The survival and profitability of a small scale enterprise like a small poultry business depends on the qualities of the person who starts the business.
Entrepreneurs have special traits that are measurable through some psychological tests and social indices. People possessing these traits and social indices at a certain level are expected to be more successful than those without them.
Original decision has to be checked continuously against personal objectives one has in life. The first step in starting one own poultry business and indeed any other business is a purely private and personal affair in which nobody can be of help. Poultry farmers need to keep scanning and analyzing the poultry environment and industry with an objective of identifying business opportunities in the poultry value chain.
There is still a gap in poultry production and consumption in Kenya which farmers need to strive to bridge and gain incomes. Chicken constitutes 98% of the entire poultry population of about 36 million birds in Kenya. Annual chicken offtake is estimated at Kes. 4.6 billion and kes. 10 Billion from eggs.
The per capita poultry meat and eggs consumption are 3.5kgs and 36 respectively against WHO recommended of 12kgs and 182 hence high demand. Farmers can therefore be either producers, breeders, input suppliers, service providers, processors or consumers.
A number of business options are therefore available to farmers or business savvy people intending to benefit from the value chain as follows:
Farmers can brood day old chicks into month old chicks and sell to farmers who fear the process and risks involved in brooding and make huge margins.
Farmers can raise their chicken to maturity and sell meat or eggs through contract selling to organized markets.
Farmers can collect the highly effective chicken manure and sell to other farmers planting other crops.
Shrewd business people can seek knowledge on feed formulation, mix the various categories of feed for layers, growers and chick marsh and sell to other poultry farmers.
Business people can act as agro-vet dealers and stockists for poultry related inputs like vaccines, feed, feeders and drinkers among others to serve farmers in a given region.
Accounts clerks can help local farmers in record keeping and book keeping to ensure they keep track of their expenses and incomes at a fee.
Local extension service providers can offer training and extension services to farmers at a fee.
A slaughter house can be constructed to safely process chicken for farmers before sale to buyers who require dressed chicken.
Traders can bulk chicken from farmers, buying at farm gate price and re-selling at a margin to organized markets.
Bodaboda operators can take advantage of the organized value chain to transport chicken, eggs and inputs to and from farmers.
These, among others are significant opportunities in the poultry value chain that shrewd business operators can take advantage of. It is however important to increase the production of chicken first to meet the required demand to be able to jumpstart the other related poultry businesses.
In order to be that entrepreneur who will benefit from this value chain, you therefore need to possess certain attributes or characteristics;
You must be a go getter or opportunity seeker through a careful scanning of the needs of your environment.
You need to be persistent to be able to support business growth.
You should constantly be seeking information.
You should have the highest regard for good quality work.
You should have utmost commitment to work contract e.g. in servicing markets or other supplies.
You should adhere to systematic planning and efficiency orientation.
You should possess self-confidence and the drive to achieve your targeted objectives.
You should be persuasive i.e. use influence strategy to build your business and foster effective networking.
A common question we are often asked by many Kenyans is how to get started in poultry farming. Some people simply have the “vision” of generating wealth through poultry farming in Kenya but they are clueless on the steps that they need to undertake in order to make this a success. If you have the desire but lack the details, here is a simple step by step guide on how you can move from the idea to the execution stage of poultry farming.
This is the most important stage when it comes to poultry farming in Kenya. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! You need to evaluate your current financial situation as well as resources available and determine if they will be adequate for poultry farming. As we have stated in previous blogs, you do not need a fortune to venture into poultry farming in Kenya. You can begin with as little as Ksh.5000 and then scale up from there. Here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself when planning to venture into poultry farming:-
How ambitious are you? Whenever someone calls me and asks about how to start keeping poultry, this is the first question which I always ask them. Are you planning to keep 20, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 700, 1000 or more chickens? Give yourself an annual target for the first year before you go to the next details.
Do you have the money? For committed farmers, money is not always an issue. Only the will. You do not need Ksh.180,000 to start poultry farming. Based on your first annual target, you can budget accordingly. For example, if your budget is Ksh.10,000, you can start with 50 chicks and then improvise on the space where you will keep them and also spend a little on feeders, drinkers and chick mash.
Do you have land or space to keep your poultry? You can rear your chickens on air. You will need land in a safe area where you can put up your structures for rearing your chickens. If you will be rearing the improved kienyeji chickens, then you might need even more land since you must leave some space that will serve as a chicken run where the chickens can graze and get exposed to sunshine which is key for quality meat and egg production.
What breeds are you planning to keep: If you are planning to keep poultry, you must also decide on your preferred breed of birds that you will keep. If you will be keeping kienyeji birds in the improved chicken management system, you can opt for the KARI improved kienyeji chickens, the Rainbow Rooster chickens, Kenbro chickens or even Kuroiler although this is not generally easy to find. One day Chicks typically cost Ksh.100 each.
Do you have access to ready and reliable labor? Most of the prospective poultry farming investors calling us are generally working class people who want to put something back home to supplement their income as their focus on their professional pursuits. If that is the case, you will need to look for a reliable farmhand that can take good care of the chickens.
Do you have a vet nearby? Chickens are generally affected with various diseases and conditions ranging from the viral infections to nutrition-based diseases. You need a good vet who you can call up to ensure that your hens are being fed adequately and immunized for the common diseases.
Where is Your Market? If you are rearing your kienyeji, you must also make plans for where you will market your produce including eggs and the hens themselves. You can sell these in restaurants, hotels or even local markets. You can also check out our Kienyeji Chicken Marketing Network in case you need assistance marketing your kienyeji chickens.
This is all there is to it when it comes to poultry farming in Kenya. It is not rocket science. You just need to take the initiative and plunge in right away. There are a lot of things that you will also learn along the way as you make the mistakes. You can buy our Kienyeji Farming Manuals in order to get the right information on your fingertips for success in Kienyeji farming.
The Kenya Poultry Farmers Association-KEPOFA- is an umbrella body for all poultry farmers in Kenya. The role of the organization is to voice the legitimate concerns and interests of all poultry farmers in the country. It is a non-political nonprofit organization which was formed in 2002 in order to cater to the needs of all poultry farmers and formally registered in 2005.
The Main Objectives of the Kenya Poultry Association Include the Following:-
To promote, advance and protect the interest of those engaged in poultry farming in Kenya by facilitating cooperation of farmers and others in furthering policy and legislation which shall be sound and beneficial
To facilitate dialogue and exchange of information and ideas among poultry farmers and other stakeholders in the industry on matters affecting poultry farming such as: price of poultry or poultry products, conduct of trade or businesses linked to poultry and poultry products, terms and conditions of employment of labour in poultry farming, compensation for improvement and disturbances as well as as the taxation regimes along the value chain
To provide relevant data and information related to the poultry industry provided that such information will be used for the benefit of poultry farmers.
To negotiate on behalf of poultry farmers for reliable transport charged at fair rates for poultry products and other related materials and negotiate for discounts for poultry production inputs
To ventilate the views of those engaged in the poultry industry and to make known to the Government, the public, the private sector and the international community all the conditions and difficulties affecting poultry farmers
To build capacity of poultry farmers in order to improve standards of poultry farming, increase poultry productivity and promote a market oriented poultry productions system
Location: National Bee keeping Station, Ngong Road Lenana, 2nd Floor