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Poultry Farming Section
Hunderwear
#1 Posted : Wednesday, July 06, 2011 7:36:02 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 4/14/2011
Posts: 639
@Wazuans it's an open secret that if you can hack it commercial farming in kenya is a cashcow.However marketing is a big issue which I believe like minded wazuans can tackle through information sharing.
The purpose of this thread is for those wazuans with any experience or even practicing poultry farming at any level to share with the rest.Until recently this was a money minting biz but the current inflation has led to run away feeds prices.The egg prices are yet to respond thus eating on our profits.AM CURRENTLY SELLING 235 SH. PER TRAY at the farm.Na kwenu mwauzaje?
jasonhill
#2 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:08:55 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 1/22/2011
Posts: 322
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
I hear that it is labor intensive and time consuming, even if you hire people to run the farm for you, which leaves little time to market the product effectively.

Thoughts? Can anyone outline a typical day in the life of a poultry farmer, or at least a poultry farm manager?

Best,

Hill
Gathige
#3 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 9:49:33 AM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 1,985
@ Hundewear, i tried this biz and was dealing with broilers some 5 years ago and after one year, i stopped doing it. Below were the challenges i faced,

1. Sourcing the chicks- The first set of chicks was easy to get and thereafter i had to make bookings before i could get them. Some times i could get sometimes i could miss and this disrupted my supply of the broilers. My lesson learnt was to be very careful where to get a regular source of chicks from. Big companies promise to deliver but fail to honor promises

2. Feed. Apart from pricing, quality of the feed is an issue. Some feeds are so poor you feed them to the chicks and add no weight. I was finally able to get a vet doc who was making feeds and his feed were the best as they guaranteed weight gain within the period time. My lesson learnt was to be careful to get the right feeds. When i get back to this biz i will make own feeds as it is a simple process once u have the right formulation

3. MARKETING. This was my worst nighmare. I had to deal with brokers, fish and chips shops in town and at times sell at City Market. My lesson learnt was to be sure of the market before u start to avoid burning your money literally. Firm orders, an outlet to sell in small lots (in kgs) etc would work best.

4. Disease. I was lucky a vet doc friend of mine was advising me on drugs and hygiene. Disease control is important as an outbreak can clear a stock. There are very may shops selling substandard animal drugs and one need to be sure that the product used actually works. My lesson learnt was to get a good vet doc to advise before you buy and administer drugs, some of which can be harmful to consumers if not well administered.

I learnt my lesson and since i still have my structure and equipment, i plan to do it later in life when i can dedicate my time full time and i am sure i will make money.

My 2 cents
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
dijkstra
#4 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 11:58:48 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/28/2006
Posts: 91
@Hunderwear
First let me commend you for starting this thread. I just started
rearing layers a year ago and up to now challenges especially feed prices
have kept me thinking and researching all over, especially in the net.

Feed Prices and Quality
Currently the feed has become expensive and also the quality has gone down because of the maize shortage. Chicken feed without enough maize is not good and will lead to low egg production.

Egg Prices
Secondly as you have said the price of eggs is not increasing to reflect the new feed prices. I believe the normal price at the moment should be 260 per crate when selling to wholesalers. However i only manage to convince a few to buy at 240; and they are complaining every day. Two months ago I could sell 10 trays at 230each and buy a 70kg of feed at 2300. Now the same feed costs 2600! And best egg-price I get is 240.

Mixing Own Feed
I just tried mixing my own feed to cut down on the production cost and my egg production went tumbling down; am now back to buying the commercial feeds. Mixing own feed is tricky but saves a lot of money if you get the formula right. Am thinking that my formula didn’t have the right quantities of each ingredient s esp. Protein after I came across the following link on how to calculate required chicken feed protein using PEARSON'S SQUARE:
http://www.lionsgrip.com/protein.html
Am currently trying it on one of my flocks to experiment and am hoping it works. This can cut the cost of production by even 20%.

Layers vs. Broilers
I am on layers and find it more comfortable with them than broilers. Egg market is wide. If you drive around the estate with 20 crates of eggs you are most likely to get a buyer. Again you can comfortably hoard your eggs for sometime as you look for appropriate market. I have a colleague who tried broilers and gave after after struggling to sell his first batch.

Labour
Starting up is not a joke. You need to be dedicated to the job especially when chicks are small. You may need to visit the farm every day to ensure chicks are kept well especially under correct temperature and that they sleep well without suffocating each other etc. You need to have adequate clean water. You need to train you employee(s) well on taking care them.
After the chicks are 8 weeks or older, the hustle reduces. You just need to provide feed, water and med.
Marketing is a hustle when starting up.. Like selling your initial eggs. However after a while you get to know several buyers and only the price will determine who you do business with.

Way Forward
• Let share as much info as we can esp:
o On how to get/make quality and cheaper feeds
o Where to get better market
• I expect Feed prices to drop and quality to increase after imported maize arrives

Cheers all
PATTIE
#5 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 12:55:01 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 1/20/2009
Posts: 73
hi guys.
for sure the cost of the feed has tremediously eroded the profits.
another thing is that after feeding the chicken with the sub-standard feed they cut down the laying hence deepening the margin.

@gatige.
could you share out the feed formulation for layers? and also for pig feed.
keke2
#6 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 1:12:15 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 5/31/2011
Posts: 89
This is a great thread! reason being Poultry and Stocks have one thing in common,it calls for patience.

I did poultry about 6years ago but concentrated on semi-Freerange layers.
Semi because they were confined in a mesh yard but fed on my prescribed feedsSad e.g omena to supliment proteins.
I had a ready market from my immediate relatives with hotels and friends with retails shops but they warned me against dissappointments since they had ready clients who insisted in freerange eggs, just the way I do today.
The returns were handsome because I was doing it in person wit one helper and would collect a minimum of 5crates from 100 layers,some were giving 2/day.

I was in it for close to a year while on employment break to raise kekelet but the day I delegated the running of the farm to employees I lost it.
But wil do the Freerange layers again!
Tebes
#7 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 2:06:41 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 11/26/2008
Posts: 2,095
Broilers or Layers?

Neither for me. The only person who can profit from this business currently is whoever has his own Hotel. At the hotel two fried eggs will go for between 40-80 bob, whereas they purchase at a meagre sh8/=. Tell me with the soaring cost of feeds the farmer will be left poorer, having burnt his fingere badly.

Broiler farmer is equally disadvantaged unless he has opened his own hotel.
"Never regret, if its good, its wonderful. If its bad, its experience."
dijkstra
#8 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 2:22:44 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/28/2006
Posts: 91
Yes, anybody with a tested feed formula for layers pls share..
TD
#9 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 3:07:07 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 11/27/2006
Posts: 57
@keke2

Mayai mbili kwa siku? Hiyo nimeishuku. Ile miaka yote nimelea kuku wanachomoa at best once a day, mostly 3 eggs in 4 days. My vet told me that in controlled condition some breeds could lay 325 eggs in a year. Ama yako ni ile "golden goose" ya hadithi za babu?
keke2
#10 Posted : Thursday, July 07, 2011 4:53:43 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 5/31/2011
Posts: 89
TD wrote:
@keke2

Mayai mbili kwa siku? Hiyo nimeishuku. Ile miaka yote nimelea kuku wanachomoa at best once a day, mostly 3 eggs in 4 days. My vet told me that in controlled condition some breeds could lay 325 eggs in a year. Ama yako ni ile "golden goose" ya hadithi za babu?

@ TD
I thought I missed to enter my kukus in the guinness bookLaughing out loudly until I read from other farmers in Google who have experience/d the same..!
Young Freerange layers when happy can surprise.
IDP
#11 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 11:43:36 AM
Rank: Member


Joined: 8/26/2009
Posts: 76
Somebody who knows how to make layers mash should organize a seminar and teach farmers - for a fee of course.
Gathige
#12 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 12:22:26 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 1,985
@IDP,

Feed making may not be feasible as a project for individual small scale farmers. The best they can do is form a group and then set up a feed mill so as to enjoy economies of scale. They can then invest in a mill grinder, mixer, necessary mix-ratios of all the inputs and they are home and dry!
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
Plentyresources
#13 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 1:22:16 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 9/15/2008
Posts: 13
Hi All

Count me in, i have a oil crushing machine and the byproduct is protein rich feeds (sunflower seed cake/cotton cake etc)

I also know places where bulk protein cakes can be gotten at a cheap price. I hear some kenyan ingredients are mixed with other substances eg sand thus if you use the products, your real protein concentration will be wrong from the word go.....

Wise men Change their mind Fools Dont
PATTIE
#14 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 1:58:13 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 1/20/2009
Posts: 73
@ Gathige
i requested you for the feed formultion to no avail.
please share with us for the chicken,.
Njung'e
#15 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 2:03:46 PM
Rank: Elder


Joined: 2/7/2007
Posts: 11,935
Location: Nairobi
keke2 wrote:
TD wrote:
@keke2

Mayai mbili kwa siku? Hiyo nimeishuku. Ile miaka yote nimelea kuku wanachomoa at best once a day, mostly 3 eggs in 4 days. My vet told me that in controlled condition some breeds could lay 325 eggs in a year. Ama yako ni ile "golden goose" ya hadithi za babu?

@ TD
I thought I missed to enter my kukus in the guinness bookLaughing out loudly until I read from other farmers in Google who have experience/d the same..!
Young Freerange layers when happy can surprise.


For all my ignorance,freerange is kienyeji chickens?
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Gathige
#16 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 2:40:59 PM
Rank: Veteran


Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 1,985
@ PATTIE,

I will share it soon. Am out of the country at the moment and once am back end of this month will do so hopefully on this forum.

"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." Goethe
Hunderwear
#17 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 6:13:59 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 4/14/2011
Posts: 639
Gathige wrote:
@ Hundewear, i tried this biz and was dealing with broilers some 5 years ago and after one year, i stopped doing it. Below were the challenges i faced,

1. Sourcing the chicks- The first set of chicks was easy to get and thereafter i had to make bookings before i could get them. Some times i could get sometimes i could miss and this disrupted my supply of the broilers. My lesson learnt was to be very careful where to get a regular source of chicks from. Big companies promise to deliver but fail to honor promises

2. Feed. Apart from pricing, quality of the feed is an issue. Some feeds are so poor you feed them to the chicks and add no weight. I was finally able to get a vet doc who was making feeds and his feed were the best as they guaranteed weight gain within the period time. My lesson learnt was to be careful to get the right feeds. When i get back to this biz i will make own feeds as it is a simple process once u have the right formulation

3. MARKETING. This was my worst nighmare. I had to deal with brokers, fish and chips shops in town and at times sell at City Market. My lesson learnt was to be sure of the market before u start to avoid burning your money literally. Firm orders, an outlet to sell in small lots (in kgs) etc would work best.

4. Disease. I was lucky a vet doc friend of mine was advising me on drugs and hygiene. Disease control is important as an outbreak can clear a stock. There are very may shops selling substandard animal drugs and one need to be sure that the product used actually works. My lesson learnt was to get a good vet doc to advise before you buy and administer drugs, some of which can be harmful to consumers if not well administered.

I learnt my lesson and since i still have my structure and equipment, i plan to do it later in life when i can dedicate my time full time and i am sure i will make money.

My 2 cents

The busines is stil challenging esp now but I foresee great trmes ahead.Almost everybody has sold their stock n this wil create a very bid dap between demand and supply of eggs.Last year hatchery companies had very many pending orders running into atleast 6 months but today my dealer tels me I can have the chicks in 2-3 weeks.Feeds remain an issue todate as even the reputable companies have been compromising on quality even as they increase prices.Some millers however wil take responsibilities when you complain early by exchangn the poor quality lot.As for the market there are brokers who always hav market but wont gve a fair price.I have at least 3 brokers and only gve the highest bidder.Having many trays helps to hoard as I wait for a fair price..Every hatchery got its recommended vaccination and its very important tn follow the prescription to the letter.They also got a vet who should advice on where to get good medcine.
Stealth
#18 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 7:45:49 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/3/2010
Posts: 145
Location: East Africa
@ njung'e - freerange chicken is the kukus you let fend 4 themselves on open grounds, mostly kienyeji but u can also keep the kuku mzungu as freerange albeit with a few more challenges than the local. I.e the mzungu is more susceptible to diseases than the local but with good planning - regularly administering meds - they do fine.
Stealth
#19 Posted : Friday, July 08, 2011 7:50:52 PM
Rank: Member


Joined: 5/3/2010
Posts: 145
Location: East Africa
@ Plentyresources
Got a few questions for you.
where is your oil mill located? What is the amount of production of the cakes, say per week? What is your current price per product per kg or ton?
you can hit me up on ke.stealth (at) gmail dot com
waiting.
keke2
#20 Posted : Saturday, July 09, 2011 3:17:59 PM
Rank: New-farer


Joined: 5/31/2011
Posts: 89
Njung'e wrote:
keke2 wrote:
TD wrote:
@keke2

Mayai mbili kwa siku? Hiyo nimeishuku. Ile miaka yote nimelea kuku wanachomoa at best once a day, mostly 3 eggs in 4 days. My vet told me that in controlled condition some breeds could lay 325 eggs in a year. Ama yako ni ile "golden goose" ya hadithi za babu?

@ TD
I thought I missed to enter my kukus in the guinness bookLaughing out loudly until I read from other farmers in Google who have experience/d the same..!
Young Freerange layers when happy can surprise.


For all my ignorance,freerange is kienyeji chickens?


@ Guka,yes.You can confine them the Kenchic way but provide the what they usually eat while roaming.including insect/worms if you can trap themSad
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