What do you know about poultry farming in Kenya? Do you know the birds you can raise?

Before you start raising poultry, it’s important to understand the dynamics of this business venture.

In this article, You will learn everything you need to know about po

What Is Poultry Farming?

Simply put, poultry farming is the type of business that involves the raising of domesticated birds. There are several types of birds you can raise.

The most common types of birds that can be domesticated include chickens, ducks, guinea fouls, turkeys, ducks, geese, and pigeons.

In this article, we will talk about raising such birds in Kenya. The different varieties available and how to take good care of them.

It’s important to note that poultry farming is an integral agricultural activity in Kenya. 

Statistics indicate that there are over 2 million chickens, 100,000 ducks, and 2,000 turkeys in the country. 

The most important poultry products are eggs and meat.

Poultry farming comes with many benefits.

Some of the obvious advantages are that it’s a relatively low-cost enterprise and it is easy to learn. 

Poultry also provides a source of income for many small-scale farmers.

However, the business has also drawbacks. The main disadvantages of poultry farming are the risk of disease and the need for a reliable source of feed and water.

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Small-Scale Poultry Farming In Kenya: Why It Is Worth Your Investment

Poultry farming is one of the most common forms of agriculture practiced in Kenya, and for good reasons.

It’s a great business opportunity even for small-scale farmers. It is a sustainable good source of income.

You can also start poultry farming in Kenya on a small scale. It’s a type of business that is easy to start.

Here are the reasons why you should think of starting poultry farming in Kenya if you need money to meet your needs.

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Minimal investment

You don’t need to break the bank to start a poultry farming business in Kenya. Start small and scale up with the passage of time. 

The secret is that you need to reinvest the profit you make from your small investment so that you can expand your business.

If you struggling to find the money for your needs, the poultry farming business may be the best solution for you.

Poultry products are in demand.

People eat poultry products every minute, hour, and day. There are customers for poultry products virtually everywhere.

So you can be making money from your neighbors in your neighborhood. Raise chickens for both meat and the production of eggs and sell them in your neighborhoods.

Poultry products are in high demand in  Kenya and this presents you with an opportunity to make huge returns on your investment.

It is easy to manage.

Poultry farming is not labor intensive. It will not take up much of your time nor will it require you to put in much effort.

If you have a full time but are looking for a side hustle to generate extra money to pay your utility bills and other expenses, consider a poultry farming business.

You will have time for your full-time job and also generate extra income that you no doubt desperately need.

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The Status Of Poultry Farming In Kenya

The demand for poultry products in Kenya is skyrocketing. This is not an amazing fact. There are always people eating poultry products daily.

This fact justifies the demand for poultry farming in Kenya. At its best, the population is also growing hence the high demand for poultry products.

This high demand for poultry products such as meat and eggs has resulted in an increase of poultry farms in Kenya.

In Kenya, the poultry industry is divided into two main categories namely small-scale and large-scale. 

Small-scale poultry farming is usually practiced by families whereas large-scale farming is practiced by corporations. 

Therefore, the common type of farming in Kenya is small-scale farming. They strive to meet the demand for poultry products in the country.

This industry is regulated. The government ensures feed, vaccines, and medicines meet international benchmarks.

The government of Kenya has put in place a number of measures in place to encourage people to invest in poultry farming.

They work with organizations both local and international to empower citizens with improved chicken breeds and knowledge of how to take care of the birds.

Types Of Poultry Farming Practiced In Kenya

There are three main types of poultry farming practiced in the country and these are layer farming, broiler farming, and breeder farming.

Layer farming

poultry farming in kenya - layers

Layer farming involves keeping chickens usually in cages for the production of eggs. 

The layer chickens are usually given balanced diet feeds to several produce quality eggs.

Broiler farming

Broiler chickens

Broiler farming involves keeping chickens usually in large pens for the production of meat. 

To produce quality meat, broiler chickens must be fed a balanced diet.

Breeder farming

breeder farming

Breeder farming involves keeping chickens for the production of chicks. 

These chicks are kept in cages and when they reach a certain age, they are sold.

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Poultry Farming Practiced In Rural Areas Of Kenya

Do you live in a rural part of Kenya and want to know the poultry farming business ideal for farmers in rural areas?

Well, you can make money from poultry farming if you are committed to doing that.

What type of poultry farming is ideal in rural areas?

The poultry farming in Kenya ideal for rural areas is the free-range system. 

It is the best method that can give you a huge return on your investment. It’s low cost as chickens are allowed to forage for their own food.

The chickens are NOT given feed. They roam freely and eat whatever edible foods they come across.

But before you start this business, it is imperative for you to carry out research to establish the ideal breeds for raising in your area.

Different Types of Chicken Breeds In Kenya

Improved breeds 

KARI improved Kienyeji chicken

KARI improved Kienyeji chicken
KARI improved Kienyeji chicken
  • KARI is an improved Kienyeji chicken hence the name.
  • They are good for both meat and eggs.
  • This breed starts laying eggs when they are between 4 to 5 months old.
  • They produce a lot of eggs – over 200 eggs per chicken in a year.

Pros

  • KARI chickens are disease resistant.
  • They are easy to raise as they can be kept in small places.

Cons

  • This breed doesn’t produce a lot of chickens.
  • They are a late maturity variety – It takes about 8 months for them to mature.

Kuroilers

Kuroiler chicken
Kuroiler chicken
  • Kuroiler is a hybrid chicken.
  • They produce a lot of eggs – over 150 eggs per chicken in a year.
  • They grow fast – about 3 months.
  • This breed is usually docile.
  • Roosters can weigh up to about 4.5 kg.

Pros

  • Kuroilers usually mature early.
  • They produce a lot of eggs.
  • They are great for both meat and eggs.

Cons

  • Kuroilers are usually not resistant to diseases.
  • They’re expensive to raise as they need a lot of feed.

Rainbow Roosters

Rainbow Roosters chicken
Rainbow roosters
  • Rainbow roosters are docile and easy to handle.
  • They’re raised for both meat and eggs.
  • They produce a lot of eggs – about 170 in a year.

Pros

  • Rainbow roosters require minimal care.

Cons

  • It takes time for them to reach maturity.

Exotic Breeds – Broilers

Kenchic broilers

Kenchic broilers
  • Kenchic broilers are a hybrid.
  • They’re big – roosters can weigh about 4.5 kg.
  • They’re good for meat.

Pros

  • Kenchic broiler reaches maturity fast – about 6 months.
  • They start producing eggs at about 18 weeks (4 months).

Cons

  • Kenchic broiler is an ideal breed for free range.
  • The reason is that they are not good at foraging for food. 

Hybro

Hybro chicken
  • They can start laying eggs when they are 4 months old.
  • They’re good for egg production.

Pros

  • Hybro chickens produce a lot of eggs.
  • They’re resistant to diseases. 

Cons

  • Hybro chickens consume a lot of feed.

Exotic Breeds – Layers

Isa brown chicken

Isa brown chicken
  • The Isa Brown chickens can be raised both by urban and rural dwellers.
  • They’re docile and friendly.

Pros

  • They produce many large eggs.

Cons

  • They’re not resistant to diseases.

Ross breeds

Ross chicken
  • The Ross breeds produce a lot of eggs.
  • They’re productive even when they consume less feed.

Pros 

  • They produce eggs over a long period of time – up to 24 months.

Cons

  • They are not resistant to diseases.

Exotic Breeds For Meat And Eggs

Light Sussex

  • The Light sussex chickens lay large eggs. 
  • They produce good meat and eggs.

Pros

  • They reach maturity fast.

Cons

  • They’re not resistant to coldness.

Rhode Island red

  • The Rhode Island red chickens are good for both egg and meat production. 

Pros

  • They produce a lot of eggs.

Cons

  • They’re not resistant to diseases.

Management Of Poultry House

A poultry house is an important room in your poultry business. You need to take very good care of it. 

Neglecting a poultry house may affect or reduce your production or bring about a disease that will wipe out your chickens in the blink of an eye.

How should I take care of a poultry house?

Well, here are five tips to help you manage your poultry house.

1. The room must be spacious: You. should ensure that each bird has a minimum of one square foot of space.

This will allow the birds to move around so that they can stay healthy. Having reasonable space also reduces the spread of diseases.

2. Keep the coop should be free of dirt: What dirty should always be cleaned? Droppings of chickens especially.

If not cleaned, the droppings can cause different diseases that wipe out your chickens overnight. So the coop should always be free of debris.

3. Free circulation of air

Free circulation of air in and out of the coop will help get rid of harmful gases.

Therefore, make sure that the coop has windows or small openings where air can move in and out of the coop.

4. Place nest boxes in the coop

When your birds are of age to lay eggs, place nest boxes in the coop for laying eggs. 

5. Monitor the coop temperature: 

The temperature of the coop should be within the recommended ranges.

If it goes down, for example, turn on the heater to raise the temperature to the recommended levels.

Feed Requirements

When it comes to choosing feed, you need to be picky. Some feed may not be good for your birds – they may be fake.

So before you settle for any feed, I recommend you first take the following steps:

1. Look for feed that has nutrients that are needed by your birds. Don’t buy any type of feed you find on the market. 

Buy feed that’s specifically designed for the breed of poultry you keeping. This is extremely important for success.

2. Consider the price of the feed. Once you the type of seed needed by your poultry breed, shop around to find the cheapest one.

The idea is that you should buy the feed at a price that will give you high-profit margins.

3. Monitor the performance of the feed. I think you have heard this popular saying, “Not all that glitters is gold.”

This can also be true with feed. It may be appealing to the eyes but it may be of low quality.

So it’s important that you monitor the performance of the feed. If it’s not giving the desired results, then try a different brand.

4. Feed them an all-encompassing feed. 

By all-encompassing, I mean giving them feed that has all the nutrients they need.

Giving them all the necessary nutrients will make them productive and also enable them to remain healthy.

5. Store feed in a coop dry place. Don’t store your feed in a wet place. 

Storing it in a cool dry place prevents contamination which is likely to result in diseases.

Poultry Farming Methods In Kenya

There are three main poultry farming methods you can adopt in Kenya and these are free-range, intensive, and semi-intensive.

Free range

free range chickens - poultry farming in kenya
Free range method

Free-range poultry farming allows birds to roam freely in an open area. It has so many advantages.

One of the advantages is that it is inexpensive. The chickens are not fed because they search for their own food.

Secondly, it has health benefits. The birds are able to exercise and spread their wings which keeps them healthy.

But this method has also disadvantages. 

The main disadvantage is that you need to keep an eye on the birds wherever they go so that they don’t fall prey to predators.

Intensive

intensive chickens
Intensive method

This intensive poultry farming involves keeping the birds in a confined space. These are given food and water in the cages.

This method comes with a number of advantages. 

One of the advantages is that the birds are protected from predators. It also allows a farmer to raise many birds in a small place.

This doesn’t mean that this method is perfect. It also has flaws. 

The main disadvantage of this method is that diseases can spread faster as the chickens are too close to each other.

The chickens entirely depend on feed as they can’t forage for their own food. So it’s an expensive method.

Semi-intensive

semi intensive chickens - Poultry farming in kenya

Semi-intensive farming keeps chickens in a semi-enclosed area. The chickens are kept in a pen and fed. 

They roam within the pen. They’re also provided with water. 

One good thing about this method is that it’s cheaper to set up. 

It allows chickens to exercise and roam around. So it keeps the chickens healthy.

Just like the other methods, it also has disadvantages. This method needs a lot of space to allow chickens to roam freely.

Challenges Associated With Poultry Farming In Kenya

It is a lucrative business but it also has its challenges. 

One of the main problems facing poultry farmers in Kenya is the high cost of feed

This is because most of the feed ingredients are imported, which leads to high costs. 

Diseases are another problem that poultry farmers face. Infectious diseases can spread quickly and can wipe out an entire flock. 

Poor weather conditions can also affect poultry farming, as rain can damage equipment and make it difficult to get feed to the birds.

Cost Of Starting a Poultry Farm In Kenya

Starting a poultry farm in Kenya can be costly. The cost of setting up a small-scale poultry farm is estimated at KES 1.5 million. 

This cost includes the purchase of 500 chicks, the construction of a poultry house, and the purchase of equipment. 

Final Thoughts

Poultry farming is a very profitable business. 

It is a very good way to make a living and to also provide food for your family. 

However, there are a few things that you need to know before you start this business in Kenya. 

First, you need to have a good understanding of the different types of poultry and the different types of housing that are available. 

You also need to be familiar with the different diseases that can affect poultry and the treatments that are available. 

Finally, you need to be familiar with the different feedstuffs that are available and the nutritional requirements of poultry.

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