Kilifi is host to one of the most profitable and productive chicken farms in Kenya. This is the Sheikh Commercial Poultry Farm which is owned by businessman Najma Ahmed Jabri.
The farm produces statistics that most chicken farmers can only envy. For a start, the farm which was started two years ago produces over 20,000 chickens every month. Interestingly, this farm started with 1,500 day-old chicks that we bought at Sh. 65 each (Sh. 97,500).
“The poultry house is a stone-walled structure with a concrete floor and is divided into various sections using wood and wire mesh to keep the birds according to their ages,” says a report that appeared in the Daily Nation on the farm.
The farm has 20 workers. These workers are tasked with ensuring that the houses are always kept clean and are regularly disinfected before a new batch of one-day chicks is brought into the compound.
According to the farm’s manager, the large poultry farm was started by designing spacious constructions that could host thousands of chickens.
“We began the farm by constructing units that are adequately spaced. A good house should be built in such a way that there is smooth airflow and enough ventilation for the chickens. The chicken houses’ floor has wood shavings laid on the ground to a height of four to six inches for better hygiene. We started out with wood shavings but there was scarcity, so we had to innovate and we are introducing raised beds and automatic drinkers that receive water from a 5,000-litre tank,” the farm manager was quoted by the Daily Nation.
This mega Sheikh Commercial Poultry Farm gets its broiler chicks from Kenchic in Nairobi and Isinya. Once they arrive, the brooder is heated to a temperature of between 33 to 350C. At the same time, the feeders and drinkers are strategically placed at points where the chicks can easily access them. The new chicks are then provided with anti-stress multivitamin because of the long-distance travel. After an hour, they are fed with fresh feeds for the first five days and provide water continuously. To avoid deaths in the early stages, water is changed regularly for up to three times a day. The chickens are vaccinated against Newcastle on day seven, followed by Gumboro on day 14 and Newcastle once again on day 21. From that point on, the chickens are no longer put on antibiotics. The farm uses antibiotics like Aliseryl, Limoxin and Anticox to treat Gumboro and Newcastle.
A broiler will eat about 1kg of starter mash, 1.5kg of growers mash and 1.5kg of finisher to reach a good market weight of about 1.5kg.
Upon maturity, the chickens are sold to hotels in Mombasa and Kilifi in kilos, with each carcass weighing between 1.5kg and 2kg going for between Sh. 495 and Sh. 660.
Broilers need a good balanced diet that has protein, energy and vitamin A and B is to reach a recommended market weight. A seven-day chick should feed consume 167g of starter mash and average water intake of 293ml a day. At three weeks, the starter crumbs should be mixed with finisher pellets for a bird to have average weight of 850g with a feed consumption of 1,192g and average water intake of 2,086ml. For a farmer feeding his birds twice a day, each broiler chick will roughly consume 1.192kg for the first 21 days.