Starting a chicken farm requires some dedication but once the profits start coming in you will be glad you did it.While most people have chicken farms, there are several types of birds you can specialize in. These include:
- Domestic fowl
- Guinea fowl
However, for now, we will just focus on domestic fowl (regular chicken). There are mainly 3 types of chicken for that. Layers, Broilers and Kienyeji.
- Kienyeji feeds more than layers
- Kienyeji best for scavenging
- Layers have best laying rate and longest laying period. Most layers in chicken farming in Kenya will start laying eggs the moment they are 18 weeks old but some wait till they are about 22 weeks old. Whichever way, layers in poultry farming in Kenya is considered the most lucrative of all poultry farming in Kenya ventures because two things are achieved from layers, they lay eggs which fetch good money in the market, and are equally sold for the meat.
- broilers achieve market value faster than Kienyeji
- The market for eggs is bigger than meat
- The market for Kienyeji meat is growing very fast
- Kienyeji eggs fetches higher prices
Requirements to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya
If you are ready to get started in poultry farming in Kenya, these are the basic requirements you need to set up your farm.
The no 1 thing you need to get right in poultry farming in Kenya is land. a plot of land of 120 x 60 square meters is okay for setting up medium scale poultry farm in Kenya, at least for a start. Once you have land that is big enough for your farm set up, almost half of your needs have been taken care of. Land is the hardest and the most expensive part of poultry business in Kenya.
Look for land in a rural area or in farms. There you will get lands cheaper, stays out of trouble and do your production there, while your products will be transported to the urban area for sell. It will be good if you can get your own poultry farm land and build a permanent farm rather than to rent.
Good designed and well facilitated poultry housing is a must for commercial poultry farming in Kenya. Housing system and design depends on the farming system and chosen poultry breeds. But follow some instructions while building house for all types of poultry breeds. Proper ventilation system is very urgent. This keeps the birds healthy and productive. Make sure that your poultry house is well ventilated. Keep proper facilities for entrancing sufficient amount of fresh air and light inside the house. If you want to start large scale poultry farming, then making numerous houses will be effective.
Keep about 40 feet distance from one house to another house while making numerous houses. Always clean the house perfectly before bringing the chicks inside the farm. Clear the litter on a regular basis. Wooden or rice bran can be used for making litter for the poultry birds. Keep all the poultry equipment clean and germ free. Clean all equipment on regular basis.
- The cost of feeding your chicken.
On the long run, feeding your chickens will be the major area where most of your investment will go. I think it will be nice if you can have the idea of how much your chicken will eat.
Averagely a layer chick (little chicken) will consume 9-10 pounds for it first 10 weeks.
An average broiler chick may consume 8-9 pounds for it first 6 weeks
- Poultry Farm Location
There are few factors that make location a very important issue to be considered when thinking about poultry business and here they are;
- Your market. Since what you want to sell is chicken and egg, a location near city is usually good. Why not city itself?
- Odour and noise. Who can live near a big poultry farm? In fact, it`s against the law in many places to have your bird`s farm near houses. Also consider:
- Cost of land. As I have said earlier, the cost of land in some cities could be enough for starting and running a poultry farm in some nearby towns
- Consider employing sales representatives
Don’t think that your business is too small to employ sales reps or that poultry business is not serious enough to have sales representatives. Right here in my office, I have someone who brings me fresh eggs weekly and frozen chicken when I feel like having chicken.
She’s a sales rep and earns commission for each item she sells. I have also been able to introduce her to my colleague and friends who also buy from her regularly. Now, her employer is a very smart poultry farmer because even when I buy from the grocery store, I only buy their products. Having a sales representative is a good way to increase awareness for your products and increase sales too.
Some of the routine management you need to remember includes:
- Keep the chicks warm at all times. And light must be on throughout the day (24 hours).
- Proper protection of chicks from pets, predators or children from home.
- Ensure that you seek advice from experts on the types of feeds to be given as they are growing because they need to change according the ages.
- The feds should always be kept clean to avoid infections.
- The chicken cage should be kept clean every day.