With the rising cost of poultry feeds, farmers rearing chickens are increasingly finding it difficult to make profit from poultry keeping. While it is difficult for farmers to formulate feeds for hybrid chickens such as broilers and layers, they can do so for their indigenous chickens or dual-purpose breeds such as the improved kienyeji chicken, Kuroiler chicken, Kenbro chicken etc under intensive management system. However, this is only possible if farmers have the right quality of ingredients or raw material for formulating feeds. There are various formulas out there but almost all of them makes use of Digestible Crude Protein (DCP) as the basic nutritional requirement for feed. The most common ingredients used are whole maize, maize germ, cotton seed cake, soya beans, sunflower or omena (fishmeal). Assuming that the farmer wants to make feed for their chickens using the Pearson Square method, they have to know the crude protein content of each of the ingredients used in feed making. The farmer may use whole maize (8.23 % DCP) Soya (45 % DCP) Omena (55 % DCP) and maize bran (7 % DCP) Sunflower (35 % DCP). To make a 70 kg bag of feed for LAYERS, a farmer would require the following ingredients: 34 kg of whole maize 12 kg of Soya 8 kg of omena 10 kg of maize bran 6 kg of Lime (as a calcium source) Each category of chickens has its own requirements in terms of nutrition. For example, feed for layers should have at least 18 per cent crude protein. If one were to formulate feed for layers, then they would have to calculate the percentage of digestible crude protein in each of the ingredients to ensure that the total crude protein content is at least 18 per cent to meet this nutritional requirement. To find out if the feed meets this standard, a farmer can do a simple calculation as follows: Whole maize = 34 kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80kg Soya bean = 12 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 5.40 kg
Omena = 8 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 4.40 kg Maize bran = 10 kg x 7 ÷ 100 = 0.70 kg Lime = 6 kg x 0 ÷ 100 = 0.00 kg(Total crude protein 13.30 kg) To get the total crude protein content of all these ingredients in a 70 kg bag, you take the total crude protein content of the combined ingredients, divide by 70 and multiply by 100 thus, (13.30÷70) x 100 = 19.0 %. This shows that the crude protein percentage in the above feed formulation is 19.0 % which is suitable for layers. Before mixing the feed, whole maize including the other ingredients has to be broken into the right sizes through crushing or milling to make it palatable for the chickens. Add 250 g of table salt on every 70 kg bag of feed. Feed for chickens meant for meat Chickens meant for meat production require feed with a higher content of DCP. From the first to the fourth week, the chicks require feed with a DCP content of between 22 to 24 per cent. From the fourth to the eighth week, the chicks require feed with a protein content of 21 to 22 per cent crude protein. To attain this requirement, farmers can formulate feed using the same method given above. To make a 70 kg bags of feed, they will need to have all the right the ingredients in the proportions given below: Whole maize = 40 kg x 8.23 ÷ 100 = 3.20kg Omena = 12 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 6.60 kg Soya beans = 14 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 6.30 kg Lime = 4 kg x 0 ÷ 100 = 0.00 kg(Total crude protein 16.10 kg) To determine if a 70 kg bag of feed has adequate crude protein content for birds meant for meat production, the same methods is used: (16. 10 ÷ 70) x 100 = 23 %. The feed given in this example has a total crude protein content of 23 % which is adequate to feed chicken in this category.
In every 70 kg bag of feed, add 250g of table salt. Feed for Improved kienyeji chickens Indigenous chickens are less productive in terms of egg and meat increase. They may not require intensive feeding and management. For this category of chickens, farmers can constitute feeds with a DCP of between 15 – 16 %. They can use the following formulation to make feeds for the indigenous chickens: Whole maize = 34 kg x 8.23 ÷100 = 2.80 kg Soya bean = 12 kg x 45 ÷ 100 = 5.40 kg Omena = 8 kg x 55 ÷ 100 = 4.40 kg Maize bran = 10 kg x 7 ÷ 100 = 0.70 kg Lime = 6 kg x 0 100 = 0.00 kg (Total crude protein 13.30 kg) Percentage of total crude Protein in the ingredients = (10.68 ÷70) x 100 = 15.25 % For farmers rearing hybrid layers and broilers, it is advisable to buy already constituted feeds from reputable companies that sell quality feed. The main reason is that it is very difficult for farmers to constitute micronutrients such as amino-acids, trace minerals, fat and water soluble vitamins that these breeds of chicken require for proper growth. Some tips on how to feed chicken An egg-laying chicken requires 130 g of feed per day (provide clean water at all times). • 1 chick requires 2.2 kg of feed for 8 weeks (thus 100 chicks = 2.2 kg x 100=220 kg. Chicks should be allowed to feed continuously and given adequate clean water at all times). If they finish their daily rations, give them fruit and vegetables cuttings to feed on.
• 1 pullet (young chicken about to start laying) should be fed 4.5 kg of feed for two and a half months until the first egg is seen. It should then be put on layer diet. Supplement with vegetables, edible plant leaves or fruits peelings in addition to the daily feed rations. • All ingredients used must be of high quality and palatable. Never use rotten maize (Maozo). Chickens are very susceptible to aflatoxins poisoning. • When using omena as an ingredient, ensure it is free of sand and seashells. Ifyou use maize germ, it should be completely dry. • Feed should be thoroughly mixed to ensure the ingredients are uniformly distributed. It is preferable to use a drum mixer instead of a spade for mixing. • Note that even after giving them the formulated feeds, chickens should be put on free range to scavenge for other micronutrients not provided for in the feeds.
As kienyeji chickens become more and more popular in Kenya, more and more breeds are entering the market.These improved breeds have higher productivity than the local kienyeji breeds. They have been bred for certain purposes. As a farmer, it is important to take advantage of the different kienyeji chicken breed’s characteristics to fit your purposes. For example, If you are keeping chickens for meat, a rainbow rooster gains faster weight than the improved KARI and kuroiler breeds. Here are some of the improved kienyeji breeds;
KARI kienyeji: This was bred from a range of indigenous chickens in Kenya by KARI (now KARLO) Naivasha. There are five distinct types distinguished by their colours (Table 2)
Kuroiler: This breed entered Kenya from Uganda but originates from India
Kenbro: This is a Kenchick breed
The rainbow rooster: This is a multi-coloured breed originating from India .
Here is a summarized table showing different kienyeji chicken breeds with their characteristics:
|Description||KARI kienyeji||Kuroiler||Kenbro||Rainbow rooster|
|Purpose||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat|
|Average egg production (per month)||15-20||18-20||20-25||20-25|
|Average meat production||Cocks: 2.0-2.2kg||Cocks: 2.2-2.5 kg||Cocks: 2.2-2.5||Cocks: 3.0 kg|
|Hens: 1.5-1.8 kg||Hens: 1.8-2.2 kg||Hens: 1.9-2.2 kg||Hens: 1.9- 2.2 kg|
|Sitting characteristics||Multi-coloured ones are good sitters||Poor sitters||Does not sit||Does not sit|
|Decline in production (years)||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years|
|Cocks: 1.3 years||Cocks: 1 year||Cocks: 1 year||Cocks: 1 year|
|Disease resistance compared to each other||High||Low||Low||High|
Improved KARI indigenous chickens come in five different colours; spotted, white, black, brown and multi-coloured. They have the following characteristics;
|Colour||Visual Features||Sitting||Laying||Weight/ meat|
|Spotted||Good camouflage||Poor sitters. 25% will sit||Poor layer||Faster weight gain Highest quality meat with better muscle structure|
|White||With some black||White starts laying earlier.Good layers. More eggs. Larger eggs, so stronger chicks||Becomes heavier|
|Black||With brown front||Moderate|
|Multi-coloured||More indigenous||Better sitters. 75% birds sit||Moderate layers|
When starting on improved indigenous chicken business, consider the above characteristics and choose the breed that best suits your purpose. Ensure that you get your breeds from certified breeders for pure breeds.
EPIC CHICKS: ABOUT US
OUR COMING TO BE WAS TO PROVIDE AN ALL ROUND SOLUTION TO POULTRY FARMING IN TERMS OF KNOWLEDGE OF SKILLS
Epichicks limited is a poultry company which was established years ago. Epichicks deals with supply of latest egg incubators of different sizes, capacities, brands and origin. We also deal with supply of chicks, chicks cages, layer cages fitted with automated brooding and water system. We also supply the latest breed of chicks, i.e improved kienyeji, kari, kuroilers, kenbrow and rainbow roasters.
We do also supply brooding equipment like brooder lamps, modern brooding jiko, feeders and drinkers and vaccines.
Our approach system is solution from the problem points of view
Epichicks Company Limited is a company that seeks to provide solution to all questions of poultry farmers hence the establishment. We came into the market with a major aim of ensuring poultry farming becomes easy, enjoyable and also profitable to our farmers. Epichicks is committed to always give the best to our customers in terms of quality and quantity. We are also very effective and efficient concerning delivery of ordered good to our customers free delivery, warranty and after sales services and every technical support and poultry market to our customers
Our solution starts from making sure that customers get knowledge and skills from our free training and consultancy programs to our reliable step by step walk with the customers, selling to them a quality and reliable product and connecting the customers to the wide market network locally and international . Day by day advice and follow-up of our customers progress for our customers number one friends and main business concern is them.
OUR POULTRY SOLUTIONS
1. Disease Management
An outbreak of avian influenza, Newcastle disease or any other number of diseases has the potential to devastate the poultry industry. An outbreak of avian influenza in a clustered chicken meat farming region could potentially wipe out the industry.
This is a rather sobering message. In recent years, we have experienced a trend of increased outbreaks of avian influenza associated with free-range poultry, turkeys, layers and ducks. To date, these have been relatively isolated occurrences, readily controlled and eradicated, but still of significant cost to both industry and government. Such a trend cannot be sustained.
A similar outbreak in a clustered intensive meat poultry production area would have severe economic, consumer and regulatory consequences for the entire poultry industry.
What can free range growers do to manage this risk?
The good news is that an effective and implemented biosecurity plan for free-range flocks will significantly reduce the risk of an exotic disease outbreak. There is a common misconception that free range farms are by nature poor biosecurity enterprises. In fact, most biosecurity principles can be effectively implemented to both closed shed as well as open free-range systems.
However the unique and specific challenges posed by free-range production must be addressed, to ensure the continued growth and viability of the industry.
These include shedding and personnel standards, vermin control, dead bird and waste disposal, feed management, water quality, exclusion of wild and domestic animals and equipment, vehicle and shed hygiene procedures.
Free-range birds have access to an outdoor range and are potentially exposed to additional biosecurity risks and diseases, the most significant being wild birds, rodents, wild animals and airborne transmission of infectious agents.
As a result, diseases such as avian influenza, infectious laryngotracheitis, histomoniasis, helminths, coccidiosis and food safety pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter may occur at a higher frequency in poorly-managed free range poultry farms.
All of these are controllable with effective range biosecurity.
The most significant biosecurity risks in a free-range operation are:
• wild birds
• wild animals
• airborne infection
Tips to protect your free-range farm from disease
1. Maintain the range in a clean and tidy condition.
2. Grass should be kept short, as long grass attracts wild birds and rodents onto the range, and favours the survival of viruses and bacteria.
3. Do not plant vegetation on the range which attracts wild birds. For example, avoid fruit bearing trees and shrubs. Consult a horticulturalist for assistance.
4. The best shade structures are sails and shade-cloth as these tend to scare away wild birds when they flap in the wind.
5. Do not provide feed on the range as this attracts birds and rodents. Always clean up feed spills around silos immediately. Isolate silos from range areas.
6. No visitors should be allowed access to the range area.
7. Keep ranges free of surface water including pools, puddles, dams and waterways.
8. The range must be well-drained. Do not allow free-standing water to collect. Water for range irrigation must be treated to drinking water standard.
9. There must be secure fencing of the range to prevent access to domestic animals, including dogs and cats and wild animals such as foxes, wallabies and wombats etc. Many wild animals carry Salmonella and Caampylobacter.
10. Secured rodent baiting stations should be placed at 10-metre intervals around the range perimeter fence and around the shed. Baits should be checked weekly and replaced every two to four weeks, depending on vermin activity patterns. Make sure the baits you select are approved for outdoor use.
11. New free-range farms should be sited away from other poultry enterprises, preferably in low-density poultry farming areas
12. Strategic planting of trees and large shrubs can be used to filter and block airborne spread. Try to avoid trees which are attractive to wild birds
Wild birds (particularly waterfowl)
Wild birds represent the most serious disease risk to the free-range poultry industry, and water attracts birds and animals to the range areas.
13. There should preferably be no dams, waterways, rivers or lakes in the vicinity of free range sheds
14. New farms should be located away from dams, rivers, lakes etc.
15. Remove or drain non-essential dams and other water sources
16. Install bird scaring systems, e.g. auditory, visual deterrents
17. Shade sails act as a deterrent to wild birds on the range
18. Waterfowl MUST NOT have access to your flock’s drinking water, for example water storage tanks.
A risk assessment should be conducted to determine the level of risk a particular farm has to exposure to wild birds and other sources of disease. High-risk farms are those that are:
• in or close to a cluster of intensive poultry growing farms
• in the vicinity of a dam, river, lake or other body of water. Generally farms within 3km of a water body which is frequented by large numbers of waterfowl would be considered a higher risk.
• If free-range farms are in an area of intensive poultry population, and waterfowl are identified as having access to the range, the range should be netted.
For new free-range farms:
19. Site the farm away from intensive shedded poultry populations
20. New farms should preferably not be built in the vicinity of dams, lakes, rivers or other water-bodies. If waterfowl habitat is within one kilometre of the free range farm, the range should be netted.
• Good biosecurity practices can be just as effective on free range farms as they are in intensive poultry farming systems
• You can protect your farm and your industry by adopting pretty simple yet effective strategies to prevent disease from entering your farm
• In addition to the ‘National Biosecurity Manual for Chicken Growers’ and the NSW biosecurity guidelines for free range poultry farms, free range farmers should adopt the 20 guidelines listed in this article to manage and prevent the additional biosecurity risks associated with free range systems.
2. Poultry Consultancy
3. Machine operation
4. Poultry Farming Training
1. Egg Incubators
3. Feeders & drinkers
4. Brooders lamps & pots
5. Defeathering machines
6. Machine spare parts
- HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN
Like in any business, an entrepreneur needs to have a plan of action. A business plan is one of the most important things in starting a chicken business in Kenya. Through a business plan, you visualize and state your goals and objectives for the chicken business as well as layout your mode of operation. You set goals and milestones for your chicken business and an elaborate plan for achievement of your goals.
- CAPITAL, MACHINERIES AND PREMISES,
Chicken farming requires capital investment. The good thing about chicken farming is that the capital needed is not fixed; you can customize your investment. However, you will need to acquire structures, buildings in which to raise your chickens in. Whatever structure you chose to build or acquire will depend on availability of capital and your disposal. They may be barns, hutches, coups. You will also need a land to construct the above structures and for other uses. You need machinery and equipment in poultry farming.
- CHOOSE YOUR APPROACH
You have to decide how want to raise your chicken. There are many ways of raising chicken, however lets examine a few main ones;
- Conventional system- This is where chicken are confined in barns under controlled movements, virtually everything is controlled including feeding, watering, lighting etc.
- Free range- this is where the chickens are allowed to move about the farm. Basically very little is controlled, the chicken roam free finding and salvaging for themselves. This method is generally used and suited for (kienyeji breed) the indigenous chicken. The system is cheap and easy to manage.
- CHOOSE WHAT TYPE OF POULTRY TO KEEP
You can choose between three types of poultry for your farming. These are:
- Layers -This are chickens raised for their eggs.
- Broilers -This are chickens purely raised for meat only
- Dual purpose – for production of eggs and meat
- CHOOSE YOUR TARGET MARKET
You need to a good research about your target market and establish the opportunities and challenges you should expect in the segment of market you have chosen. This will enable you to decide whther should really stick to that target market and how to deal with expected outcomes. Take time to study the interests of consumers, their cultures, believes, ability and willingness to buy your chicken. All markets are determined by demand and supply . You should be a s solution to the market demands and that’s business.
4. SEEK TO BRAND YOURSELF
Seek to create an image, a niche for yourself and business. You will need to advertise your services to let the potential consumers be aware that you have eggs, chickens, chicks, manure, feathers, meat or any poultry products you intend to sell.
Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive, start by a word of mouth in your locality, social media and sms text messages are all but just cheaper options you can use. Whichever method works for you that is cheaper for a start, go for it before you pick on the popular means of advertising like radio, newspaper etc. One key thing to note is that’s you never lie in your advertising, do not masquerade what you aren’t , do not advertise what you don’t have.
5. BOOK KEEPING AND BUSINESS RECORD
You surely want to keep record of how your poultry business is performing. In this regard, you need to keep track on your expenses and income. You also need also to keep contacts of suppliers, customers and business associates. You need to keep records of flock counts and how they have performed. Records can not be over emphasized, keep as much as necessary for you. Any record is good enough even if you are not an expert in the field of recording.
Be faithful and invest in learning and doing more research to making your products better every day