Dear Dr Messo,
I’m interested in chicken rearing and wish to seek your guidance of my new venture. I have tried with Kenbro one day old chicks and I can’t complain much. I’m interested in rearing kienyeji chicks. How much should I budget for before they start laying. I’m open to new ideas.
Consider purchasing Kenbro birds that you have tried and tested in your farm. It is a multi-coloured feathered bird with both broiler and layer characteristics. It can be managed to produce meat or eggs. It is robust and resistant to diseases and possesses very rounded conformation resulting in a presentable, well finished broiler with excellent taste.
If you intend to keep them on semi-free range and feed them on kitchen waste and minimal supplementation, you can spend as little as Sh200 per chick until they are ready for meat market at 8-10 weeks weighing 1.5 kg live weight. Depending on the market demand, you can sell them at Sh700-Sh1,000 per bird.
My chicken just decided to stop laying eggs. Previously, I would get about 20 eggs a day but for the past three weeks, I am getting totally nothing. They are feeding well, and I haven’t noticed any change in them. They are not even a year old that’s why am wondering what the reason could really be.
Most layer farmers do experience this from time to time. My first question to you would be, what type of layer birds are you keeping? Commercial hybrid layer flocks have undergone repeated selection for egg production and are known to be prolific egg producers and at peak, can produce up to 97 per cent.
Such birds are known to have very good Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) with one bird producing 6.6 eggs per kilogramme of feed at its peak performance. They are extremely sensitive to any changes on feed and water quality and quantity, air quality, worms and insect infection, extreme stress factors like overcrowding, high temperatures and humidity, poor feed distribution, wet litter and nutritional and metabolic diseases.
It is also very important that you contact your feed supplier and ask questions about any sudden recent changes in terms of levels of amino acids, premixes, energy levels and sources, mycotoxin control strategy etc.
It is also very critical to look at your vaccination programme and source of chick supplier and initiate discussion on the inherent genetic potential of your flock and how to deal with the current issues. A visit to your nearest poultry centre would certainly be advisable.
Try changing your feed supplier temporarily. If you have never de-wormed your birds, this would be the right time to do it. Check for presence of mites, and if present apply dudu dust while holding each bird upside down.
Can I feed my kenbro chicks with broiler starter mash instead of chick and duck mash if I want them to grow bigger?
You can feed your birds on broiler starter diet with absolutely no problem to the chick at all. However, you will find it extremely expensive to go along this route.
Since this is a slow growing bird compared to broilers, it’s of no benefit to try to accelerate its growth profile. Keep it simple, supplement them with chick and duck mash from time to time and introduce kitchen waste to lower your overall feeding costs.