Poultry farming in Kenya: An informative guide on how to start a poultry farm.

Ingoho it is. You’ve most probably come across this term when you’re around someone from western Kenya. So, Ingoho is a Kenyan poultry dish consisting of a chicken cooked Luhya-style by the Luhya people of Western Kenya. No wonder most Kenyan memes revolving around chicken hit at the Abaluhya community. Thats a meal you probably are salivating for. Long story short, poultry farming is one of the oldest economic activity in Kenya. Lets go though this guide on how to start a poultry farm. Also have a look at side hustles on this Post

1. Do a research and have a business plan

This is the first step of all businesses. Write an effective and concise poultry farming business plan. Use SWOT analysis to find the Strengths, weakness opportunities and threats associated with poultry farming in Kenya. Include where you intend to get finances, intended market, objectives of starting it and all resources required to start.

2. Choose the sector you want to focus on

Here, you have to select a niche in poultry farming. This will help you focus and become good at the chosen sector. There are four types of birds common in Kenya which are chicken, ducks, Turkeys and geese. But I’ll focus on the main one that is chicken. So basically there are three types of chicken.

Broilers on free range

First is Pullets (layers), very lucrative and less stressful as others.
Second is Broilers for meat production which are speedy in terms of growth (6 weeks to mature).
Third is cockerels also for meat, however growth rate is slower (6 months). Good thing is that they withstand adverse weather and more resilient regarding survival.
Fourth is the indigenous type which is the most sort after for its unique taste in eggs and meat. They are both nutritious and healthy. They are reared through free range or pastured system and in survival they are like cockerels.

Chicken breeding that is hatching is also very lucrative because when you have an incubator you can hatch several chicks. You can thereafter sell each for 100 or more depending on their ‘age’.

3. Resources you need to start

Having specified your type, now determine the resources you need which include land, staff, feeds, transport and tools.Resources will be determined by the scale of chicken farming you want to get into. Small scale is more preferable before venturing into large scale. Small scale is between 1-1,000 chicken and large scale is above 10,000.

Chicks crowded at a place

Land is the primary one and also most expensive part. Once you have it you have taken care of almost half your needs. The land is better off in a rural place because o cost of land and labour. Also consider the distance due to transport and proximity to clients and climate. A 120 by 60 square feet is enough for medium scale. Remember that spacing is very important in poultry. You don’t want to loose your chicken through contamination and suffocation right?

Chicken coop is very vital. There are numerous tested ways of creating an enclosure. Just ensure your chicken cage has free flow of air and ventilation. The chicken should not be subjected to direct sunshine and rainfall. Walls can be made of wood and the whole covered by wire mesh to prevent predators from attacking. You should make the floor in such a way that it is easier to wash and add wood shavings for warmth and to absorb moisture from the chicken waste. It keeps the room from bacteria and unwanted smell. Housing is also dependent on the production system which is either Free range, Semi intensive or Intensive production system.

When it comes to financing, it doesn’t require so much capital compared to other business ventures. You can obtain funds from your savings or family and friends. Another source is obtaining loans from Agricultural Finance Cooperation, Women enterprise fund, Youth Enterprise fund, Sacco’s or Local banks.

Chicken roaming freely

4. Create a network

This is in terms of people and resources needed on daily basis or intervals. It ranges from veterinary officers, manual labourers and so on. There’s also a network of supplies of vaccines, chicken feed and construction materials and equipment. Without a network, you will struggle running the poultry farm smoothly

5. Running it as a business

You know what I mean by business, right? It requires proper record keeping, business registration, owner and employee welfare proper management. This will keep your farm activities flow and no losses or gain will go unnoticed. With time you’ll be building a poultry empire thanks to proper management.

Chicken feeding

6. Risk management and quality assurance

It involves ensuring that your end product is of good quality. Ranging from a vaccination schedule, feeding the right feeds and correct ratios at the right time. Disease control is another factor and proper handling of feeds, chicken, equipment and eggs.

7. Marketing and sales strategy

Another important part is marketing your produce either meat or eggs. It includes branding, sales and marketing channels. You can make a business card you will give to potential clients during trade fairs or events of farming. Your clients can range from friends, local community, local market, hotels, restaurants and catering companies.

8. Value addition

In every businesses there is competition, this therefore calls for adding value to your produce. As a result you will reap maximum profits and stay ahead of your fellow poultry farmers. Some of the value addition activities are chicken egg processing or chicken meat processing.

Free range feeding on greens

In conclusion,

As much as it is a great business, it takes some time to make good profits. It’s not a ‘get rich quick venture’. With the above information I believe you can set up a poultry farm even that one of kienyeji at your grandmas place. Start now if you want to reap in the next few months. You might also want to check on types of online passive incomes for Kenyans  here

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