienyeji birds.

Kuroiler chicken grow faster

Perhaps this is the biggest advantage of the Kuroiler chickens. They grow very fast. The best thing is that they grow fast without any special commercial feeding. They can put on weight very quickly in scavenging environment while feeding on leftovers of food, grass, termites and many other kinds of food.

If a farmer is able to supplement the Kuroiler feeding with some commercial feeding or even locally available feeds such as yellow maize, soya, omena and even the chicken mash, the Kurpiler can do really well.  You need to vaccinate and deworm them just like you would other kinds of chicken on a regular schedule but that’s just about the kind of management effort that you will have to put up for your Kuroiler hens.

When Do Kuroiler Start Laying Eggs?

The Kuroiler chickens begin laying eggs at five months. Once they start, they will lay continuously for a period of 2 years. They also produce very big eggs with bright dark yellow egg yolks which are much preferred by many buyers. The Kuroiler eggs also contain more nutrients thanks to their scavenging lifestyle which exposes them to more nutrients during their feeding.

Get More Eggs with Kuroiler

The Kuroiler hens produce at least 150-200 eggs per year compared to the ordinary kienyeji chickens which produce about 40 eggs per year. This is one of the reasons why the Kuroiler hens have been billed as the number one poverty eradicators. A farmer is able to increase their production four-fold without any costly investments in feeding or housing. It is important to note that unlike the local chicken, the Kuroiler hens do not brood i.e., they do not sit on their eggs. So if you want Kuroiler chicks, you will need to invest in an incubator.

Hatchability

The Kuroiler will not brood or sit on their eggs. However, when their eggs are put in the incubators or hatchery, they produce good hatchability results, meaning majority of these eggs will hatch compared to those of the local Kienyeji chicken. You can get hatchability of 80% and above.

Get More Meat with Kuroiler

The Kuroiler chickens will mature in 10 weeks compared to other ordinary birds which can take as many as months before they mature.  At maturity, the Kuroiler chickens will weigh up to 3.5Kgs which makes them better than broilers which generally weigh 2.0 to 2.5Kgs at maturity.

Kuroiler Housing and Rearing System

Kuroiler have all the advantages of the local kienyeji which means you can keep them in the same housing where you keep your kienyeji. You can rear them in a fully free range or in semi free range conditions. The Kuroiler can also be reared in small spaces in the urban centres.

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Facts About Kuroiler Chickens: The Millionaire Poultry Breed

In the next few weeks, we will be bringing series about the poultry breeds that will make you a millionaire in a matter of months. The Kuroiler chickens will be amongst them thanks to the admirable qualities including fast maturity, a higher number of eggs compared to kienyeji birds, longer laying period and fast maturity rate of only 10 weeks.

By the age of maturity, your Kuroiler chickens will weigh as much as 3.5Kg with very minimal input on your side. By incorporating a slight improved semi-free range technique and a little bit of commercial feeding, you will be able to multiply your Kuroiler flock in a very short period of time and you will be on your way to making millions with very little investments in the first place

In this article, we tackle some of the facts about the Kuroiler breed and the advantage that you can get as a farmer by choosing to raise this breed.

Understanding a Kuroiler Chicken

The Kuroiler chicken is a class of poultry called genetically improved birds and it originated from India. The Kuroiler chickens were derived by cross breeding colored broiler males and the Rhode Island Red females. The result was the dual purpose Kuroiler chicken breeds which can be reared for both meat and eggs.

What are the benefits of rearing Kuroiler chicken?

Farmers will derive several benefits by choosing to raise the Kuroiler chickens. These include the following:-

They grow very fast

Kuroiler chickens grow faster than the ordinary birds. They mature within 10 weeks compared to the ordinary kienyeji breeds which can take several months or even years before they mature. At maturity, they weigh as much as 3.5Kg which is even better than the broilers.

Kuroiler are scavengers

The Kuroiler chickens do not need special feeding requirements. They do just as well as in the scavenging conditions where they have to look for their own food and they still manage to put weight faster and produce more eggs in these tough conditions. You do not need to spend a lot of money in order to feed the Kuroiler birds. You can only supplement their scavenging with some commercial feeding in order to boost production but they will do just as well if they have large grazing area.

They taste as good as the indigenous chicken

Kuroiler chickens have tasty meat. They also produce the yellow yolk eggs which have a deep yellow color and are more nutritious. This is because the kuroiler feed on diverse nutrients and are exposed to sunshine. The Kuroiler meat tastes just like that of the kienyeji chickens and they also produce a rich yellow egg yolk just like kienyeji chickens.

High Yields

This is one of the best advantages of the Kuroiler chickens. If you are transitioning from the ordinary kienyeji chickens to Kuroilers, you will see your annual poultry output increase almost five-fold, both in terms of eggs and meat. Kuroiler produce between 150-200 eggs per year and lay for a period of two years. Additionally , they mature fast within 10 weeks so you can rotate them five times if you are an efficient farmer.

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