Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Victor Odhiambo: How feed formulation has helped me reduce production cost

Victor Odhiambo Ouma has found success in poultry farming after failed attempts to secure a job after graduating from Lake Institute of Tropical Medicine in 2017.

His farm in Kendu Bay hosts improved kienyeji chickens for meat and eggs as well as ornamental birds like silkie, bantam chickens, guinea fowls and geese.

Ouma started the journey with Sh150,000 which was savings from menial jobs. The money was partly used to purchase 500 chicks for Sh100 each.

He also bought Sh60,000 feed, Sh10,000 vaccines, and other chemicals while part of the remaining amount was used on feeders and other equipment.

Most of the birds he had bought earlier survived to maturity. He sold each for Sh750 months later. In a six-month period, the farmer had generated a profit that was almost double the capital.

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“Some birds died before maturity, but that did not bother me much. Those are some of the hazards of business,” he says.

With good cash flow from his business, Ouma decided to expand his enterprise and introduced ornamental birds. His farm currently hosts 200 chickens and 40 geese.

With four incubators, Ouma hatches at least 1,500 chicks every week, with poultry farmers forming a big chunk of his customers.

Ouma notes that costly feeds have been the biggest challenge he has struggled with in his business. His 200 chickens consume 25 kilogrammes of feed a day, while chicks need 15 kilos.

He has, however, managed to cut down the cost through feed formulation. Ouma’s birds eat feed made from soya, sunflower, maize, and other ingredients.

“I have leased several pieces of land for the crops. The maize, soya, and others are harvested, formulated, and given to the birds,” Ouma says.

While soya is a good source of protein, experts say if given in large quantities, it may lead to fast growth of the birds, but the quality of eggs from such birds is poor.

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