Adequate training and proper business set up is a prerequisite to any organization willing to work with smallholder farmers in the poultry value chain or any investor willing to make substantial investments in the chicken, feed industry and processing industry. It is prudent to put in place a farmer or employee training plan in accordance with modern practices and standards and an establishment plan that ensures the farmer or entrepreneur starts off on a sound footing. In this regard, we offer consultancy services to organizations and entrepreneurs on the various poultry business models, training and set up which among others include the following:
Construction of recommended chicken houses with the right orientation and designs and management of the houses thereof taking into consideration the number of flock and the projected expansion plans.
Correct or proper installation of farm equipment taking into consideration the required quantities and functionalities.
Management of the chicken flock with due to consideration to the minimization of birds mortality which can reduce flocks or production, reduce incomes, bring down the business and kill dreams.
Efficient management of the chicken feed and flock with utmost attention to the right feed formulation, pricing, daily feed rations requirements for birds etc.
Capacity building of farmers on vaccination and complete vaccination of birds with strict adherence to recommended schedules depending on the required information for the given area.
Ensuring efficient management and handling of eggs, one of the most delicate products in a farm.
These, among other prerequisites will help in making the desired start that propels the farmer to profitability. In addition training should be done basically covering the following areas:
Bio security of the chicken and how to set up a biosecurity infrastructure and manage it.
The various breeds of poultry, their characteristics and attributes.
The essence of vaccinating chicken and the vaccination schedules.
Poultry diseases (viral, metabolic, protozoal and bacterial), their management and treatment.
The physiology and anatomy of chicken.
Feeds, feeding and drinking management.
Brooding of day old chicks and brooding management.
Marketing of poultry and record keeping
After training farmers and entrepreneurs are assisted with necessary input linkages and then placed on the path to commercialization.
After training, farmers need to be assisted in the chick placement process and all its requirements and then will need to develop a working relationship with a local public or private extension worker (Animal Health Assistant) as a closer and reliable point of call to facilitate response to emergencies in the farm or alternatively employ qualified Animal Health Assistants for entrepreneurs possessing the ability to employ.
For organizations willing to take their farmers through this process or willing to organize their farmers to commercialize poultry through a model of poultry producer business group of individuals or entrepreneurs seeking assistance in this respect you can contact us through the following email:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:-
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.
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.
Poultry farming in Kenya is one of the fastest growing agribusiness sectors in the country. The demand for the poultry products is growing at an exponential rate because millions of Kenyans can now afford to eat chicken on a regular basis. Additionally, there is very growth in the number of farmers venturing into poultry farming.
Most of the poultry in Kenya is still being consumed in the fast food joints across Kenyan urban centres where there is a seemingly unlimited demand for the poultry products. This is in places such as restaurants, fish and chips and many other eateries out and about town. There is a significant part of this which is consumed in hotels ranging from the simplest of shacks to the five-star hotels, resorts and camping areas. Still, there are sophisticated poultry marketers who have discovered the export market for the poultry products.
Making Profits with Poultry Farming in Kenya
If you are planning to venture into poultry farming in Kenya, here is a surefire way in which you can make profit. Let us show you the path to profitability and great returns from your poultry farm:-
What You Will Need
You need land: At least 40ft by 60 ft
You Need a Housing Structure: Allocate a Budget of at Least Ksh.40,000
Start with 100 Day Old Chicks: These will cost you Ksh.10,000
Vet Products and Miscellaneous
Choose a piece of land that is situated at least 40 feet from the main house. It should be situated in a secure and well drained area. For some biosecurity, it is advisable to have it amongst trees . It should be in a place that you could easily fence in case you will also be constructing a chicken run.
These are built according to the chicken density. The first question which we often ask the potential investors is “how ambitious are you?” I don’t believe in building housing structures for your poultry in stages. So you need to determine your threshold based on the peak number of poultry that you plan to rear. For example, if you are planning to rear a maximum of 500 in the near future, then you will need a cage of size of at least 50ft by 10ft or 50 feet by 12 feet.
The recommended density is generally 1 square feet per bird. There is a certain way in which you should build the chicken cages. Check our Kienyeji Housing Manual for tips on how you can get the process right. Generally, the orientation should be East-West and you need to leave some ventilation space at the top which is covered in wire mesh. This should be at least 3 feet although you can also have 2.5 feet. Below this should be 4-4.5feet of solid material such as timber offsets, iron sheets, bricks, concrete or even clay material.
The Day Old Chicks
The best way to ensure you are getting the best value chicks is by buying from reputable breeders and hatcheries that will assure you of the best. What kind of poultry breeds do you want? There are the KARI improved kienyeji chicks, the Kuroiler chicks, the IndBro brown layers, the Fast white layers, and the Rainbow Rooster chicks. These are hardy breeds that you can opt for if you are planning to go the free range way. You can also purchase the layers and broilers which mature very fast and start delivering the profits. The price of the day old chicks varies from Ksh.100 to Ksh.110.
Feeds are generally the main expenditures for any Kienyeji farmer. They can gobble up to 65% of the cost of rearing the hens. If you can take time to learn Poultry Feed Formulation on your own, you will be able to cut down on the costs of feeding by as much as 70%.
Keep a reserve budget just in case there is an outbreak of diseases. Follow the poultry vaccination schedule and ensure your chicks are vaccinated on time against common poultry diseases prevalent in your area. You can consult a professional agrovet for advice on this.
With good rearing and management, at least 90% of your chicks should survive. Assuming 80 of these are layers and 10 are cockerels, you should be able to begin generating a very fast income within only a few months. For example, consider that each of the hens will lay 300 eggs during their laying cycle of 72 weeks, you will be looking at over 24,000 eggs produced during that period. If the eggs are fertilized, you can now sell them at almost triple the price of between Ksh.25 to Ksh.30.
By continuously adding chicks after every cycle, you can continue multiplying your flock and your profit. It is very difficult not to make a profit from your poultry farming venture.