A farmer who opted to cross indigenous and exotic broiler chickens is making more profit from the sale of hybrid dorep poultry, which have improved characteristics.
Jeremiah Kamadi of Busia County says the secret lies in the boosting the attributes of the two breeds, a boiler and any indigenous chicken to obtain a hybrid.
Broilers are exotic birds reared for meat production. They grow rapidly and reach maturity faster than indigenous chicken.
They mainly feed on commercial feeds while indigenous birds obtain their nourishment from multiple, since most of them are reared on free-range. Adding green diet does not considerably boost the taste of the vigorously growing broilers.
“Broilers are excellent meat producers. But their meat is less attractive in the market-especially in rural areas. Crossing a broiler with an indigenous chicken drastically improves the quality of the meat,” he says.
Given that the traditional chicken yield smaller quantity meat, the crossing improves its weight for a higher fetch-the dorep chicken would have fairly good weight and improved taste.
A cock can weigh from three kilogrammes onward while a hen would yield from two kilogrammes, with both depending on feeding and other management practices.
Dorep is easy to raise since it can feed on broilers mash and ordinary food remains and grains besides scavenging for insects, grass and other green matter around the homestead.
Besides, the agripreneur said, the maturity time of the breed is higher than traditional chicken, because of the characteristic inherited from the broiler.
“In two to three months, a farmer would start earning from the eggs. The weight of the chicken would also be reasonably good for sale. Dorep farming means quick maturity and higher earnings.” he said.
A mature cock can fetch between Sh1,500 and Sh2,000 while a hen can earn one between Sh500 and sh1,000 depending on the demand.
The eggs are sold like kienyeji ones earning between Sh20 and Sh25 per piece. Kamandi, who started with 50 hens saw the potential in the hybrid, therefore, increased the brood to 200.
Kamadi, however, warns that rushing into poultry farming before identifying the market, would be disastrous.
“The longer the time you take to sell your chicken after attaining maturity, the more loss you welcome in sustaining them. You must first know if you will be supplying the chicken to urban residents or some business enterprise,” he said.
Thieves frequently visiting his farm have, however, discouraged him from his Funyula enterprise and he is looking for a safer place to relocate to.
One can buy chicks from hatcheries or incubate dorep-laid fertilised eggs.