Attending farmers workshops, agricultural shows, farmers’ open days and agricultural institutions for training has helped a farmer avert over 50 per cent loses in his poultry farm doubling his profit from Sh400, 000 to Sh800, 000 in a period of three years. Before, he lost money due to poor feeding, attack by predators and lack of proper and reliable market.
Henry Njuguna started his poultry venture with about 150 chicks he bought at Sh110 each from Kenchick. After brooding them in one of his rooms till they were 9 weeks old he moved them to a structure made of iron sheets and wire mesh outside his house. The structure could carry 500 chicken. This was in 2014.
After six months his chicken had increased from 150 to 850. Just before he could hit his 1000 target in that year, he woke up one morning only to find his ten chicken dead. This according to him was a loss of over Sh11, 000.
“One morning as I counted my chicken as usual, I found some dead then I discovered they were attacked by other older chicken which ate all their intestine,” said Njuguna. “I felt like I was in a wrong venture having lost about two days profit.’ He added.
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This caused Njuguna’s next move, to find out a lasting solution. He visited more experienced farmers within Naivasha where he lives. Other than listening to their advice, he also practically saw what they were doing differently.
“Within a year I was able to put up a more permanent housing on a 50 by 100 space for my chicken, partitioned it for chicks, growers then layers according to their age,” said Njuguna.
“Apart from visiting my fellow farmers I have also attended Wambugu Farm in Nyeri, Agricultural Society of Kenya shows and Egerton University farmers open days for more trainings on poultry management.”
Today Njuguna owns Kingdom Poultry Farm, one of the big suppliers of poultry products within Naivasha town and beyond.
Even as poultry farming gaining popularity in Kenya because of the small capital it requires to start, Njuguna says that what farmers need most is training on the breeding and management of chickens. With this they can make their own feeds and breed their own chicken to avoid expending much in buying commercial feeds and hybrid chicken.
“Since I started formulating and making my own feeds at home I have been able to save an average of Sh840 for every 70kg bag of chicken feed, which is a great saving for commercial producers,” he said. I have never observed any attack by predators or among the chicken themselves,’ he added.
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Currently Njuguna has about 2500 chicken, 1200 chicks, 800 layers and 500 pullets. In a day he collects over 200 eggs a day. He supplies eggs to some of the big hotel in town as he can manage the demand.
In a good year he makes over Sh800, 000 which is twice Sh400, 000 net profit he used to earn some years back.