Chicken farmers can now raise more than 80 birds on a space of about two by two metres, following the innovation of a cage that utilises both air and land surface.
Silas Juma, of Enkoho Kuku Farmers, said that the chicken cage, which costs Sh35,000 can hold up to 88 mature chickens.
The cage is six feet in length, five feet in width and six feet in height.
“Land maximisation is the heart of agribusiness. Innovation allows for proper utilisation of both land and air. That was the reason our company came up with decks,” Juma said.
The cage has a broad base, which is tapering towards the top to form an inverted ‘V’ shape, which has flat top.
No droppings on others
Speaking during the 2016 Kakamega Agricultural Show, Juma said that the slanting helps position the birds on top to be slightly behind those on the lower side. This ensures droppings from those above do not fall on the lower ones.
A polythene sheet can be placed in the space between the left and right wings to collect droppings, which can then also be used for manure.
The cage has 88 compartments which are partitioned to accommodate one bid at a time.
“A card board is placed on the wire mesh wall separating one chicken from the next,” Juma added. “Chickens are shy. They need privacy when laying eggs,” he said.
After the egg is laid, it rolls onto to a spongy cushioned collection point which the chicken cannot reach.
Suckling water and feeding
Running along the length of the cage is a feeding trough made out of plastic. Each chicken can access the feeds through the spacious wire mesh.
Ordinary poultry houses require sawdust to keep the room warm and dry, however, given that the cage structure is raised above the ground, dry matter is not necessary. According to Juma, another benefit of this is that the cage minimizes the chances of chickens getting diseases such as fowl pox, and parasites such as mites, all of which are prevalent in dusty areas.
The watering system has white hollow pipes running across every deck. They are connected to a common reservoir on top of the cage for continued flow.
The pips have a red teat-like watering chamber positioned facing directly into each of the 88 mini-cages.
“A bearing is placed inside the watering chamber to control release of water. When the chicken shakes the light metal rod coming out of the chamber, the bearing will move upwards, allowing for water to flow in drops. Water wastage is very minimal using this method, because it will only be released when needed,” he said.
Just like the feeds which are placed outside, the water cannot be easily contaminated as happens in most poultry houses.
The structure is movable and can be dismantled and assembled afresh. This makes it easy to move it from one place to another within or without the farm.
After placing an order, Enkoho Kuku Farmers deliver and fix the structure. The company has offices in Nairobi, and Bungoma.
Interested farmers can contact Wakoli on +254727474045