As a third world country still struggling with rising youth unemployment, chicken farming has been identified as one of the farming factors that can lift the yours out of poverty and at the same time contribute greatly in the economic development in Kenya. In this article, we are going to take you step by step and we intend to cover all the areas regarding this type of farming. Lets start with the basics!!
What is it and where did they come from?
Chickens originated in S.East Asia and were introduced to the rest of the world by sailors and merchants . They are broadly categorized into;
The new hybrids are widely distributed and are present I n every county in tropics, even in the most remote villages.
The hybrids have been carefully selected and specialized solely for the production of either meat or eggs.
This end product specialized hybrid strains are unsuitable for breeding purposes, especially for mixing with local village scavenger stock as their have very low mothering ability and broodiness.
For the small holder keeping hybrids means considerable changes are required in management there may be expensive for the following reasons:
- All replacement day-old chicks must be purchased
- Hatchery chicks require artificial brooding and special starting feeds
- Hybrids require higher quality balanced feed for optimum meat and egg production
- Requires more careful veterinary hygiene and diseases management
- Egg laying hybrid hens require supplementary artificial light (a steadingly increasing day length up to 17hrs of total light per day)for optimum profitable production.
-The meat and egg from intensively raised hybrid stock are considered by many traditional consumers thus offer to pay a higher price for village produced poultry meat and eggs.
INDIGENOUS (kienyeji chicken).
Nowadays indigenous village chickens are the results of centuries of cross breeding with exotic breeds and random breeding within the flock.
As a result it’s impossible to standardize the characteristics and productivity performance of indigenous chickens.
Characteristics like adult body weight and egg weight vary considerably among indigenous chicken population through reproductive traits like the no, of laying seasons per year no. of eggs per clutch and hatchability are more consistent.
Indigenous village birds in Ethiopia attain sexual maturity at an average age of 7 months (214 days) and lay about 36 eggs.