Kiambu farmer making a kill with ornamental birds

Lucy Ngugi, a poultry farmer in Kiambu is rearing bantams, a variety of ornamental birds, rather than chicken for commercial purposes, a move that earns her 20 times more weekly.

“Despite their tiny size, I sell a week old bird at sh 800, one month old at sh 1200 and two month old at sh 1500. The eggs on the other hand earn me Sh 200 per egg on the minimum, in a week, I collects one tray of eggs which fetches me sh 3,000” says Ms. Ngugi. Chicken eggs on the other hand go for between sh.11 and sh. 15 meaning a chicken farmer earns less than a bantam keeper.

Related article: Keeping high number of chicken cuts farmer's production cost

Bantams laying interval is shorter unlike chickens with prolonged dry spells. A bantam lays about 150 eggs per year whilst their bigger cousins yield more than 250 eggs over the same period.

Bantams tend to be prolific layers. Although eggs are smaller (roughly two-thirds the size of a standard egg), they are good layers, which in the end may mean more eggs overall.

Related article: Exotic birds are more profitable than chicken

 Furthermore, the bantams require less space, therefore, more economical to rear. The space of one chicken is fit for two bantams. They can be raised in poultry house or be on free-range.They also mature faster; within four to five months, are easy to take care of because of the small amount of feed they require per day.

However, Ms Ngugi does not limit the amount of feeds she offers them; they consume between 60g and 80g per day but a laying bantam requires between 120g and 150g of feeds per day. The feed can be on pellets, ordinary chicken mash or kitchen remains and some greens if they are in confined areas.

Related article: Dual purpose brown chicken gives farmer close to 300 eggs yearly

The income generated from the eggs has enabled her purchase different types of bantams including  eight sizzle bantams, seven silkie bantams (one male and six female) and five booted bantams at sh 15,000. This she says will enable her meet the high demand for the birds in the current market.

silkiebantam.jpg

Silkie bantam birds are cheap profitable birds to rear

Lucy uses WhatsApp, a freeware and cross-platform instant messaging service for smartphones to market her birds and eggs. She also advertises on Otugi television where she pays sh 100 for one advert every two weeks.

 She can be reached on +254 717 019 511

 

Vetiver grass’s multi-purpose usage draws many farmers

             Field of Vetiver grass. Photo: Shutterstock A hundred farmers in Voi are growing Vetiver, a perennial bunch grass that is useful in soil and water preservation...

Eating crickets can end malnutrition in children

Eating crickets can end malnutrition in children and ensure food security by boosting the nutritional value of food, a 2017 research conducted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and...

Potato farming transforming lives of thousands of Kenyan sma…

By Dr. Steve New, USAID Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises, KAVES, Chief of Party Dr. Steve New, USAID Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises, KAVES, Chief of Party Under the USAID funded Feed the...

Why Nantes carrot variety is the farmers’ choice

               Nantes carrots. Carrots are increasingly becoming more valued crop among smallholder farmers in Kenya due to its marketability, short maturity period and low attention requirement...

Nyamira farmer doubles vegetable yields with double dug irri…

Charles Oloo, a vegetable farmer in Nyamira County earns Sh7500 a week up from Sh3000 from harvesting five bags of cabbage, a factor he attributes to the double dug drip...

Shanty F1 tomato variety earning Laikipia farmer cool cash

            Since its introduction to the Kenyan market in April last year, Amiran Kenya’s Shanty Improved F1 has turned one Laikipia County farmer into a young...