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Chicken; why there is more value on the chopping board

Raw chicken meat

Poultry is one sector where with the right skills and keen attention can offer several value added products and services.

Value addition allows one to focus on the consumer while producing and through meeting expectations, it is possible to create a loyal market around the product.

One can add value to meat, eggs, feathers and even other parts that are usually thrown away. Christine Kemunto sells chicken and chicken products at City Market in Nairobi. Sometimes she offers services through training and giving recipes through her social media channels.

Adding value to a product increases the perceived value and offers convenience to customers, meaning they will pay more for it.

According to the National Census of 2019 and the Statistics Unit in the State Department of Livestock,

White meat is supplied from poultry which includes 46 million indigenous chicken, 5.6 million exotic layers, 4.9 million exotic broilers, and 1.2 million other related species.

The poultry industry is one fastest growing (registers 6 per cent growth) pro-poor livestock enterprises in the rural areas, where over 70 per cent of the country’s population live and derive their livelihoods. The industry has the potential to transform the living standards of its players.

The annual poultry meat production is 88 Million metric tons, valued at Sh48.6 Billion. Chicken constitute 98 per cent of the total poultry population, while other poultry species like ducks, turkeys, pigeons, ostriches, guinea fowls and quails, which account for two per cent, are increasingly becoming important.

Kemunto produces both eggs and broiler chickens that are sold at wholesale. Like many farmers globally, Covid-19 threatened to bring her business to a halt. But since restrictions eased, the demand for poultry meat products hit an upward curve, she says.

She firmly advises aspiring farmers that it would be in their best interests to seek mentorship before they follow agricultural pursuits.

Chicken is considered to contain nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as iron, selenium, zinc and B vitamins. It is a wonderful source of B12, according to Health-line.com.

Red meat being high in saturated fat is considered less healthy. Chicken meat rich in monounsaturated fats, essential polyunsaturated fatty acid like omega-3 fats and hence is considered healthy in comparison to red meat.

In poultry, adding value to chicken especially meat and eggs increases the lifespan.

Advantages of value addition

Value addition gives one a competitive edge from business rivals, furthermore, it helps to greatly reduce losses and reduce waste.

“You can also make money from the simple things in chicken like waste and feathers and if you have the ability, you can go further in processing chicken sausages,” says Kemunto.

Chicken meat parts

Give your customers a wide range of choice. You can give them chicken parts including gizzards, drumsticks, necks, thighs, wings, and breasts. You can pack them and get them to the shelves as either fresh or frozen cut-ups.

“Gizzards, necks and wings are very popular among customers, especially the young people because they are cheaper,” she says.

A kilogramme of gizzard sells at Sh550

A kg of chicken necks may go for Sh220 and a kg of chicken wings at Sh650.

Boneless chicken

Boneless chicken is popular among the middle class. It is an extensive market, and you need tap it. You can also package the bones and sell them. They are great in making certain dishes especially soup.

Boneless chicken breast is simply chicken breast that has been deboned, or had the bones removed. Skinless boneless chicken breast has been skinned and deboned.

These extra steps are the reason why skinless boneless chicken breast and boneless chicken breast are the most expensive cuts of chicken meat.

This may go Sh1,000 to Sh1,100.

Semi-cooked chicken

Spoil your consumers for choice by putting semi-cooked chicken strips on the shelves. Just ensure that they are flavoured and seasoned. Your market will include hotels, schools, hospitals, and supermarkets.

Marinated chicken parts

Marinated chicken parts have increasingly become popular. Most customers especially the chefs from restaurants like marinated chicken. They find them juicy with a great aromatic taste. You will have saved the chefs lots of time in marinating the chicken because it takes up to 72 hours.

Diced chicken meat

The boneless chicken breast can be cut into small square pieces and packaged then sold in supermarkets and butcheries.

By-products

You can add value to chicken by-products such as feet and head by packaging it and selling it as pet food. You can get an extra coin by drying chicken feathers. They are a good fiber source and can be used to make pillows and cushions.

Chicken excretions are a good source of manure. One will not miss a farmer or two who will buy the organic fertiliser from the chicken farm. You can dry chicken blood and make money from selling it as fish meal.

Value-added chicken business ideas

Chicken restaurant

The best way to sell fully cooked chicken is by starting a restaurant. It is a great chicken business idea. You will have a direct market for your chicken all year round.

“With having a restaurant, you can get creative with chicken in many ways including making chicken patties, chicken nuggets and cooked chicken stock. Cooked chicken stock is a cost effective fast food for instant use for those who love soup. For old people, it is highly useful at times of instant need.,” Kemunto said.

Hatchery

Developing a hatchery is another great business idea. Instead of buying chicks from other hatcheries you hatch your own and even get to sell the day-old chicks. You can also decide to teach other farmers how to rear chicken. You will have extra cash in your pockets.

Kemunto says traditional meat and egg products should be commercialized. More research is needed to enhance the shelf-life of the traditional products so that they can be easily consumed and popularized.