poultry production
poultry production

For years rearing chicken especially indigenous in the East African country was taken as a practice for keeping stock for festivities and other regular home use.

poultry production
poultry production
But it has overtime grown into an entrepreneurial venture opening opportunities to thousands of Kenyans including graduates who cannot find jobs and those in urban centers seeking for an alternative source of income.

Now there are hybrids for purely laying eggs and providing meat as well as improved dual purpose indigenous poultry.

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) approximates indigenous poultry farming to be contributing 76 percent of the total production with the hybrid taking up the remaining share.

However, how either breed is managed determines state of sustainable productivity in commercial poultry farming, a necessity Kenyan entrepreneurs are capitalizing on to make profits while helping farmers to increase their yields and incomes.

Engokho Kuku Farmer firm is among those providing farmers with alternative modern cage complete with laying nest, water container, drinkers and feeders. It is movable such that farmers can shift its location during cleaning or in case of changing site.

As farmers struggle with reducing size of farming land which disadvantages them in adoption of free range system, the stainless wire made cage allows them to maximize on the available space.

“The cage best serves the small and large scale farmers,” Justus Pius Wasike, serving as technician for Engokho Kuku Farmer, told Xinhua in an interview on Friday. “They can rear many chickens either layers or broilers in a small area,” he added.

Traditionally, Kenyan farmers use wire mesh to enclose chicken in an open space and provide boxes with grass as mattress, for laying eggs. Water is served in plastic containers usually recycled bottles or jerrycans while a wood made chamber is used as a feeder.

With the innovative cage, farmers have all the equipment compacted into a three by two meters unit.

The unit which can hold 128 layers and 120 broilers, is assembled with pipes which drip water into a raised drinker installed in each box. A metallic feeder runs horizontally in conformity with the boxes from which they can peck their feed.

“In one box, you can have four layers but you will need only three for broilers because they need more space to grow big,” advised Wekesa.

Though the product is new in the market, he said more than 500 farmers in the Eastern, Western and Rift Valley regions have embraced usage of the poultry accessory.

It goes for 350 U.S. dollars at their current rating and is usable for up to 20 years depending on how the farmer manages it, he said. The cost includes delivery and installation, he said.

“We let the farmers advise us on the kind of a cage they want; whether it is for layers or broilers. That is why we do not assemble it before we deliver it because some suddenly change their mind,” he said.

The technician said the cage helps farmers manage fast spread of diseases such coccidiosis and fowl pox, common in the free range system.

The farmer can easily collect the chicken droppings for manure as he can put a preferred collector such as cover paper below the raised boxes.

However, this should not limit a farmer from frequent cleaning and dusting of the boxes to avoid clogging and pests attack.

High hygienic standards are key in poultry farming since healthy hens produce eggs to the annual maximum standard, he said.

Cleaning the laying nests as well as pipes, feeder and water container with safe water is part of the efforts a farmer should make to ensure high and sustainable productivity.

“A farmer can vaccinate the hens by mixing a drug with the water in the water container and supply it at the same time through the pipes to the drinkers,” he said.

Kenya anchors on agriculture to eliminate poverty and youth unemployment in the households. In the recent years, the government has heightened campaigns encouraging youth to venture into commercial poultry farming to raise an income.

As time goes, it is expected that lives of many Kenyans will be changed with growth of the sector combined with adoption of new technologies of raising both layers and broilers of indigenous and exotic breed. Enditem

Source: Robert Manyara, Xinhua/News Ghana


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