The increasing demand for kenbro chicks, eggs and meat is luring Narok County poultry farmers, who were into indigenous chicken farming, to ditch to the breed which they now rear and sell their products to other farmers, hotels and potential traders from Nairobi and local markets.
Kenbro, which belongs to Kenchic, producer of poultry in East and Central Africa, was developed by a French company. The eggs from this type of chicken, for example, are in high demand with one selling at Sh30 compared to Sh15 for those from indigenous breeds and Sh12 for exotic breeds.
Willis Ndungu has been rearing ‘kienyeji’ chickens for many years in his one-acre farm in Njoro Ward, Njoro Constituency in Nakuru County. This according to him was not productive in terms of egg-laying and hatching rate. However, this has changed recently when he got free trainings on Kenbro by Kenchick. He liked them because they lay more eggs and has quality meat.
“After trainings I ordered 50 Kenbro day-old chicks and started rearing them. In six months my hens were already laying eggs,” said Ndungu.
He started selling Kenbro eggs for breeding to other farmers in his area. He hatched Kenbro eggs using his indigenous hens would sell them as day-old Kenbro chicks. Today Ndungu receives different customers in his home who want either eggs, chicks or chicken for meat.
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According to Kenchick, Kenbro is a free-range bird that is robust to disease and possesses a well-rounded conformation. The bird is therefore sustainable for commercial farming for chicks, meat or eggs.
Kenbro if managed as a layer, starts producing at 25 weeks and can be managed as a free-range with minimum supplementary feeding and be ready for consumption or sale after 10 to 14 weeks. This bird is ideal for live market sales, and as a replacement for indigenous chicken.
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Godfrey Ng’ang’a is a kenbro farmer in Kabete, Kiambu County. He has two incubators, which enable him to incubate and sell Kenbro eggs and day-old chicks to fellow farmers. He sells 400 day-old Kenbro chicks at a price of KSh100 each in a month.
“I sell a Kenbro cock at Sh1500 while a hen at Sh1200 and I have sold more than 10,000 day-old chicks to farmers so far,” said Ng’ang’a.
Kenchick offers sound technical assistance to kenbro chicken farmers on housing, husbandry and health management of the chicken for free every Monday from 8:00 AM to noon at their headquarters at Exsan House, Enterprise Road in Nairobi and all their other branches in Nyeri, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Meru.
Kenbro is a red-feathered bird ideal for free-range production. It is robust to disease and possesses a very rounded conformation, which results in a presentable well finished bird with excellent taste.
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According to Kenchick Limited after brooding for the three weeks it can be managed on free-range with minimum supplementary feeding and be ready for consumption or sale after 10 to 14 weeks. This bird is ideal for live market sales, and as a replacement for indigenous chicken.
Though kenbro breed is not meant to replace the commercial broiler or layer as it will not attain the production levels of these specialized hybrids, it is more suitable for replacing the indigenous bird or for a farmer who would like to manage his or her flock with less intense inputs and have an organic product which has tastier meat.