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Teacher scores big in kienyeji chicken rearing

By Nathan Ochunge

Two years ago, Seka Ibrahim Kutai was in huge debt. From a Sh3m loan secured from his bank to build a retirement home back in Shikhambi village in the outskirts of Kakamega town, he only had Sh30,000 and still the house wasn't ready for occupation.

Tired of surviving on debts and yearning to start something to bring him more money to complete his housing project, Kutai, 37, a teacher at Kakamega Primary School tried his hand in poultry farming.

His wife Everlyne Ludenyo promised him all the support he needed to make the venture successful. 

“When I realised the Sh3 million was almost over and I had nothing on the side apart from my salary bringing us extra income, I used the remaining cash to buy 300 day-old chicks,” he recalled.

By then, he didn't have a power supply that the chicks needed to survive, so he bought an improvised jiko to serve this purpose.

When he acquired the chicks, he also received a few lessons on how to keep them alive to maturity. When the chicks were seven days old, he administered the Newcastle vaccine. He followed the instructions he had been given to the letter. 

“I did everything I needed to do to ensure my chicks were in good health. At 21 days, I vaccinated them against bronchitis and administered another dose of Newcastle vaccine,” he added.

For the first three weeks, the chicks fed on starter mash then they graduated to chick mash until they were eight weeks.

“After two months, I introduced the growers mash until I started seeing the first eggs. They were now five months. I then introduced layers’ mash until I disposed of the first stock after two years,” said Kutai. "Of the 300 birds, 50 of them were cocks, when they were five months old, I sold each one of them at Sh1,200,” Kutai added.

He was able to make over Sh1 million from the flock for the 18 months he had them. 

“The demand for Kienyeji chicken and eggs is high here. I cleared the first stock after a while but the next time I increased the number to 1,500 as demand for eggs kept rising,” said Kutai.

Besides rearing chicken for eggs, he has also ventured into hatching chicks. 

“When I brood the chicks for a month, I sell them at Sh250 and two months at Sh350 or even Sh500 depending on their weight. Whatever I earn from selling the chicks cater for the feeds for the other flock,” said Kutai.

His wife, Everlyne, said they plan to increase their flock from 2,000 birds to 5,000 birds by the end of the year. "Our customer list has been expanding which is a good thing. Holidays like now during Easter are our peak seasons. In December last year, we sold over 1,200 birds and over 5,000 eggs. We used part of the money to pay school fees for our children and furnish our house,” she said.

Their day starts at 4am. "The first thing we do is clean the poultry house and feed the chicken," she added.

“Improved Kienyeji birds waste make good fertiliser which we collect and sell at Sh300 per sack during planting seasons. We have also planted kales and amaranth that we feed our layers on and people can tell you, our chicken is very tasty because of this."

They sell kienyeji eggs at Sh600 a tray.

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