How to become a big poultry farmer in the big city

I am a poultry farmer based in Nairobi and I would like to have my profits yield more. Can you enlighten me more about the Rhode Island chicken breed and how I can make profit?

Mr Raphael Kirui, the farm manager, collects eggs from the trays of the caged chicken at Reuben Chirchir’s poultry farm at Chebang’ang in Bomet County, and packs them ready for transportation. ANITA CHEPKOECH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

IN SUMMARY

  • Dear Prof Kimurto, I am interested in the plant Tephorsia vogelli. How can I go about growing it in my home garden for the purpose of keeping away rats? Kindly advise

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POULTRY FARMING IN THE BIG CITY
I am a poultry farmer based in Nairobi and I would like to have my profits yield more. Can you enlighten me more about the Rhode Island chicken breed and how I can make profit?
Elkana, Nairobi

Rhode Island Red is a dual purpose chicken breed mostly used to improve indigenous chicken. For production purposes, the strains available are those that have been heavily selected for egg production (they are smaller in body size, less broody and lighter in colour) and those selected for meat production. Consider rearing females for egg production for about one cycle (52 weeks), which thereafter can be sold for meat while males can be reared for meat production given their weight.

DESIGNS FOR PROPER POULTRY HOUSE

I am an ardent reader of your weekly magazine, Seeds of Gold. I’m planning to keep 2,500 kienyeji chicken — layers and broilers. Can you provide me with a pictorial design on how I can build my chicken house basing on where they will hatch and feed, using simple materials.
BarnoKiprono

For detailed information on the design of the housing for your 2,500 kienyeji chicken, you will need to contact the Smallholder Indigenous Chicken Improvement Programme (InCIP) of the Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University on either email: info@incip.org or Tel: +254 51 221 7684.
Sophie Miyumo, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University
A-TO-Z OF KEEPING HEALTHY CHICKEN
I should first start by expressing my gratitude for the awesome work you are doing. I want to venture into farming, with my first phase focusing on keeping at least 1,000 layers chicken in Kisii County. Kindly advice me on the source of chicks, ideal variety, cost, feeding programme, how long it will take before they start laying eggs and for how long before they get old.
J.M. NYACHIEO, Kisii

Consider the Issa Brown breed for layers and these may be sourced from Kenchic Ltd. The birds should be fed chick mash between 0-8 weeks at 35-75g/day/bird (amount to be increased gradually), growers mash between 8-20 weeks at 75-90g/day/bird (increase gradually) and layers mash from week 20 at amount 90-120g/day/bird. Laying should start between 20-22 weeks of age, depending on your management, and this should continue until the birds are about 74-86 weeks old. However, it is economical to let the birds lay for one year (52 weeks), thereafter you dispose them off for meat at 74 weeks of age since by this time the egg production usually has dropped to 30 to 40 percent.

Sophie Miyumo, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University
HOW TO USE A JUA KALI INCUBATOR

I intend to venture into poultry keeping and I would like to incubate and hatch chicken eggs using the juakali incubator that uses gas or paraffin. I have no electricity connection in my area. Kindly advise.
Stanley KimutaiWaitagei

Gas or paraffin incubators work as well as the electrical incubators as long the temperature and humidity conditions are adhered to regarding the first 18 days of incubation and the last three days before hatching. However, note that hatchability will not be as high as the electric incubator due to the differences in how both equipments work.

Depending on the design of the jua-kali incubator, you need to consider how you will provide the correct environmental conditions to enable you to obtain at most 60 to 70 percent hatchability rate. In addition, also consider the economics of using gas and kerosene during the incubation period.
Sophie Miyumo, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University

SELECTING THE RIGHT PIG FOR YOUR FARM

I want to start pig rearing in Mbeere South, Embu County. Please advice me on how to go about it in terms of the right breed, proper housing and care. I had tried it earlier and failed.

Rose Mukami, Embu
Before you venture into pig farming, it would be wise and later profitable to choose an area to specialize in; if you want to rear them for piglets or for pig products. In the market, we have several breeds in Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Large White. They are efficient feed converters, have faster growth rates, give large litter size and take very good care of them.

Their nutritional needs vary with age, weight and stage of production. Pigs on average eat two to three kilograms of food daily. The feeds should contain all classes of nutrients and must be highly digestible; maize bran, fish meal, cassava, cotton-seed cake, pre-mixed vitamins and clean water. Use of wastes as feed is not encouraged.

Ensure you manage well the piglets and pregnant sows at all times to reduce mortality chances. Maintain proper ventilation and hygiene in their pens to help control diseases. Seek veterinary help any time you notice any sign of sickness. Also, consider visiting the Department of Animal Sciences of Egerton University for training on pig management.

Felix Akatch Opinya, Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University

FISH POISON BEAN CAN REPEL MOLE RATS

Dear Prof Kimurto, I am interested in the plant Tephorsia vogelli. How can I go about growing it in my home garden for the purpose of keeping away rats? Kindly advise.

Muna Omari

Tephrosia vogelii (fish poison bean) is a leguminous plant that is easily propagated via seeds. It is known to have repellent properties against mole rats. To keep mole rats out of your farm, you should plant Tephrosia around the perimeter of the farm. The plant will repel incoming mole rats thereby reduce their population.

Prof Joshua O. Ogendo

Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Egerton University

GROWING SNOW PEAS IN KENYA

I want to start snow peas farming in Tulaga, Kinangop, Nyandarua County and I wish to know the following : 1. Types of snow peas which are good and marketable. 2. Where I can get certified seeds and at what price. 3. How to manage the crop. 4. How to market the produce
Duncan Ndegwa, Nyandarua County

Snow peas are not widely consumed in Kenya. For this reason, retail outlets such as Tuskeys grow them on their own.
1. Types of snow peas which are good and marketable — The variety you choose will depend on the market that you target
2. Where to get certified seeds —

You can get certified seeds from Syngenta and Amiran Kenya

3. How to manage the crop — Snow peas require a large amount of water during growth, thus watering after every picking is recommended to improve quality. They are supported using bamboo and strings. String should be tied to the base of the plants and then to the wire above it. As the plants grow, another string is tied 10 cm above the previous one to ensure the plant grows through loops. Snow peas’ major diseases during growth include powdery mildews manifesting as white powder, leaf spots, downy mildews and rust.
4. How to market the produce — You can negotiate a contract with the following exporters — Finland (Homegrown), Sunrise and Vegpro (located at the airport). The local market is not good since the crop is not heavily consumed in Kenya. The price ranges from Sh50 to Sh200.
Muriuki Ruth Wangari and Mrs.

Anastasia Thiong’o, Department of Crop, Horticulture and soils, Egerton University

AVOID MIDDLE MEN IN MAIZE BUSINESS

I would like to know where I can find market for my bagged maize without having to deal with brokers and a market where I can supply without having to be frustrated when it comes to payment of my maize.
Kevin Mueke, Farmer

Please provide more information on how many bags you have and where you are located. Call 0725582692
Muriuki Ruth Wangari, Department of Crop, Horticulture and soils, Egerton University

WHERE TO GET GOOD QUALITY GOATS

I have been reading your articles on various subjects on commercial farming as a means of improving family incomes. I am interested in raising goats for meat. Where can I get good breeds for this purpose?

Peter Obino

Meat goats can be obtained from government-owned institutions such as the sheep and goat stations or the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation. You can visit the Naivasha branches of both institutions for inquiries.

Alternatively, you can source the animals from private owned farms. Contact your local district livestock production office to help you identify such farms.

Kimitei Ronald Kipkogei, Department of Animal Sciences - Egerton University

FRUIT FLY TRAPS
I read your article on the fruit fly trap. I have about 200 mangoes and avocadoes that I planted in April. I want to protect them from these flies. Where can I get the bacrolure trap and what institutions can I visit to get expert advice as the plants grow?
Vincent Nyagilo

I have read your article on the fruit fly trap technology with great interest. I have a farm of 120 mango trees. They started fruiting one year ago but I have not managed to sell any harvest because of fruit flies that infect virtually all the fruits that are produced. Where do I get to buy the traps?

Prof Jacob O Midiwo

I refer to your issue of June 6 on fruit flies that attack mango trees. Kindly link me up with Samuel Kagumba of Farmtrack Consulting. I’m interesting in acquiring the fruit fly traps.
Josphat Kilonzo

Editor: Please get in touch to Farmtrack Consulting on 0711495522
kisumu pig farm

I read the story on Ronal Omondi’s pig farming project in Seme. I would wish to get more information on the same and even pay a visit to the farm. Kindly get me Ronald Omondi’s contacts.
Frosanya

Kindly forward to me the contacts of Ronald Omondi, the pig farmer featured on June 6.
Joseph Gachiri
EDITOR: Get in touch with Ronald Omondi on 0721 260 541
rabbit farmer
Kindly give me contacts for rabbit farmer Joseph Wachira featured on June 6. We share the same county and I can pay him a visit. I have tried this farming but I gave up due to many challenges.
Robert Nderitu
Editor: You can reach Joseph on 0787258800.

farmers union
Thanks for the good work. In a previous edition, an article highlighted the umbrella body formed by Nakuru county farmers. May I have their address?
Nahashon
Editor: Please contact Mwenja on 0720335812 or Karangathi on 0722906453

machakos farmer

I liked Mr Titus Ndalamia’s story on June 6. Kindly give me his contacts.
Robert Nderitu

EDITOR: Kindly get in touch with Titus Ndalamia on 0727 294 799

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