With the beginning of the holiday season, chicken farmers are set for bumper sales as demand soars helped by increased Christmas festivities.
Susan Nekesa is one such farmer in Bungoma County who is already cashing in as buyers flock to her farm for a share of the indigenous delicacy popularly known as Kienyeji chicken.
She is selling around forty to fifty birds at Sh500 per bird totaling revenues of Sh25,000 a day, a brisk income which rises phenomenally as the Christmas holidays approach. Most of her customers come to sale in Nairobi at about Sh700 to Sh1000 a bird.
She started keeping the birds in December 2014 with only ten hens and three cockerels and have now risen to more than 500 birds.
They are fenced in wire mesh with an enclosed structure where they sleep at night.
“I plan to expand the business, to increase the number of chicken to cater for the demand,” she says.
She feeds them on maize and a few feeds from the shop to reduce the cost of feeds. The sales have helped her to increase her cattle by two more heifers and is planning to buy land for more investments.
She says that since all her children have finished school she has little use for the money except expanding the business. Chicken keeping is a common practice in western Kenya but many miss out on the business opportunity by not giving them the necessary basic requirements.
The demand for indigenous chicken breeds has been rising in Kenya’s urban areas on improved health awareness as more people shun hybrid chicken on rising lifestyles diseases.
Kenya’s economy has been growing in the last decade lifting many out of abject and increasing the number of middle class citizens who are inturn putting pressure on food prices giving farmers better earnings.