A Kisii County mixed poultry farmer has been able to keep off chicken predators for years by using guinea fowls, geese and turkeys.
Chore Sunda started with two chicks that were eight weeks in 1984, but the challenge of taking care of them at enclosed areas-commercial feeds were rare in remote areas then-made him think of a way of securing the brood.
The farmer bought two guinea fowls, which he learnt were good at chasing aerial predators like hawks.
“Guinea fowls ‘laugh’ when they sense danger. Chickens take cover after receiving the ‘laughing’ signal. In case the predator attacks, the guinea fowl fights back as chicks rush to hide,” Sunda said.
Besides being soldiers for years, he realised that many people in Kisii region do not rear the rare birds, therefore, demand is all time high.
For example at four months, a guinea fowl earns him Sh2,500.
The number of chickens, guinea fowls, geese and turkeys varies up to 50 or 60. Chickens are always more.
Currently, Sunda has four guinea fowls against 12 and eight local and layers respectively.
The Keumbu farmer is also rearing pure and layers-crossbred broilers.
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More predator protectors
The geese and the turkeys are his other chicken protectors that dealing with other predators like dogs, cats, squirrels, mongooses, among others.
“A goose has saw-like ‘teeth’, which it uses to attack dogs. It dares the animals to bite and as they open their mouth to attack, it holds the tongue and pulls it out hard,” he said.
He has three geese at the moment.
Sunda uses the eight local chickens, commonly called kienyeji, to hatch broilers or layers chicks.
His stock is on free-range, although the boundary of the feeding ground is secured by a wire-mesh.
Hobby turns business
Just like other foreign bird fans, he has turned the hobby into an agribusiness that is taking care of his family needs.
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“From the birds, I have seen three children through secondary schools. In fact, two of them have cleared college courtesy of the poultry,” he said during the Kisii Agricultural Society of Kenya Show, 2016.
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For any inquiries on the above poultry, Sunda can be reached on +254729217058.