How to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya? One of the oldest economic practices in Kenya is poultry farming. Poultry farming is the keeping of birds for either commercial or domestic purposes. Chicken, ducks, turkeys, and geese are the most common types of poultry kept in Kenya. When it comes to poultry farming in Kenya, the most common practice is chicken keeping. The Abaluhya community in Kenya is most closely associated with chicken farming. It’s no surprise that most Kenyan memes about chicken consumption heavily reference the Abaluhya.
Kenya, on the other hand, is quickly becoming one of the countries that take pride in both small-scale and large-scale poultry farming. As a result, people of all races and colours in the country are participating in this economic activity. If you want to be a part of this, here is an informative article about poultry farming in Kenya that will teach you everything you need to know about starting poultry farming in Kenya, whether you want to do small-scale poultry farming or large-scale poultry farming in Kenya.
As previously stated, chickens are the most commonly kept bird in most poultry farms across the country. As a result, the focus of this article will be on chicken rearing in the country. However, it should be noted that the majority of the practises discussed in this article are applicable to bird keeping in general. In addition, quail farming is becoming increasingly popular in Kenya.
Chickens can be kept for both meat and eggs. Broilers are chickens raised for their meat, while Layers are chickens raised for their eggs. Broilers are heavily consumed by large hotels in Kenya, particularly those near tourist attractions. What is the basic importance of poultry farming in Kenya before we get into how to start a successful poultry farm in Kenya?
For starters, poultry farming is a huge source of income for a variety of groups, including poultry farmers who rear the chickens and marketing agencies tasked with marketing the farmer’s produce, to name a few. Second, poultry farming yields one of the most nutritious protein sources: chicken eggs and chicken meat. This is significant because animal protein contains all of the amino acids needed for the human body to function properly.
How to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya?
1. Always Have a Business Plan
Sit down and create a clear and concise poultry farming business plan. For starters, conduct a SWOT analysis to determine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats associated with establishing a poultry farm in Kenya. Ensure that your business plan includes the following critical information: where you intend to get the funds to run the poultry farm, the intended market for the poultry farm’s produce, the goals of starting your poultry farm, the budget for your poultry farm, and all of the resources needed to start the poultry farm.
2. Choose the Type of Poultry Farming
Next, decide whether you want to engage in Layer or Broiler poultry farming. Layers are poultry raised for their eggs, whereas broilers are raised for their meat. Furthermore, ensure that you select the appropriate breed of chicken based on your poultry farming choice.
3. Large or Small Scale Poultry Farming
Before beginning poultry farming, one should decide how many chickens one wants to keep. That is, one should decide whether one wants to participate in large-scale or small-scale poultry farming. If on a large scale, be prepared with a moderately large piece of land, preferably an acre, or according to the maximum number of poultry that can be kept on the piece of land. At this point, it is critical to understand that overcrowding your chicken will have a negative impact on its overall productivity.
4. Is it better to raise poultry commercially or at home?
You should also consider whether you are keeping the poultry for commercial or domestic purposes. This is to determine how much you want to invest in the poultry farm. If you decide to go into poultry farming for profit, you must set a profit target that will help you build and expand your business.
5. Do You Have a Way to Transport the Chicks/Eggs?
Before beginning poultry farming, such as chicken rearing, one should purchase new chicks and carefully transport the chicks to the farm within six hours of hatching. This allows the chicks to adapt to their new environment rather than transporting them several weeks after hatching, which reduces their chances of survival.
6. Ensure That You Have Capital, Land, And Equipment
Next, make sure you have the necessary capital, land, and equipment for your poultry farm. One must be equipped with heating devices to keep the chicks warm. Egg trays, cages, coops, incubators, a waste disposal system, perches, feeders, drinkers, nests, crates, and an effective lighting system are also required.
7. Find the Market For Your Production
Before beginning poultry farming in Kenya, it is critical to ensure that you have a market. It might also be a good idea to look at what other poultry farmers in your area aren’t doing right and capitalise on that to ensure that you meet the unmet needs of your customers. Following that, once you’ve identified the necessary market, make sure to expand it through advertising. This may also help to maintain consumer loyalty by improving the reputation of your poultry farming business.
8. Location to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya
Your poultry farm should be located in an area where land is readily available, the land is inexpensive, and there is a ready market for poultry farm produce.
9. Poultry Farming Houses
You must ensure that you have the necessary poultry farming structures. For starters, adequate spacing should be provided for any type of poultry flock. As an example, consider chicken rearing. However, as previously stated, the same rules apply to all poultry rearing, with the exception that the dimensions (measurements) may differ.
- The coop should be rectangular in shape, with a fully covered roof to protect the chickens from harsh conditions such as rain and direct sunlight.
- The coop should be placed so that its sides face east-west, allowing for good ventilation and free air circulation in the house.
- The roof should be kept overlapping to allow temperature regulation, and one of the roof’s sides should be kept as a reflector to reflect away excess heat from the coup. A clean foot bath should be available at the entrance to prevent anyone from contaminating the coup with foreign organisms from the shoes they are wearing.
- When the floor is cemented to make washing easier, the coop is more appropriate. Furthermore, the floor should be littered with wood shavings to absorb moisture from the chicken waste and keep the room free of unwanted bacteria and odours.
- Not to mention that the walls of the poultry farming houses can be made of woodcuts, and the entire house can be meshed with a long wire mesh to prevent any animals that may want to harm the chicken from gaining access.
- The lighting in the house should be adequate, especially if broilers are kept.
- Not to mention, roosts should be installed so that chickens do not sleep on the ground, and they should have enough space, about twelve inches per chicken.
- Bird feeders must always be clean in order for the flock to eat clean food, and those containing water should be mixed with the Aloe Vera plant for some required nutrients. For the chicks, glucose (sugar) should be added to the water to provide energy for growth and the ability to pass faeces.
10. Staffing to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya
When it comes to hiring labour and manpower for your poultry farm’s day-to-day operations, the number of people employed is solely determined by the size of your farm. Your poultry farm, on the other hand, should have a farm manager who oversees everything.
A poultry farming business, like any other, should be guided by basic accounting and record-keeping principles. For starters, you should always keep detailed records of the amount of feed used each day, the number of chicks hatched, the number of eggs laid, and so on. This makes it easier to monitor the growth of your poultry farm, as well as identify and treat the areas causing losses.
12. Maintain the Good Health of the Birds
Every poultry farm prioritises the health of its birds. Ensure that you have veterinary visits on a regular basis to ensure that no diseases develop.
13. Choose a Breed to Start Poultry Farming in Kenya
You must also select a breed of birds to raise. You have the following options:
- Guinea fowl
Make sure you have a budget that is appropriate for the breed of poultry you want to raise, and always stick to it to maximise profits.
What do You need to Know About Layers Poultry Farming in Kenya?
Layers are also referred to as Pullets. Egg-laying chickens typically begin laying eggs at 16-20 weeks of age, with production gradually declining after about 25 weeks. This means that flocks are considered economically unviable by 72 weeks of age and are slaughtered after approximately 12 months of egg production, despite the fact that chickens can naturally live for 6 or more years.
At 16-20 weeks of age, environmental conditions are often automatically controlled in egg-laying, and they then mimic summer day length, which stimulates the hens to continue laying eggs all year. Normally, egg production takes place during the warmer months. Furthermore, some commercial hen breeds can lay over 300 eggs per year.
What do You need to Know About Broiler Farming in Kenya?
Broiler chickens are chickens raised specifically for meat. Broiler chicken production is one of the most innovative livestock industries today. And Broiler farming is advantageous because it requires only a small amount of land for housing. Second, because of its efficient meat conversion, broiler chicken is very popular on small family farms in remote communities, where different families raise small flocks of broilers for sale or personal consumption during various holdings such as family gatherings or when a family comes together for Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations.
The Broiler farming business has dominated poultry contract farming in Kenya. Before beginning broiler farming, survey broiler markets such as hotels, butcheries, institutional customers, and supermarkets to ensure that there is a ready market at harvest. This is all done to ensure that no capital is wasted, thereby maximising profits.
When deciding on broiler housing, the following factors should be considered:
- To avoid direct solar insulation, the length of a broiler house should run from east to west.
- The house should also be rat-proof, cat-proof, bird proof, and well-ventilated.
- Each bird should have a one-square-foot space.
- Finally, in preparation for the arrival of the day-old chicks, all equipment in the house should be cleaned.
What Is the Cost of Poultry Farming in Kenya?
- It is not necessary to spend a fortune on poultry housing in order for the flock to be comfortable. You can use locally available materials such as woodcuts to make your work easier, cheaper, and more efficient.
- Because you will undoubtedly need to purchase the chicks, this expense should be factored in. This will cost you approximately 120 Kenyan shillings per chick.
- You will also need to consider the cost of some chicken feeds, which can range from 180 Kenyan shillings to a maximum of 20,000 Kenyan shillings for several bags in order for the food to last longer and to avoid having to return to the store.
- The chick starter may be much more expensive because it is more delicate and recommended because it contains 22% protein to ensure the chick’s healthy growth. There is also a chick grower with up to 20% protein, but it is nearly the same price as the starter. Broiler chick starter takes 6-8 weeks.
- It is worth noting that white egg-laying hens consume fewer feeds than brown egg layers. Brown egg-laying hens are larger than white egg-laying hens and thus consume more feed. However, rather than spending thousands of dollars on chicken feed, you may want to use less expensive chicken feeds that provide nearly the same nutrients.
Is Poultry Farming Profitable In Kenya?
Poultry farming is a practical activity that can be done almost anywhere, making it more marketable.
- For one thing, poultry farming provides nourishment, which is a human need, and regardless of financial circumstance, people are more privileged to eat the birds, resulting in revenue for the seller of the produce.
- It is more profitable for people who live in remote areas because their free-range birds get enough nutrients, resulting in higher egg productivity.
- Furthermore, poultry is not only used for eggs and meat but the birds’ feathers can also be used to make artefacts, which can generate foreign exchange because tourists are drawn to such items.
Overall, poultry farming is a common source of national income and is relatively simple to implement. That brings us to the end of our guide on how to start a poultry farm in Kenya. I hope you have gained the knowledge required to successfully start a poultry farm in Kenya.
Also Read: How to Start Poultry Farming in USA