In most African countries, poultry farmers practice this for
- Home consumption
- Cultural reasons
- Income generation
Poultry farming is an income generating project which provides quality food, energy, fertilizers and is also a source of renewable asset. Income from poultry farming is used for food, school fees, buying clothing, constructing house and unexpected expenses like sickness, buying medicine.
Small scales famers in Africa are faced with some difficulties to such as poor access markets, goods and services. Some lack knowledge and skills on handling the birds, weak institutions and inappropriate technology. They also have poor poultry breeds and feeds. Poor structures for the birds. These factors affect the productivity of poultry farming and quality of the breeds produced.
Free range extensive system
Backyard extensive system
Birds are not confined. Makeshift shelters are provided to protect the birds from severe weather conditions. Birds are free to wander around in litter collection areas, trees and nest in the bush. It’s hard to control inbreeding in comparison to using poultry egg incubators
Back yard extensive system
Birds are housed only at night during the day they wander around the fields. Birds are fed in the morning and evening. The rest of the day they scavenge for food around the fields.
Semi intensive system
Birds are confined around specific area with access to structures shelter. Birds are sheltered during the day and fully housed at night. Birds are fed and watered.
In Kenya the types of poultry farming practised are follows; layers, broilers and kienyenji.
Kienyenji is the most economical and marketable as it is dual purpose type of poultry. Improved kienyenji chicks can begin to lay eggs after 4 – 5 months. The following is estimated cost for raising 100 kienyenji chicks once you have a structure build to house. The cost may vary depending on time and the locality.
100 Chicks 3 days old kshs.10,000
Chick mash 8weeks old kshs.16,800
Growers 1 weeks old kshs.24,225
Equipment (feeders, drinkers) kshs.5,500
Agricultural sectors is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Kenya. Many youth are currently picking up agribusiness as a full time venture or ‘side hustle’. Poultry farming is one super way to get into the agribusiness considering that little space is required for startup and the fact that currently solar egg incubators Kenya are now freely available .
A poultry farmer can invest in as follows; hatching chicks for sale, rearing layers for selling of eggs for consumption, rearing cockerels and hen with an aim to sell fertile eggs, rearing poultry breeds for meat e.g broilers, rearing poultry breeds for aesthetic purposes e.g guinea fowls, ostrich targeting tourist and rearing of cockerels to sell as breeding cocks.
The Kari Improved kienyeji chicken is a local indigenous chicken distributed by Homerange Poultry Kenya. The breed was developed by the Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) in 2012 as a dual purpose chicken which is ideal both for meat and also for egg production. The breed is comparatively cheaper to rear as it can be free ranged and is highly resistance to diseases. The breed also matures faster i.e. it starts production at 4.5 months of age. The breed is available commercially as Day Old chicks or month old chicks that may be obrained from Homerange Poultry Kenya
this is an intestinal disease caused by fast mulitplying parasites that damage the intestinal lining, depriving the absorption of nutrients by the body. the birds will affectted look droopy, pale and a withh ruffled faeathers. The birds die quickly and in big numbers within a short time.
This is a bacterial disease that is very contagious, and can result in high mortality. One major characterisstic of this disease is appearance of yellowish colouration on birds’ droppings, or yellowish or greenish diarrhoea. The affected birds look droopy and feverish.
This is a disease caused by bacteria that can cause mortality in birds at any age Although mostly chicken are susceptible , it also infects turkeys, guinea fowls, sparrows, parrots, among other birds. The affected birds are characteristised by ruffled feathers, look pale ,drooping , loss of appetite and pale orange coloured diarrhoea.
This disease is a Herpes virus infection usually affects respiratory and is highly contagious. It attacks the nervous system causing progressive paralysis of the limbs (Paralysis of legs, wings and neck) .The is evident Loss of weight, Grey iris or irregular pupil,Vision impairment and the skin around feather follicles raised and roughened.
The feathers around the vent are usually stained with faeces containing plenty of urates.This is a viral infectious disease. It is highly contagious in chickens. Gumboro infection is characterised by inflammation . The feathers around the vent are usually stained with faeces containing plenty of urates. The birds also Also, diarrhoea, appear depressed, anorexia, ruffled feathers.In chicks, gasping coughing and sneezing is observed and ater nervous systems. Birds may be
New Castle Disease
This disease highly contagious and is characterized by marked variations in morbidity, death rate, symptoms and lesions. The birds affected can be seen sitting on their back hock joints ,walk backwards or in circles, or hide their head between their legs.
It is characterized by typical pox lesions in the form of wart-like scabs on the face, comb and wattles.
This is a viral deasese. Its characterised by skin lesions and/or plaques in the pharynx and affecting chickens, turkeys, pigeons and canaries worldwide. the birds also appear to have Depression, inappetance, poor growth, poor egg production. Also Warty, spreading eruptions and scabs on comb and wattles is eveident.
One of the most challenging endavours in poultry farming is the construction of the right house for the birds. We recommend that you have a plan for constructing a proper poultry house according to your means. Luckiliy there are methods you can go about the construction of a poultyr house to suit yourself. Genarally a goood poultry house should be:
keep predators off
have health facilities by disinfecting the house and all equipment free from germs and contamination.
there should be suffficient sunlight coming through
enough space to avoid congestion . there should be atleast 40-50 square centimetres per every chicken.
Feeding equipment shouls also be strategically placed at regular intervals and be proportional to the number of birds
the house should be Cleaned regularly and kept dry at all times
If you build more that one house the make sure there be adequate distance of atleast 40 feet from one house to another.
Clean the house properly before keeping the birds inside the poultry house.
Make a deep liter and keep it dry and clean always.
Wooden and rice bran can be used for making liter.
The poultry house and all equipment must have to be free from virus, parasites and germs.
The poultry house should be situated in a calm area free noise
poultry farming has existed in kenya for a very long time. Chickens, ducks ,turkeys, quails, geese, doves have been reared for their meat, eggs, feathers and fertilizer. However , poultry farming in kenya has mainly been for subsitance consumption with a few commercial farmers.
the current urbanization and staedy growth of urban population has created a bigger demand for poultry products in kenya. this surge in demand has seen increased uptake of poultry farming for commercial interests.
majority of poultry farmers in kenya keep chicken. this is attributed to the demand for chicken eggs and meat. small scalle poultry farmers prefer to keep indeginious breeds of chicken commonly known as kienyeji.
kienyeji breed is more resistant to tropical diseases and also doesnt require much preparation to keep. The farming style used is mostly free range system where the birds are allowed toroam free during the day. They fend for themselves as they slvage through the environment with supplement feeds from the keeepers. A shelter is provided for them for the night.
most middle scale and large scale commercial farmers in kenya keep commercial breeeds. These breeds include layers, broilers, kenbro, sasso, kuroilers.
layers are chicken specifically kept for eggs production. Broilers are kept specifically for their meat.Kenbro is a crossbreed that is kept for both meat and eggs but its generlly less