Poultry farming is a lucrative business idea and many people are making a living from it. Poultry farming is the rearing of birds for meat, eggs, or feather production. There is a high demand for poultry products. Doctors recommend that people avoid eating red meat, creating an opportunity for chicken meat sellers.
Chicken products are a good source of protein. You can be supplying eggs and chicken meat to hotels and institutions like boarding schools and hospitals. This is how you can start poultry farming in Kenya.
Read also: How to start profitable dairy farming.
Research the Market
The first thing you need to do before you can start rearing chicken is to identify the market demand. Understand the breed of chicken and products that are in demand. The following are the types of poultry breeds in Kenya.
- The pellets. They are also called layers and are meat for egg production. They need a lot of attention to rear and cannot withstand harsh environments.
- Broilers. They are reared for meat productions and take 3 months to mature. They also need specialized care and attention.
- Cockerel. They are also known as kienyeji chicken, and they take longer to mature and can withstand a harsh environment. They can be reared for both meat and eggs.
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Select the Type of Bird
Poultry farming can involve many types of birds. Among the birds you can rear in Kenya include chicken, turkey, ducks, peacock, quail, guinea fowl, doves and pigeon. The market demand should direct you on the best birds to rear. Common birds reared in Kenya include chicken and ducks.
Determine Poultry Farming Startup Costs
The cost of starting poultry farming in Kenya depends on the number of birds you wish to rear. It costs between Ksh 500 and Ksh 1,000 to get a fully grown chicken. With that, you can calculate the startup costs.
Also find out how much it will cost you to get chicken feeds, land, equipment and employees. You need to have a large piece of land where you can set up chicken coops.
Among the items, you need to start poultry farming include egg trays, cages, feeders, drinkers and nests. You may also need incubators to keep your chicken warm and you also want to rear and sell one-day-old chicks.
To succeed in poultry farming, you need to design a good chicken coop. Chicken coop varies with the type of poultry you are rearing. Generally, it should be free from predators, well ventilated with sufficient flow of air.
If you are rearing layers of chicken, you need to have a place where the chicken can lay eggs. Make sure to clean the chicken coop frequently.
You need to feed your chicken with nutritious feeds to keep them healthy and productive. Some of the feeds you can give to your chicken include pasture, grains, insects, seeds and bugs. You should mix various feeds in proper proportions. The feeds you give your chicken needs to have enough proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins in them.
- Carbohydrates can be found in grains and feed made from grains. Besides, chicken need clean and fresh water. Among the vitamins that are vital for chicken include Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin B complex.
- Vitamin A can be found in feed ingredients made of fish oils and yellow corn and prevent the chicken from infections. Vitamin B is available in seas fishes. It prevents the chicken from getting rickets.
- Vitamin B complex is available in green feeds and helps in the growth of your chicken. Vitamin D contains calcium carbonate that helps in the formulation of eggshells.
Read also: How to start an agrovet business in Kenya.
Get a Market for your Poultry Products
You need to secure a market where you will be selling your poultry products, whether it is eggs or meat. You can liaise with egg suppliers and hotels selling chicken meat so that you can supply them. If you have large egg production, you can export your eggs to countries like Tanzania.
Let people know that you have a poultry farm and you are selling poultry products. You can use word of mouth, customer referrals, or social media adverts. You can have a page on social media and provide details about your poultry farm.
Challenges in Poultry Farming in Kenya
The main challenges that many farmers face in poultry farming are frequent diseases that claim the lives of their poultry. To overcome these challenges, farmers should vaccinate their poultry before they are 20 weeks old. This will help to improve the immunity of the poultry to overcome disease outbreaks.
The other challenge is low market prices for poultry products. For instance, eggs in Kenya are sold at low prices due to imports from other countries. The Kenyan government should tax egg imports to help Kenyan farmers make good returns in poultry farming.
Is Poultry Farming Profitable in Kenya?
Yes. Poultry farming is among the most profitable businesses you can start. You can make money from poultry farming by selling eggs, chicken meat and one-day-old chicks and mature chicken.
Revenues depend on the number of chickens you have, egg production and market demand. However, you cannot miss the market for your poultry farming.
Starting a profitable poultry farming in Kenya can help you to make a living from it. Make sure to rear the right birds and breed. With that, I hope you now know how to start poultry farming in Kenya.