Birds kept and raised for meat production, egg-laying, and feather production are referred to as poultry. Since poultry farming is relatively easy to start and grow, it has become more popular in recent years.
There are different aspects of poultry, and Kienyeji chicken farming is one of them. But several farmers in Kenya fail to see the potentials in Kienyeji chickens.
Armed with the necessary information, starting a Kienyeji chicken farm is a reliable and cheap way to give your egg and chick production a boost. After going through this post, you’ll have learned the basics of what’s required to start a successful Kienyeji poultry farm.
What’s a Kienyeji Poultry Farm?
Kienyeji chicken farming involves keeping indigenous chicken breeds in Kenya that will form your starting stock.
You can choose from the already egg-laying chicken as well as cock. Also, several breeds of indigenous poultry are available from which you can select.
Consider purchasing your stock from a dependable source that follows vaccination protocols, carries out deworming at the right time, and ensures parasite control.
The number of chickens required to get started with varies depending on your financial capability.
Kienyeji chickens are primarily reared in the village under the free-range method, which is why they’re also called village chicken or road runners in other places.
Farming Kienyeji is getting popular in Kenya nowadays since the chicken is regarded as organic — and, consequently, the preferred healthier option.
Steps to Start Kienyeji Chicken Farming
1. Draft a business plan
If you want to start any business — farming inclusive — formulating a business plan is one of the essential steps to take from the get-go.
This shows the specific goals you aim to achieve and how you intend to do so.
Also, it serves as a plan of how you intend running your business from a producer’s viewpoint and the lawyer’s, banker’s, accountant’s, and hired hand’s perspectives.
2. Secure land, capital, and necessary equipment
Without having necessities like land, capital, and poultry equipment, you can’t start or maintain a chicken farm.
You’ll require buildings for raising the chickens in, which could be barns or hutches based on how you choose to raise your chickens (whether conventional or free-range).
Also, you’ll need land to erect the farm buildings on and to grow crops on that will be used for feeding your chickens.
Further, equipment and machinery are required for activities like cleaning barns, disposing of deadstock, working crops, and others.
3. Decide on how to best raise your Kienyeji chickens
You can raise them in two main ways: conventional and free-range.
In the former, chickens are confined to barns, which are temperature and photo-period regulated areas.
In free-range systems, chickens are allowed to run around just about any part of the farm. This allows them to behave as naturally as possible.
4. Choose the specific sectors of the poultry industry to pursue
You can choose from two types: meat and eggs.
Eggs that aren’t to be sold on the market for human consumption (obtained from both broilers and layers) are incubated.
After that, the chicks are hatched and raised until they reach the proper age to be made available for sale to farms, where they’ll be raised.
The business of incubating eggs and raising chicks is usually distinct from that of raising the chickens themselves. Also, another aspect of this industry is slaughtering chickens for meat.
This is a separate sector entirely that you could go into.
A lot of chicken farmers, especially those that aren’t conventional, operate in more than one sector of this industry. It all boils down to your ambitions, whether you choose to operate in all sectors or restrict yourself to one or two.
5. Search for a niche market (if you can)
Is the location of your farm with many of such businesses, where chickens are raised in a certain way (more conventional systems than the free-range type)?
If so, then consider venturing into a niche market that focuses on the consumer’s interest in free-range chickens, instead of the conventionally-raised type.
6. Create awareness for your business
Advertise yourself to potential customers and consumers by informing them you’ve eggs or meat available for sale.
Selling your products by word-of-mouth is usually much cheaper and is still the most commonly used method of advertising, rather than opting for paid adverts in your local newspaper, which only could get read by a few people.
But you can as well do that and also set up a website to promote your products.
7. Keep daily records of your business
By doing so, you can always know if you’re making a profit or loss.
8. Raise your Kienyeji chickens following the Kenyan law
Finally, raise your chickens by following the laid-down rules and regulations for poultry businesses in Kenya.
Some Benefits of Kienyeji Chicken Farming
Farmers consider keeping Kienyeji chicken for many reasons. Here are some of them:
1. Easy entry
It’s straightforward to start raising Kienyeji chickens. Also, you don’t need much initial capital, especially if you’re engaging in it as a trial or a hobby.
To get started, simply buy 1 rooster (male chicken) and 2 hens.
When the hens start to lay, you can let them sit on eggs.
If each of the hens hatches 10 chicks and is given a brooding period of 2 months, then it lays for another month, at the end of a year, you should realize a minimum of 60 chickens.
2. Increase in demand for Kienyeji meat and Kienyeji eggs
As Kenyans consciously pay more attention to their health, the demand for Kienyeji meat and eggs is rising.
They’re considered to be a healthier option.
3. Kienyeji chickens are hardy
Kienyeji chickens are considered hardy since they show better resistance to disease compared with hybrid chicken.
To start Kienyeji chicken farming, outlined above are the steps to follow. If properly managed, this business is profitable and rewarding.