Prospective chicken farmers can now rear rainbow rooster, an improved kienyeji chicken that can be kept in a free range system but lays five more eggs per month and gains 0.5kg more weight than kuroiler and kenbro chicken. In this, farmers can earn an extra Sh1000 from a single bird per year from eggs alone.
The bird is a breed developed by Kukuchic Limited, the breeder and distributor of white broiler and rainbow rooster birds in East Africa. The company sells day old chicks at Sh100 and one month old at Sh300 with two months’ old retailing at Sh400.
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“Currently we have three breeder farms and a hatchery with more than 20,000 parent stock of rainbow rooster and a hatchery capacity of 240,000 chicks per month,” said Luka Cherop, Kukuchic Ltd’s sales and marketing manager.
“If you look at the market at the moment, there is a high demand for indigenous poultry but the supply is inadequate to meet the market demands, we seek to breach this through production of an improved kienyeji rainbow rooster chicken which can be reared for both meat and eggs,”
According to Luka, the rainbow rooster matures in about four to five months, by that time the male will weigh about three kilos and the female 2.2kg. The female starts laying eggs at five months and will lay eggs continuously for eight to 10 months producing between 220 and 250 eggs during the laying period.
“The advantage of this bird is that it suitable for free range with low technology input, it can feed on grass, kales and tomatoes in addition to other commercially formulated feeds for chicken” says Luka.
Luka Cherop, sales and marketing manager Kukuchuc holding a rainbow rooster cock
Clean and disinfect the chicken house two weeks before arrival of the chicks. The brooder should be ready one day before chicks arrive. Warm the brooder six hours before arrival of chicks and ensure adequate drinkers and feeders are in place before arrival of the chicks. Remove the chicks from the boxes immediately they arrive and closely monitor their behavior.
Rainbow rooster farming can be done with low investment. It requires simple housing and a farmer can improvise drinkers and feeders using available materials e.g. plastic jericans. one to four weeks old chicks should be fed on chick mash at the rate of between 13 to 50 grams per day. Five to eight weeks old can be fed on growers mash or kienyeji mash at the rate of 50 to 70g per day in addition to free range roaming. Over 20 weeks old chicken can be fed on layers mash at the rate of 130g per day.
Kukuchic has partnered with farmers groups in various Counties in Kenya like Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Siaya, Murang’a, Meru and Turkana amonst others to supply day old chicks to women and youth groups.
The company trains farmers before they purchase the chicks to ensure they are knowledgeable on the management of the birds. They also market farmers’ end products.
Luka Cherop can be reached on + 254 727 578 733.