An enterprising farmer is cashing in on the pent up demand for superior chicken variety, Kuroiler, in Uganda to brood eggs for farmers with poor brooding practices hampering availability of chicks.
Despite the fact that the rare bird has become more popular among wealth seeking farmers and youths, there is major setback surrounding the breed. According to Nakalema Hadija a Kuroiler farmer from Entebbe, Kuroiler hens can lay over 200 eggs per year which compared to a paltry 40 eggs per year from local breeds.
Most farmers have been facing the challenge of the breed not being able to brood and hatch chicks despite the good record of eggs per year. Therefore, in their quest to multiply their brood naturally as is the case with the local breeds, these farmers hit a dead end. But Kiwanuka William a veteran poultry with about two decades experience has wittingly capitalized on this gap diversifying his poultry investment to offer brooding services to farmers at a modest fee of Ushs400 per egg.
“Many people especially the youth are embracing poultry farming and as a result there are several knock on effect opportunities that are mushrooming right from feed production to the end market tail of the business’ supply chain. T
herefore having been in the trade for two decades I have widely interacted with the farmers and know most of the challenges facing them and created viable solutions for these gaps,” explained Kiwanuka. Apart from the brooding service, the skillful farmer is also offering to most first time farmers ‘poultry chicks nursery service’ where he helps in rearing the delicate chicks of Kuroiler and Quails to a less dangerous stage.
In order to get more market for these services, Kiwanuka created demand using his network of over 5000 poultry farmers whom he has directly impacted on their trade. “I knew that it was feasible to add the service into my line of business and that decision has never disappointed,” he added.
The accomplished poultry farmer does brooding and hatching services as well as rearing the now popular Kuroiler, Quails and layers. On average, his hatchery produces about 14000 Kuroiler chicks and 4000 quail chicks. Depending on the needs of the clients, some of the chicks are sold right away. However, there are a category of emerging farmers either fist time or those who dread losses. “These farmers buy the one day old chicks but retain them with me in order for them to develop into less risky stages preferably after administration of the first important vaccinations.”
Kiwanuka has a wealth of experience and therefore gladly offers these services.
He explained that the daily charges for maintaining Kuroiler chick is Ushs300 while that of maintaining Quail is Ushs500. “Quails are more fragile than the Kuroilers hence the variant costs. On average, I receive about 200 farmers per month who require this service. But at peak periods like the time leading to festive seasons like Easter and December holidays, the figure can even triple and a times am forced to turn down the orders if the available space is filled up,” noted Kiwanuka.
In order to oversee the venture, Kiwanuka has employed about four workers who constantly check on the various birds on the farm. Although he acknowledges that the chick nursery service offered is not his main line of business, it has proved to be an innovative venture that has seen him reap big. “The service alone can almost pay all the operation costs on my farm and during some period still realize profits from it. This is a sustainable model that has seen me scale up my business to not only hatchery services but also shaping and giving hope to first time farmers into the delicate poultry rearing trade. In fact they (farmers) are lucky because when I took into poultry farming, there were no one to offer me such a soft landing and therefore increased the risk of the trade more.”