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Home / Livestock

Breeding and selection in kienyeji chicken

A kienyeji chicken farm in Mwala village, Mutomo, in Kitui county. The farmer says demand for kienyeji chicken is high and the prices good. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

Selection of healthy chicken is important to ensure a healthy flock with high productivity.

It is important to look for different features in chicks, growers, hens and cocks. Select or buy new chicken variety early in the day, as stress from lack of water, feed and rest, will make them look sickly.

A breed is a group of chicken with unique features inherited from parents. Features such as the color of comb, earlobes and shank are usually determined by breed. A breed can have variations in plumage color. Thus, a white and a black hen may just be different variant of the same breed.

Features of a healthy chick

Shiny, dry, thick and colored down feathers

Soft belly

Clean, dry navel and clean feathers around the vent

Thick shanks with spaced and straight toes

Big clear eyes

Lively behaviour

Features of a healthy grower

Alert and on guard

Bright eyes and comb

Walk, run, stand and scratch

Continuously eat and drink

Normally lay eggs

Normally smooth and neat feathers

Soft compact droppings

Breathe quietly

Features of a Laying Bird and Cock

Appear healthy and lively

Feathering shiny and normal (depends on the breed)

Large size for the age

Eyes clear and shiny

Clean, dry beaks and nostrils

Straight legs and toes

Cocks are large relative to the hens and are mostly alert and protective

Additional features of a Healthy Good Layer

A red comb (more coloured when in lay)

Legs less colored when in lay

The breast bone should not be too sharp

A big broad bottom

-This article has been adapted from the KALRO App on Indigenous Kienyeji Chicken.


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