How I Built My 5000 Chicken Empire
Jecinta Kawira is a kienyeji famer who started with 20 chickens and now has over 4800 birds. She says that she started off from her chama savings and increased the birds y brooding. She tells us that within no time her flock had multiplied to 350 birds. She started selling eggs, cockerels and broilers. She gives us a tour of her poultry farm. She has built a one storey structure made of wood and mesh wire
She has the structured partitioned to cater for her different ages birds. She has a one day to one week partition, birds older than one week but younger than 9 weeks and 12 and 16 weeks. She also has a section of broilers separate from the layers.
We first view the one day old chicks partition. I notice that the birds are evenly scattered .i ask her why and she tells me there is good heat. She explains that if the birds crow towards the heat source the temperature is cold and if they crowd on the furthest ends then the heat supply is too hot. On moving forwards I note that her birds are drinking water from improved water equipment. One bird drinks water at a time and is raised from the ground. On enquiry we get to understand that she prefers a raised surface for the water to prevent contamination of her water by litter.
In the furthest corner she has two incubators that she uses to hatch her eggs. She tells us that she sells day old chicks to small scale farmers and supply eggs to vendors. After a tour we sit down and have a chat on how she has risen from 20 birds to over 400.
She first says that the growth has not been easy. She laughs and tells me that she once lost 1000 birds to gumboro. tells us that there was an outbreak and she had not vaccinated her birds. She was forced o get rid of the entire flock and start a fresh. She secured a bank loan that helped her buy 400 day old chicks. With this she did everything right including vaccination, feeds and hygiene. Her flock increased through brooding.
It has taken her three years after restock to get to where she is. She tells us that every farmer must diversify to get better yield. She ensures that she had fed her birds with feeds that are properly balanced. Due to he large flock she prefers to make her own feds which is more economical. She also offers slaughter services.
She understands that most people do not want to buy birds then laughter. They prefer ready to cook birds. Therefore show offers these services making it convenient for her customers. This service comes at a fee of 200 per bird. In a week she can slaughter at least 20 birds for direct customers.
She hopes to start catering service where she can sell cooked chicken to her customers on order. She advice other framers to be patient. They should not overstock but handle birds they have the capacity to. She says that patience is a virtue every poultry farmer must exercise.