Making Money at Chicken Farming: This feature is written by Okuta Ngura. Okuta is a the Founder, Owner and Managing Director at Ngura Poultry Care. You can reach Mr. Ngura on +254729568151 for poultry consultancy:
a.) Insufficient knowledge (lack of know-how) Most rush to farming after seeing their neighbours harvests. They don’t take their time to learn about market dynamics and demand and supply curve.
b) Lack of persistence. Most want instant gratification.They want to be millionaires overnight. They don’t want to face disease challenge or market challenge. All they want is more and more profits. I am sorry to burst your bubble but farming doesn’t work that way. You’ve to toil and sweat. Nothing comes easily.
c.) High cost of feeds and poultry equipment. This has been a pain in the neck. In Kenya this has been the farmer’s undoing. Cost of production has gone over the roof in recent times due to this. I always advise farmers to use creativity and improvise these things e.g buckets in place of drinkers and feeders.
d) Lack of market for their goods.This is demoralising at the same time heart breaking. Imagine toiling for all those months only to meet with imported eggs from Uganda sold at 50kshs.(2.5$)while you expected it at 300kshs(3$)
e) Lack of professionals.Farmers have to make do with trial and error and also Mr. Google. Due to this they are left at limbo not able to fight challenges e.g diseases and they really lose a lot. We have very few trained professionals in poultry matters in Kenya.Government of Kenya needs to up its game.
f) Disease outbreaks. A very serious problems due to insufficient knowledge on disease managenent. Most farmers don’t follow strict vaccination programmes and bio security therefore the birds end up dying en masse. It’s difficult I tell you.
g) Middle-men and brokers. These are double-edged swords. Some are good while others are outright evil. Some can be farmer’s worst nightmare as they can take the lion’s share of the produce due to the knowledge of the market. They promise you heaven and give you hell.
h.) Being misled by other farmers. Farmers are their own worst enemies. I don’t deny the fact that most are experienced in poultry farming but others want to outdo one another through dubious means. Shrewd and cunning at best. I once encountered a new farmer who was advised by a fellow farmer to give her pullets sow and weaner meal in order to start laying early. The birds matured but even at 7 months none had started laying.Please farmers jealousy and envy is bad for business. If you don’t want to consult a professional you will end up with serious losses.
There are a myriad of reasons which I can’t fully exhaust. Farmers need to take farming as a profession and quit hoping from one project to another. In order to be successful as a farmer you need to:
1.) Seek advise from professionals. Experience farmers can be of help but a professional will help you be successful. The Facebook platform has really helped farmers market their goods and share ideas and challenges but it should be noted that being an experienced farmer doesn’t warrant you to diagnose diseases online. A vet professional should visit your farm.
2.) Always source for a market before your products are ready e.g meat and eggs. Middle-men will only harvest where they never sowed.
3.) Lower the cost of production as often as possible by looking for cheaper but quality products.
4.) Always go for seminars and training whenever you get opportunity. This keeps you abreast with technology and newer ways of farming. Knowledge never expires. A lot of farmers are usually misled by fellow farmers and quacks. If possible read widely on poultry matters but don’t substitute the knowledge gotten from internet to that of a professional. Something you read from the internet can sometimes mislead you.Always verify from professionals.
5). Source your chicks from credible sources.For improved kienyeji ensure they are of F1 generation(first filial generation). Breeding them upto 3rd generation lowers the quality by resulting to deformities,late maturity and lowered production.
After all is said and done the farmer is there to make money and the cost of production should be lower in order to maximise profits. Making money at chicken farming.