Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya
The introduction of Improved Kienyeji Chicken farming in Kenya by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in the year 2011 has given a new face to Poultry Farming in Kenya. Kienyeji chicken farming in Kenya has been quite a widespread type of poultry farming that is mainly found over the rural and semi rural areas. However, in the recent past, it has found its way among some urban areas although is yet to be absorbed fully as a part of mainstream sources of income in the urban areas. The name KIENYEJI is a local Swahili whose English equivalent is ‘Free range’.
There are various methods on how Kienyeji chicken rearing in kenya is practiced:
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Selection of the Breeding Stock
When selecting a breeding stock, one should:-
- Select a hen that is broody, does not abandon her eggs during hatching and looks after her chicks well.
- Select a healthy, strong cock
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Housing
- Housing space should be 2 metres by 3 metres or be a traditional brooding basket. The traditional brooding basket can be used as a brooder basket for chicks, either inside or outside the house.
- House should be raised to protect birds from predators.
- Perches should be provided in the house for chicken to roost on at night.
- The house should be well ventilated.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Free Range
In free range conditions, the birds are not confined and can look for food over an extended open area. Makeshift shelters may be provided in order to protect the birds from severe whether conditions. The birds may wander around usually in liter collection areas trees and nests in the bush.
The flock contains may contain birds of different breeds and varying ages and it usually hard to control inbreeding.
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In this case the stocking density should not exceed 1000 birds in one hectare for its good to note that hundred birds will require 0.4 hectares of land.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Feeding and Watering
- Provide a balanced diet. For instance, a small handful of maize, a teaspoonful of local fishmeal and some fresh greens, in addition to scavenged feeds like insects, will provide a good diet for one chicken in a day.
- Provide clean water at all times.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Eggs Collection
- Provide a safe, dry, dark place for the hens to lay.
- Collect eggs daily, write the date on the egg in pencil and store with the broad end facing upwards: this helps to ensure the embryo develops properly
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Hatching
- Use only eggs that were laid in the last 14 days.
- Hatch eggs using the mother hen, another broody hen, a (surrogate) duck or an incubator.
- For hens and ducks, make sure the number of eggs chosen for hatching corresponds to the bird’s body size as all eggs are supposed to fit under the bird.
- For synchronized hatching (all chicks hatch at the same time), delay the first hen that becomes broody by giving it just one egg to sit on while you wait for other hens to lay their clutches and become broody.
- For successive hatching, the hen or the surrogate duck sits on eggs for two consecutive clutches, chicks are removed when they hatch and replaced with new eggs.
- After hatching, dispose of egg shells, clean the nest and transfer chicks to a brooder.
- Turn the eggs regularly, especially when using an incubator.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Brooding
- Brood chicks using a mother hen, foster hen, a lantern, kerosene brooder, charcoal stove or charcoal placed in a metal container.
- If a foster hen is used, condition it for a day by giving it new chicks.
- Where a lantern brooder or other heat source is used, place it in a cardboard box with ventilation holes or inside the liuli placed upon a sisal sack or wood shavings.
- Take care that chicks cannot get burned – cover charcoal stove or container, ensuring that there is no risk of fire.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Rearing Chicks
- Provide clean water at all times in shallow, clean troughs.
- Provide soft feeds like flour from cereals or tubers.
- Allow chicks to roam freely when they reach 3 or 4 weeks of age.
- Vaccinate chicks against Newcastle disease at 4 days of age.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Record Keeping
Keeping good records will help you to assess whether or not you are making a profit. The
table below compares the profit made using traditional and improved management practices.
Under traditional management, fewer eggs are laid and fewer birds are reared as many more
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Advantages
- Meat and eggs are tastier and preferred by most consumers to those obtained from commercial breeds.
- Initial investment is less than that needed to keep commercial breeds.
- More tolerant of harsh conditions, including diseases, than commercial breeds.
- Can be fed on cheap, locally available feeds.
- When allowed to range freely, they need little feeding or other care.
- Women and youth often control income from chickens.
- Local markets are readily available for both eggs and chickens.
- Droppings are rich in nutrients: can be used for compost making, pond fertilizing and as feed for livestock.
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Disadvantages
- A lot of land is required which may not be available
- Area may become contaminated with diseases and parasites
- Birds exposed to predators or thieves
- Difficulty to have close supervision on individual birds
- Possibility of eggs getting lost in the runs
- Dirty eggs
- Breeding program not easy to follow
Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya – Video