All posts by Mkulima wa Ecochicks

What is Kienyeji chicken?

There are Kari improved, Kuroiler, Kenbro and Rainbow Roaster.
The term ‘improved Kienyeji’ generally refers to an indigenous chicken breed obtained from natural cross-breeding between two superior breeds of Kienyeji chickens or a Kienyeji chicken and an exotic breed.

Kari improved is a pure Kienyeji bird bred from a range of indigenous chickens in Kenya with known superior characteristics like growth rate and egg production.

How long does it take for Kienyeji chicken to start laying eggs?

 On average, pullets, or juvenile hens, start laying eggs at about 5 months of age, depending on the breed. Larger, heavier birds like Kuroiler, Kari improved and Rainbow will lay on the later side whereas lighter, smaller breeds like kenbro will start laying sooner.

Is Kienyeji chicken farming profitable in Kenya?

Poultry farming in Kenya is becoming one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya due to demand of kienyeji chicken by big hotels and restaurants. … The improved kienyeji chicken – this type of chicken is reared for meat production in Kenya. These chickens grow faster and are usually ready for market after approximately 3 months.

How long does it take for Kienyeji chicken to mature?

The entire development and egg laying process takes 25 to 26 hours per egg. Once an egg has been laid, it will take approximately 21 days after incubation begins to hatch into a fully developed chick.

What is improved Kienyeji chicken?

The term ‘improved Kienyeji‘ generally refers to an indigenous chicken breed obtained from natural cross-breeding between two superior breeds of Kienyeji chickens or a Kienyeji chicken and an exotic breed

How much does it cost to start a poultry farm?

Cost are varied from city to city and depends on your facility also. Minimum ksh 20,000  for 500 chickens. investment for a thousand chicks is around ksh 50,000 – 100,000. poultry farm requires one square feet for one chick.

At what age do chickens stop laying eggs?

Chickens usually don’t simply “stop” laying eggs when they get to a certain age, but they will lay fewer as they get older. That said, most laying breeds will lay more or less productively in backyard terms for two or three years.

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  1. Choose Your Poultry Sector


    How to start a poultry farm in Kenya is very common question to newbie poultry farmers. Poultry farming is a wide industry. Basically, there are two types of the farming you can choose from – broilers and layers. Broilers are chicken that you raise for meat. Layers are chicken that you raise for eggs. Then, there is the business of incubating eggs and raising chicks.
    Many chicken farms do business in multiple sectors. So, decide if you want to operate in all sectors or you want to restrict your business to just one or two sectors of your choice specially in the beginning.
    Following are the niches you can choose from.
    Meat production (Broilers breeding)
    Egg production (Layers breeding)
    Poultry feed production
    Chicken breeding (Hatchery)
    Egg and meat processing

  2. Choose The Type Of Bird


    Poultry farm owners rear many types of birds. Your small poultry farm may start by focusing on two to three birds and then include more birds later as the business grows. How to start a poultry farm in Kenya Mostly, poultry farms raise birds such as domestic fowl or chicken as broilers and layers, duck, goose, quail, guinea fowl, turkey, pigeon, and peacock.
    You should also determine whether to rear broilers or layers. This is basically the choice to start farming for meat production or egg production.

  3. Create Your Farm Logo


    Another essential step you should take is to have a unique poultry farm logo for your business. Your logo will be everywhere on your farm products when you market them. The logo will also be on your marketing material such as visiting cards, websites and many other places. Therefore, make sure that your logo becomes a tool to show that you run a professional poultry farming business.

  4. Set Farm Location


    You should think of setting your poultry farm at the most appropriate location. It is important that the location has all the necessary facilities. Try to build your poultry farm a little away from the town so that you can have the land and labor at a cheaper cost.
    However, setting up the farm too far away from the nearest town will be a mistake. Remember that you need to approach a town more often to target your consumers Moreover, a location too away from city may cost you more on transportation.

  5. Get Financial Help


    You may not be having much money at hand when starting your own farm. But setting up a poultry farm needs sufficient funding. You will be buying a lot of equipment such as feeders, drinkers, perches, lighting system, incubators, heaters or brooders, and many more. Most importantly, you need a huge amount of funds to purchase land. You will put facilities to enhance your productivity. How to start a poultry farm in Kenya
    Moreover, you require funds also to pay salaries of your staff/laborers. So, analyse your financial requirements. Then, apply for a bank loan or try some other sources of financing your farming business.

  6. Spread A Word For Your Farm


    You meet many people on daily basis. Tell them about your plans to start your own poultry business. Start from talking to your friends and neighbors. Visit events related to poultry farming and try to make friends with as many people as you can. You may meet some of your potential clients. Make all of them aware of your farming plans and take their advice.
    When you contact people and clients, present your business card to them. This is a professional way to introduce your business. The card gives them your contact details like your phone number, fax number, and website address. They will keep your card and many of them will contact you whenever they need your poultry products.

Chicken diets can be calculated by designing a so-called Pearson
square

The various feedstuffs are put into two groups: high protein and low protein.
Within the group they can replace each other, so the price will decide
which one will be used more. Then the averages for each group can be
calculated according to the amounts of each ingredient used.

Suppose maize is cheaper and more plentiful than sorghum, and soy-
bean meal is cheaper than fish meal. Including all 4 ingredients makes
the feed more reliable, as the ingredients complement each other. 5 – 8
ingredients in a mixed feed may be optimal.

In our example, you can make a cereal mix with two parts of maize
(8% crude protein) and one part of sorghum (10% crude protein) from
one group, to be combined with a protein-rich mix of 3 parts of soy
bean meal (44% crude protein) and one part of fish meal (65% crude
protein):

The weighted means of the cereals and the protein feeds must be put
on the left-hand side of the Pearson square, in order to find which
combination of the two will result in the required 16.5% of protein.

Pearson square

The protein level required in the complete diet is placed in the middle
of the square and the percentage of protein content in each food on the
two left-hand corners of the square. To work out the proportion of
each foodstuff that is required, subtract the small number from the
larger one diagonally across the square, as shown below.

The resulting figures on the right-hand side of the square indicate the
proportion of each mixture needed to achieve a diet containing 16.5%
protein. In this case, this requires a ratio of 32.8 parts of the cereal mix
to 7.8 parts of the protein feeds (3 soybean meal : 1 fishmeal).

Expressed in percentages of the total mixture, the diet will be made up
as follows:


For the protein mix, the same procedure is used to divide the 19 % in
the ratio 1: 3

With this combination of the 4 feed ingredients, we can now calculate
whether this diet will meet the other nutrient requirements as well: see
table below

The energy content of 3,205 kcal/kg exceeds the minimum of 2,800,
the protein level is good and the crude fibre does not exceed 7%. Only
the percentage of calcium is far to low for layers. It should be between
2.5 and 3.5 %. You have to add some limestone and bone-meal to sup-
ply about 4.0 g calcium per day and to meet the calcium and phospho-
rus requirements (in a ratio of 6 :1). Alternatively, grit or broken shells
can be given separately from the feed, for voluntary intake.

The proportion of the different ingredients in the ration is more impor-
tant than the quantity you supply. Poultry will not eat any more once
their energy requirement has been met.

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Uncooked rice: If you are going to feed your chickens rice, be sure you cook it first. Once chickens eat dry rice, it will blow up when moisture is introduced and this can cause serious digestive problems.

Salty foods: Too much salt can cause salt toxicity or hypernatremia. Chickens are not able to digest large amounts of salt so keep this in mind as you feed your chickens.

 Raw eggs: If you give your flock raw eggs then many turn cannibal.

 Candy, sugar, chocolate: Adding sugar and chocolate, in particular to your chicken’s diet can cause tremendous digestive problems. It is best to avoid it at all costs.

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In recent years, chicken farming in Kenya has become so trendy as to be commonplace.

As chickens need care every day, year-round, chicken farmers are not known for taking extended vacations so it is a profession to which a person must be very dedicated or have a staff on hand they trust.

Becoming a profitable chicken farmer takes a great deal of research in different methods to raise chickens and different ways to make money based on your area.

Calculation example for layers

 

Cost per chick ksh 90/chick for 200 birds                                           ksh 18000

Chick  mash   8 weeks – 1.7 kg/chick ksh 52/kg                                 ksh  17680

Growers mash period 8 to 20 weeks of age 4.3 kg/bird ksh 43/kg          ksh 36980

Vaccination                                                                                         ksh 6000

Vitamins/drugs                                                                                    ksh 3000

Brooding                                                                                             ksh 5000

Others                                                                                                 ksh 3000 

Total                                                                                                   ksh  89660 

Cost per bird at 4-5 months(point of lay) ksh 449 

Cost analysis of the 200 Laying birds 

Layers mash for 62 weeks  feeding 110gm/day/bird  ksh45/kg         ksh 429660

Others                                                                                                 ksh 25000

Cost at the point of laying                                                                  ksh 89660

Total costs at the end of laying                                                         ksh  544320

Cost per bird at the end of laying                                                       ksh 2722

Income 

Laying rate  23 eggs/month/bird for 62weeks  357 eggs@10 for 200 birds   ksh 4000

Sale of  200 ex-layers  @350/bird   ksh   70000

Manure     ksh 7000

Total Income   ksh 791000

Margin/profit  (791000-544320)       ksh 246680

 

Feeding programe

Chick starter 0-8 weeks

Growers mash 8-18 weeks

Layers mash 62weeks

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Chicks need heat at start of brooding until they emerge their own feather. Chicks reared through natural brooding get the heat they require from the hen. But in modern poultry production stations, the heat sources for chicks are brooders/Heaters. Kerosene lump, Charcoal heater, Bulb with 60-100 watt  as well as Hay box can be used as
brooder/heaters

  1. Provide 6 sq inches per chicks under the brooder.
  2. Brooding should be started at 95 F temperature and be reduced by 5 F  every week until 70 F is attained.
  3. De-beaking may be done at 3rd week of age.
  4. Provide continuous light during brooding period.
  5. Provision of clean fresh water.
  6. Daily inspect the condition of birds for any abnormalities.
  7. Height of the feeder should be adjusted to the convenience of the chicks.
  8. Keep a standby in case of emergency electricity failure.

Brooding Temperature:
Patterns of chick distribution under electric brooder-

 

Kerosene lump
This brooder type can support up to 100 chicks. The advantage of this heater include:

  • No risk of power failure, low investment, supplies light and it is portable
  • On the other hand, the disadvantage of this brooder include:
  • High fuel demand and fuel expensiveness, danger for fire, carbon dioxide production
  • Needs a lot of control, heat goes to wrong direction and needs ventilation

Charcoal heater
The advantage of this heat source include:

  • Charcoal is cheaper than kerosene and no risk of power failure
  • Require low investment and is portableOn the other hand, the disadvantage include
  • There is risk of fire and carbon dioxide production
  • Ventilation is necessary and it needs a lot of cont

Bulb with 60-100 watt/electric brooder

The advantage of this heat source include

  • It is easy to manage and there is no risk of fire
  • It is easy to adjust and supplies light

On the other hand, the disadvantage include

  • Electricity is expensive and there is risk for power failure
  • Life time not very long and can break easily

Hay box brooder

Hay box brooder can be made from timber, straw and mesh wire. The sizes of the timber differ according to the number of chicks to be reared. In this type of artificial brooder, it is possible to rear 10-70 chicks and it has two parts. These parts are heat maintenance and chick feeder & shelter box as indicated in the following picture

The advantages of Hay box brooder include

  •  Provides service in rural areas/ no electricity and it is cheap
  •  Increase the productivity of local chicken breeds and reduces chick mortality
  • Helps to rear many chicks at a time and is effective in all agro-ecologies

On the other hand, the disadvantages of this brooder include:

  • Sometimes there is the occurrence of pests and
  • When there is unavailability of lumber and its expensiveness

Specifications for hay box brooder

 

 

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In order to reduce the feed cost which accounts for about 70% of the total cost of poultry production indigenous poultry feed enterprises came into existence. Most small scale poultry enterprises now depend on these indigenous feed rations.

The raw materials are sourced locally. The feed constitutes mainly of maize, sorghum spent grains, groundnut cake, soyabean meal, fish meal and bone meal.feed

 

In Kenya, the feed industry is dominated by few large commercial feed industries

Currently in Kenya emphasis has been placed on encouraging indigenous feed enterprises that make use of local ingredient in formulating feeds for the poultry industry. Due to the foregoing, the numbers of such enterprises are on the increase.

The task of meeting the increasing demand for poultry feed can best be realized through increased availability of indigenous feed production.

Indigenous Feed Enterprises are seen as an honest approach because of ease of availability of raw materials, and access by poultry farmers. A number of strategies have been adopted such as price policies, input subsidies, production credit and liberalization) by governments and individuals to increase the output of these poultry feed enterprises, yet their performance is low in terms of meeting the needs of the poultry industry. Interestingly, the request for the products of the enterprises is daily on the increase.

Poultry feed is food for farm poultry, including chickens, ducks, geese and other domestic birds. Feed for poultry mostly consists of grain. A portion of commercial feed, typically around a quarter, is known as bulk and is indigestible. The amount of bulk is referred to as bulk density. The quantities of feed, and the nutritional requirements of the feed, depend on the weight and the age of the poultry as well as the season.
Based on their age, weight and breed, below are different categories of feeds

Chicks’ mash- the formulation to meet nutritional requirement of newly hatched chicks and animals up to their brooding and whining period.

Broilers mash-it is the feed meant for the broiler chicks. The feed ensure quick growth and development of the livestock because of its richness in protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals.

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Growers’ mash- enables livestock to grow and develop faster in body size, weight, and other internal and external features to give room for their maturity at the expected time.

Layer mash- these feed is needed in helping the birds that are layers to produce more eggs which are big in size, properly shaped with good hard shells.

Ecochicks Poultry will help you  examine the financial viability of establishing a livestock feed processing plant in Kenya. The installed capacity of the proposed factory is 2.5 tons of poultry feed operating for 8 hours which translates to 100 bags of 25kg livestock feed.

CALL Ecochicks Poultry on 0727087285

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To farm 1000 layers is not a joke. You need  to automate  as many tasks as possible

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The layers are in cages. The cage can fabricated a the farm using the normal  wire mesh. The wire mesh can be painted to increase durability. Feeders can be improvised from drainage water pipes cut in a half

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Automating watering system

Watering system is automated to reduce labour and improve sanitation.

Drug administration can also be made through the tank

Farmers are advised to start cheaply using locally available materials. Juakali feeders and drinkers can be used which are relatively cheaper. Bamboo can also be of very use in poultry

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Local chicken feeders and drinkers to minimize costs

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With most animals, it is relatively easy to determine the sex of the newborn. The male reproductive organs are located on the outside of the body and are relatively easy to see, even in newborns. This is not the case with poultry. In male birds, the reproductive organs are inside the body cavity. This makes sexing newly hatched chicks difficult.sexing day old chick

Vent sexing

Vent sexing day old chicks is a skill that takes a long time to develop. It involves holding the chick upside down in one hand, expelling the fecal material, and everting (turning outward) the vent area. The producer can then look for the presence or absence of a rudimentary male sex organ. This process sounds much easier than it actually is. To accurately sex chicks in this way, you need to be well trained and to have had a great deal of practice.

This is the most accurate method for improved Kienyeji chicken.

Feather sexing is only  possible for some chicken breeds.

Myths and Old Wives’ Tales

  • It is a common misconception that you can candle an egg to determine whether it is fertile. You cannot candle an egg and determine whether it is fertile. If the egg is fertile, you can’t determine whether the embryo is male or female
  • Another myth involves observing the shape of the egg. According to this method, eggs that have a longer, narrower shape will yield male chicks, and eggs that are rounder will yield female. In reality, the shape of the egg is not related to the sex of the offspring, nor does it indicate whether the egg is fertile.

 

 

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Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle with very high  proteins for your livestockbeetle

Mealworm combined with sukuma and green vegetables produce yellow yolked eggs and kienyeji tasting chickens

Mealworms (also known as Tenebrio molitor) are in fact insects. They are scavengers that can be found in grain stores, feed sacks and occasionally household items such as cereal and flour. They like dark, dry places that store grain or other edibles such as flour or chicken feed.

All the nutrition and water they need for surviving and thriving can be extracted from the grain which they have infested.

If you are looking for a way to raise your own protein cheaply, easily, and with almost no space or infrastructure, look no further than mealworms. When food is scarce, you’ll want livestock that are efficient, take up small spaces, and can easily be hidden.

A female beetle will lay up to five hundred eggs during her short lifetime of a couple of months. After a couple of weeks, the eggs will hatch and become larvae – which we know as a mealworm.mealworms

Mealworms molt their exo-skeleton several times before they reach the pupa stage after approximately 3 months.

The pupa basically looks like a dead mealworm but it is busy transforming itself into a Darkling beetle. The only movement you will see is an occasional twitch if the pupa is disturbed. It does not eat or take nutrition during this period. It will remain a pupa for about 2-3 weeks before hatching into a brown beetle that over a period of days will turn a black color. The complete lifecycle can be done in as little as 5-6 months in ideal circumstances.

 

How to Make a Mealworm Farm

 

Step 1: Find a Container.  plastic storage  or similar item will do

The chosen container will need a lid or screen mesh to put over the top. The lid needs to allow for some air circulation through the container.

Use a transparent container to see what’s going on inside and get a feel for how quickly they are developing.

Step 2: Prepare Your Container. Thoroughly clean and dry your container

Any location you do choose needs to be a warm (the ideal temperature is 26C), low light/ dark environment.

Step 3: Add Your Substrate

For the feed you can use wheat bran. If you can’t use wheat bran then rolled oats, chicken mash or cereal crumbs will also work.

Note: Don’t get your substrate (bran etc.) wet; you don’t want a moldy environment.

Step 4: Add Mealworms to Your Farm

You now need to add mealworms into your container, the more the better! You should aim to start with at least 500.

Step 5: Feed Them and Let Them Grow

You now just need to keep your mealworms fed and let them grow and multiply.

You can feed them as much as you like, remember: more food means the more they multiply.

Step 6: Collect Your Mealworms

Depending on the conditions you have provided for your insects, it will take a few months before you can start feeding the larvae to your hens. You should only feed the worms to your hens, the pupae and beetles should be left in the farm to reproduce.

Don’t worry about removing dead beetles, the larvae will do that for you. Do, however, remove any bits of moldy food and discard it.

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