“My husband, a former police officer, then went to the bank and got me a loan of Sh400,000 with which I bought a hatchery, brooders, a water tank and water traps. I also installed electricity and constructed cages.”
She then enrolled in a poultry farming training which was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture.
It is here that she was introduced to the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation improved kienyeji chicken, now just referred to Kari Kienyeji after the institution’s former name.
“The chickens are highly resistant to diseases and have high productivity levels in terms of egg and meat quality,” she says.
She went on and bought a number of indigenous breeds, the local Kienyeji chickens, the Kari Naivasha, the Kenbro, Kuroiler and the Dorep indigenous chickens putting them all in separate cages.
In another separate cage, Leah started cross-breeding the local Kienyeji chicken with the cocks from the Kuroiler, Dorep and Kenbro chicken breed which are known to gain weight faster than the local Kienyeji.
These improved chickens can gain weight of up to 4.5kg when mature.
Soon after the hen starts laying, the eggs are kept inside a locally made hatchery for 21 days and then the new cross-bred bird is hatched.
The chicks are then transferred to a different cage where they are fed with chick mash for seven weeks.
She then transfers them from the chicks cage to a cage where they can move freely until they are four to six months when they are ready for sale.
They can also be sold as three-week old chicks. They go for Sh150 each. The remaining chicks are then reared until three months before she allows them to mix with other chickens.
Leah says she is able to hatch over 200 chicks every month from the different breeds.
She notes just like the Improved Kari Naivasha indigenous chickens, her cross-bred indigenous chickens have very few health problems after being vaccinated and their eggs are larger than the local Kienyeji chickens.
“The fact that I am rearing indigenous chickens has made my business to thrive in a region where many prefer them to exotic ones.”
She vaccinates the chicken after every two to three months against, especially, Newcastle disease.