15 Things You Need to Know About Poultry Farming in Kenya

Poultry farming has already proven to be a lucrative business, that you may be willing to start a farm for your new source of income. In broad, poultry farming means raising various types of domestic birds commercially for the purpose of meat, eggs and feather production. But here we are describing poultry farming for beginners guide about chickens. Chicken’s products are among the major source of animal protein, aside from beef, pork and fish. And chickens are already an integral part of human life.

Small scale poultry production fulfill the animal nutrition demand for a family. But large scale or commercial basis poultry farming offer an opportunity for the people to earn big amount of money. That’s why there are many poultry farms out there. Poultry farming is a suitable business for the people who are passionate about livestock farming, keeping birds and who are comfortable with farm life.

Poultry farming is also a highly profitable business if you can run it properly under acceptable methods and conditions conducive for the birds. Actually each type of farming business follows specific operational principles for making good profit. And when such principles are ignored by the farm management system, it results in serious loses.

So before starting, it is wise to learn more about the business. Take some time and try to understand why most of the poultry farmers make good profits and some of them fail. Some of the farmers, especially beginners have been forced out of the business when they could not operate it properly and thus lose money. Successful poultry farming business is involved with lot of works and it’s easy at the same time. But it’s not a lazy man’s business. You have to do everything timely and perfectly according to a plan. However, here in this article I am trying to discuss details about poultry farming from beginner’s perspective.

1) Planning Your Poultry Hens Business

Starting a poultry farming business is easy and involved with lots of regular work at the same time. You need good planning to ensure that you do all the activities required to rear your chicken successfully. Determine your production purpose, select proper poultry breeds according to your desired production and go for the detailed planning.

2) Have Your Investment Ready

Poultry farming requires investment. You can arrange the money by your own or you can apply for bank loan. Both govt. and non-govt. As a beginner, you should start with a minimum number of birds which will cost you pretty less money.

3) Production Type

First of all determine the production type of your poultry farm. You can raise broiler chickens for meat production purpose, Kienyeji hens for both meat and eggs or choose layers if you want to produce eggs commercially.

4) Broiler Hens

Broiler poultry farming is a lucrative business. They are highly meat productive breed. But broiler chicken is a special species of poultry, which is a great secret. Broilers are made in a scientific way for producing more meat in a short time. Many people are interested in broilers farming in Kenya but they don`t know how to go about it.

5) Layers Hens

Layer poultry farming means raising egg laying poultry birds for the purpose of commercial egg production. You may need to do thorough research about layers hens breeds, how to keep them and what to do to make them lay more eggs.

6) Kienyeji Hens

Improved Kienyeji hens is the hot business in Kenya at the moment. Since the introduction of KARI Improved Indigenous chicken breed, Kenbro breed and Kuroiler; farmers have been smiling to the bank.

7) Selecting Your Farm Location

Selecting a good farm location for your business is very important. You should select such a location which has all required facilities and favorable for your business. It can be slightly far from the town, where land and labor is pretty cheap. But don’t setup the farm too far from the town. Because most of the towns have high density population, and you have to target that market. Also try to avoid setting up the farm in residential areas, because poultry farms produce offensive odor. While selecting the farm location, consider transportation system and medication facilities also.

8) Equipment and Appliances you will need

You need to purchase some equipment for your poultry farm. You will need some equipment such as Feeders, Waterers, Cages, Coops, Crates, Incubator, Egg tray, Lighting instruments, Perches, Brooders or heaters, Ventilation system, Waste disposal system, nests and much more equips for running a poultry farm successfully.

9) Purchasing/Hatching Chicks

After setting everything up and having everything ready, purchase quality chicks from trusted breeder in your area and start caring them. I will also teach you how to hatch your own chicks in this chapter. You will learn how to set a brooder ready before arriving the chicks from breeding house to your farm.

10) Housing Your Hens

After selecting farm location, construct a good house for your birds. There are three types of poultry housing system you can use. Extensive, semi intensive and intensive. For commercial production, intensive system is most convenient. You can raise your birds in floor or in cage system. On an average, broiler poultry needs about 2.5 square feet space and layer poultry needs about 4 square feet space.

11) Feeding Your Poultry

Feeding is the most important part of poultry farming business. After constructing house and purchasing equipment and chicks, you have to spend a large amount of money for feeding your birds. About 70% of your total project expenses will go towards the feeding. And the success in the business also depends on quality and adequate feeding. You can

12) Health Management

You have to ensure proper medication system in your area. Poultry birds are prone to various types of diseases and you have to be ready for controlling them. You should have a proper with a vaccination schedule for the hens.

13) Accounting, record Keeping & Eggs Storage

Efficient and profitable poultry operations are guaranteed by good record keeping which helps keep track of your expenses and progress of your flock. You should prepare inventory, financial, and production records to ensure good management of your business.

14) Marketing Your Poultry Products

Good marketing strategies influence the profit from your business. If you can sell your products in the market easily, then it will encourage you in getting more production. I always recommend determining marketing facilities in your area before starting any farming business, because your business will not be much profitable if you can’t market your products properly.

15) Farm staffing and manpower

Based on the number of birds, you need more or less manpower/labor. As a beginner, if you start with a minimum number of birds (200-500) then you can manage your farm by yourself easily. If you plan for raising more birds then you will need additional manpower.

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