Friday, July 19, 2024

Catherine Macharia: Poultry farmer buying day-old chicks at Sh95, selling them for Sh400

When covid hit the world in 2020, one thing that it taught us was that cities must be food sustainable; the uncertainty of lockdowns made it clear that you cannot rely solely on rural areas to supply food.

After the pandemic, some Kenyans embraced urban farming, a decision many are presently proud of. Catherine Macharia is one of the farmers who adopted urban farming two years ago, a decision she doesn’t regret to date.

The medical professional rears broiler chicks on a rooftop of a residential building in Saika Nairobi. Her agricultural expertise was confined to witnessing her wonderful mother, who was also a poultry farmer.

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She buys day-old chicks which she feeds and sells as mature chickens after four weeks, pocketing decent profits.

In an interview, Catherine revealed broiler chicks are a better choice as it takes a few weeks for a farmer to start enjoying profits, unlike layers, where a farmer has to wait for months.

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”I started with both broilers and layers and based on my experience, I decided to fully focus on broilers because they take only 28 days to get to the market. For layers, you have to feed them for 4-5 months for them to start laying,’’ she said.

The farmer, who currently has 200 two-week-old chicks and 350 three-week-old chicks, says the business is very profitable and has enabled her to achieve great things which she may not have achieved under employment.

Catherine buys day-old chicks at Sh95 each and sells them at between Sh350-Sh400, after one month, to hotels and other individual buyers.

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She notes that she spends about Sh250-Sh275 on each bird every month, inclusive of the buying cost.

Catherine adds that not all broiler chicken will take four weeks to reach maturity, as some breeds take up to six weeks.

According to her, many poultry farmers go belly up due to wrong breed selection, lack of market research, and improper chicken handling.

”There are some people who just start keeping poultry without knowledge. You end up purchasing a poor breed that consumes more and takes longer to reach maturity. Also, if you don’t vaccinate your birds, they will start dying,’’ she added.

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