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How we turned a simple proposal into a proper farm

By Nathan Ochunge
Sister Linet Kwena feeds chicken. [Duncan Ocholla/ Standard]

Whenever children at Divine Providence Children’s Home in Kakamega wanted chicken meat or eggs, it forced the management to get them from the market, which was an expensive affair.

The management led by Sister Mildred Nekesa and Sister Linet Kwena took the leap of faith and sent a poultry farming proposal to Safaricom Foundation and after six months later, their prayers had been answered.

Sister Linet Kwena told Smart Harvest they secured Sh265,000 from Safaricom Foundation and used the money to construct a poultry house while the balance was used to buy 100 chicks that were one month old in November last year.

According to Kwena, they opted for chicks that were 30 days old since they were new to the venture and they also didn’t have brooding facilities.

“We received the chicks when they had already been vaccinated against Newcastle, Gumboro, bronchitis and fowl pox,” said Sister Kwena.

They fed them for another month on chick mash and then changed to growers’ mash for 12 weeks until the birds started laying eggs in March this year. 

During the months of March and April, they collected between 80-95 eggs in a day, saying by the end of April this year, they had collected at least 5,400. Apart from feeding the children, they earned Sh81,100 from selling the eggs.

“I wish we ventured into poultry farming earlier, apart from saving costs on food, we are now able to make extra money to run the home,” said Ms Kwena.

She said they have a ready market for the eggs in Bungoma, Kisumu, Vihiga and Kakamega. 

“As a way of maximising on profits and raise enough capital for starting a big poultry farm, we started buying one-day-old chicks which we sell at one month. We buy one-day old chicks at Sh100 which we sell at Sh200 once they are two weeks old. At four weeks we sell at Sh300 and six weeks at Sh350. Our target is to have over 2,000 birds by August this year,” she added.

Vincent Sore, who takes care of the birds said most of their clients are hotels in Kakamega town.

He said they are also saving money to buy an incubator with a capacity of over 1,500 so that they can start hatching their own chicks. Sore said the birds’ diet includes amaranth, Sukuma wiki, pumpkin leaves and seeds or ripe pawpaw that are rich in nutrients. “We have adopted the semi-intensive system of farming where we allow the birds to move around a fenced compound so as to eat grass and insects rich in nutrients. This gives the meat a good taste,” said Mr Sore.  

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