In December 2012 after working for various companies, Patrick Onwong’a quit his job and turned his poultry farming side hustle job into a full agribusiness.
In the period 2007 to 2011, Patrick was lucky to secure jobs while still at school, first as a tour guide with a Maasai Mara based company from 2007 to 2009 then as sales representative at Barclays Bank in 2011 before graduating with a diploma in Business Management at the Kenya Institute of Management in 2012.
Since mid-2011 he had been doing poultry farming on a small scale as a side hustle having started with 50 kenbro chicks he bought at Kenchic at Sh100 each.
“I decided to fully venture into poultry production in 2012 after I received many orders that I could not meet,” said Onwong’a.
His main farm is in Busia, near the border with Uganda but he also has a branch in Athi River at the outskirts of Nairobi which was opened in June last year to meet the increasing demand.
“At first I imported 200 Rainbow Rooster chicks from India through a friend at Sh100 each so initially I started with 250 for commercial purposes but 20 succumbed due to change of environment,” he said.
After the 2013 elections, Onwong’a increased his stock by purchasing 500 kuroiler breeds at Sh100 each using his savings.
Since then, he has never looked back. Currently he has over 1,000 kuroiler breeds, 400 Rainbow Roosters and 200 Kenbro chicken.
“I incubate the eggs from the birds to hatch chicks which I sell to farmers,” he said.
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Patrick Onwong’a at his poultry farm. Farmbiz Africa.
He has bought two incubators for hatching. The big one which he purchased at Sh350,000 has the capacity to hatch 4,256 chicks while the other one with the capacity to hatch 2,200 chicks cost him Sh220,000 all obtained from his chick sales.
In a week, Onwong’a sells up to 15,000 day old chicks, 1400 from his farm retailing at Sh85 each and the rest are imported from Uganda and sold at Sh70.
He supplies chicks to Western Kenya, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Nairobi and parts of Eastern and the Coast.
“The cost of production in Uganda is cheaper than Kenya because most of their feeds are zero rated; moreover there main food is matoke (starchy bananas) compared to Kenya where people compete with animals for food (maize),” he said.
To reduce production costs, the farmer makes his own feeds using raw materials imported from Uganda. In a week, he supplies the birds with one tonne of food.
One of the challenges he faces is theft by some farmers/businessmen who fail to pay after delivery of the chicks.
In February 2019 for instance, one farmer in Runyejes vanished after paying with his 200 chicks after paying Sh5,000 leaving a debt of more than Sh10,000.
“To curb this, I now ensure that any order is paid before delivery of the chicks. Once you order you initially pay a 30 per cent deposit then the rest after the chicks are loaded ready to be transported,” said Onwong’a.
Patrick Onwong’a can be reached on +254 710 994 695.