Farming is one of the economic activities practiced here in Kenya. It is the keeping of birds either for commercial or domestic purposes. This type of farming is so prevalent in Kenya because it is easy to start and grow.
However, before venturing poultry, there are a few things that you ought to put in place. They will help everything run seamlessly and yield optimum benefits from the project. These tips will give your insight into how to tend the poultry and the market demand to equip you for the business.
Here are some of the things you should know.
Steps to Starting Poultry Farming in Kenya
Choose Your Poultry Sector
Poultry Farming is often a field that many people want to venture into. However, you have to know the ideal category for you. You can either do broiler farming or layers farming. Broiler farming is the rearing of chickens for their meat. They grow faster and are ready in 12 weeks, while layer farming is rearing chicken for their eggs.
When you decide to deal with layers, you have to know everything in the category. It would help if you understood incubation and rearing chicks and how to package your products.
Have a Business Plan
Before starting a business, you have to have an effective business plan to work out well. Assess the strength, weaknesses, opportunities of the venture. You also need to know the threats of getting involved in poultry farming here in Kenya.
The business plan also helps you know where to get initial capital and money to use on other expenses. With a professional and effective strategy, you will establish a laid down projection of what you want to do.
Choose the Type of Bird
Poultry farming involves rearing different kinds of breeds of birds. You can start your poultry farm with a few birds and then add more as time goes by. The progressive start helps you understand what the market needs before you can take more significant risks.
Here in Kenya, birds popularly raised in poultry farms are duck, goose, domestic fowl, chicken, turkey, and pigeons. Having these different birds also means you identify the niche you are focusing on. You may go for meat, egg production, hatchery, and poultry feed production. You can again do meat and egg processing.
Create Your Farm Logo
As you venture into poultry farming, you should think of having a unique farm logo. It will help your business stand out and market your products widely. This is because the logo will be on all the products you are selling.
This logo is a tool for your marketing, so you must make sure it is professional.
Set A Location For Your Farm.
Poultry farming requires you to have a farm where you will rear the poultry. When choosing the location, consider having it a little bit far from the town. A rural setup will help you get access to cheap labor and land.
However, having the Farm away from any city also has some advantages. It gets you to the ready market from the many hotels and a vast population. Setting your farm way from the ready market increases costs like transportation.
Ensure You Have Enough Capital for Land and Equipment
It is good to ensure that you have enough capital to get you started and have equipment that will make the poultry life better as you keep them. You will need to invest in hatcheries, feeders, drinkers, and an incubating system.
A good investment will keep the chicken comfortable and also enhance your productivity. A lot of money will go to getting the piece of land you intend to rear the chicken on.
You will need help running the Farm, which means getting labor, which you will need to pay salaries. Before starting, make sure you have enough capital to have everything in place.
Housing for poultry farming is crucial. An adequate shelter protects the poultry from thieves and adverse weather conditions. It also keeps away predators such as snakes, rats, and hawks and acts as a shelter for brooding and laying hens.
The housing design you put in place will depend on the type of farming and poultry breeds you are rearing. As you build your house for the poultry, you should consider the following:
• Have a proper facility that will ensure that enough air and light is entering the house.
• The house should be well ventilated
If you are looking to rear chicken on a large scale, then investing in many poultry houses will work well. The homes should be at least 40 meters apart from each other, ensure they are always clean. You can use wooden or rice bran to create litter for chicks and change them regularly.
Feeding is one of the essential things to get high production of meat and eggs. Chicken can starve when left to fend for themselves. Therefore, providing a meal is always important.
Lack of clean water and quality feeds for the chicken can affect your business significantly. The deficiency could lead to diseases, malnutrition and increase the death rate. Good quality feed for your poultry should have energy, proteins, mineral salts, trace elements, and vitamins.
Water should also be readily available for your poultry. How you feed your chicken will depend on their age and breed. The feeds come at different prices depending on the quantity. You consult a veterinarian to provide you with a formula for making good feeds for your poultry.
Maintain Good Health of Your Poultry
Your poultry health should be paramount; this is because they are your primary source of income. Selling healthy poultry products will ensure you have a wide market range for your products. Poultry can be prone to pests and diseases, which can frustrate the farmer due to death, reduced production, and growth rate.
When an outbreak of disease occurs, it is always good to isolate the sick birds, burn or bury the dead ones to spread among the rest. Poultry will be healthy when well-fed, managed and vaccinated against diseases as regularly as possible.
Poultry farming already has an available market for its produce. If you decide to do small-scale poultry, you can sell your produce in their local market. However, if you choose to do a large scale, aim for a broader market and even international opportunity.
In Kenya, poultry farming has positively impacted the economy and is seen to thrive well because fewer poultry diseases exist.
Before you start rearing poultry for meat or eggs, you should at least have a ready market. It is not economical to have produced and not know who you will sell to.
Advertise and Campaign For Your Business
As you put everything needed to start poultry farming, it is also good to tell people about your intentions to venture into this type of business. You may begin to say to your neighbors and friends, visit events related to poultry farming, and even make friends while at it.
Some of your potential clients can come from these connections you are making with people.
You may also invest in business cards to give out to potential clients and connections. Business cards are professional ways of introducing yourself to your potential clients.
The cards give them contact details of your website address, phone number, and even location. Most of them will keep your card and contact when in your products.
Poultry farming is a profitable venture that one should consider venturing into because of its source of income. It also helps provide nourishment to our body through the meat, which is a human need. Poultry is also not used for meat and eggs only but also for feathers used to make artifacts. This is a profitable venture that you may want to try out.
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