Saturday, April 13, 2024

Beda Ogola: Why chicken farming is not as profitable as most Kenyans imagine

When it comes to making money in agribusiness, chicken farming is one of the top ideas that strikes fast.

Most farmers think all the millions lie there but some experienced farmers say the venture is as tricky as other businesses.

Beda Ogola an Applied Statistics graduate and successful poultry farmer says to reap a decent income from chicken farming one has to have a strong market as well as an organized marketing plan.

“Generally, the breakthrough in poultry farming is tricky. One thus has to swim slowly. I have managed to stay afloat because of diversifying to minimise risk, having a well-organized marketing plan, and using the internet to access clients across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania,” he states.

The farmer who has four farms serving different regions has about 3,000 birds of different ages including the Kuroiler breed, a mixture of the Sasso breed, commercial layers, and ornamental birds.

He notes that high production cost and accessing quality feeds is the biggest nightmare in chicken farming. He manages this by making growers feed and a bit of chick mash.

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“It’s not easy to make money because of high production costs. Feed costs keep on skyrocketing, especially for the best quality brands.”

“Farmers would make money from poultry if feed prices are reduced and substandard feeds and vaccines are dealt with by the authorities,” he says.

Another farmer Njambi Kimani from Kiambu says chicken farming is not for the fainthearted, underscoring the importance of research before investing in the venture.

She recounted how she lost her entire flock due to various challenges including stress, transportation, brooder, and housing.

“I tried chicken farming but failed spectacularly. I had started with 200 birds but after some time they started dying one after another. It was actually a worry because the supplied birds were of mixed age,” says Kimani

“The challenge I encountered in this business was managing the birds with poor labour and the high cost of feeds,” she added.

According to Dr Linet Akinyi, a veterinarian, anyone intending to venture into poultry farming has to invest a high capital so as to get good returns.

“When you invest good money in poultry farming, you will reap big because large-scale farmers enjoy economies of scale and their production costs are lower. The higher the capital, the higher the returns,” she says.

Furthermore, poultry farmers must ensure that they keep the correct population of birds based on housing, maintain proper spacing and hygiene, and provide the right feeds and deworm on schedule.

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