Part of Kiprop’s broiler farm at Salgaa in Nakuru County. Photo courtesy.
David Kiprop, a broiler farmer from Salgaa in Nakuru County, Kenya is earning Sh121,500 worth of the poultry sales banking on the ever increasing demand for the chickens’ meat in most urban areas in the country as compared to pure indigenous chicken whose consumer preference keep dwindling in towns.
According to a 2017 study on broiler chicken meat system of Nairobi, its governance and sanitary risks published by ScienceDirect journals, there was a decline in totals of indigenous birds and doubling of broiler birds between 2009 and 2012.
This illustrates the increasing concentration of commercial chicken farming in and around urban centres such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Nyeri where market access is guaranteed, compared to rural areas where indigenous chickens continue to dominate.
In addition, the study indicates that the consumption of poultry meat in Kenya is predicted to increase from 54.8 thousand metric tonnes in 2000 to 164.6 in 2030.
For Kiprop, he started the venture in November last year with a capital of Sh60,000 he got from his other businesses such as the production and sales of Boma Rhode hay and its seeds.
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Two unoccupied rooms within their family home at Salgaa which sits on 18 acres piece of land was enough to see him kick off the business in a humble way.
“I bought 600 one day old chicks at Sh78 translating to Sh46,800. The remaining Sh13,200 I divided between the feeds which took the bigger chunk and drugs,” said the 2012 Mass Communication graduate from Kenya Methodist University (KeMU).
His decision to venture into the improved indigenous chicken variety was influenced by the demand of their need which is all-time up.
“As required of any farmer before starting commercial farming, market research is key and I have discovered that currently in Kenya there is a huge demand for broilers which may not be satisfied any time soon,” said Kiprop.
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Broilers grow fast so that they are ready for the dinner table between 4-10 weeks of age. They are therefore sold when they start weighing between 1. 5 and 3 kilos depending on consumers’ preferences and market demands.
After waiting for about three months, Kiprop sold his first mature chicken beginning February this year to Bamburi Cement and Royal Tanks companies which buy the chicken to slaughter for their staff. He also sells to open-air markets in the area.
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A fully grown mature chicken he sells at sh450 each and every month he strives to sell at least 270 chicken racking him Sh121,500 gross income.
“My chicken are always booked by the companies and other traders from the area making my marketing much easier,” he said.
He has since employed two farmhands whom he pays up to Sh40,000 a month depending on the workload which also sometimes force him to hire extra casual labourers when there is much work.
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Kiprop is now planning to start rearing pet dogs such as German shepherd that he aims to sell to the increasing upper and middle-class dwellers leaving in the region and who regards the keeping of the dogs as a sign of prestige.