Farm Biz Africa Reporter Laban Robert posses with eggs being packed into an incubator in Nakuru on February 17, 2017. Fertilised eggs earn farmers more. Photo by Mary Njeri.
Farmers selling fertilised eggs are making almost three times more income than those relying on pure breed laying for direct consumption.
Eggs for consumption as food on average cost Sh300 per tray. But fertilised eggs for incubation are costing as high as Sh800 per tray in with the dual purpose kuroiler fetching the highest.
According to SokoPepe, an online marketplace, a tray of eggs in Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret, Malindi, among others costs between Sh280 and Sh350; Kisumu and Malindi being the lowest and highest respectively.
Farmer Edwin Ayeicha attributes the sharp rise of the price to the fewer farmers producing fertilised eggs for the booming chicks hatching agribusiness than those for food.
“Others consider a cock as an extra cost that needs to be replaced by a hen, which lays daily. More focus has gone to eggs for food instead of eggs for hatching. That what is causing the imbalance, therefore, the rise in price,” the Nyamira County farmer said.
The Nyakwerema Village farmer sells kienyeji eggs at Sh15 each. This translates to Sh450 per tray. But for kuroiler, every egg costs Sh25 and therefore, a tray earns Sh750.
Kuroiler and Rhodes island red eggs cost Sh800 per tray in Nakuru County, the same price in most parts of central Kenya region.
A tray of kenbro and rainbow Rooster breed fertilised eggs earns the farmers Sh650 while Kari and pure kienyeji bring in Sh750 and 550 respectively.
A tray of fertilised kuroiler or Rhodes red eggs selling at Sh800 is 168 per cent higher than that of layers
One cock sufficiently serves between eight and 12 chickens. The market for pure layers is rising, but the dual purpose chickens is also picking because of the double benefits.
To increase chances of hatching, an egg has to be fresh- less than seven days old.
Eggs stored in closed buckets are also likely to have a low hatching percentage resulting from ‘suffocation’ due to the enclosure.
Dirty eggs too, however fresh, have limited hatching ability because of the particles are blocking entry of fresh air for the life of the living cells.