Poultry farming has emerged as a lively farming activity in Nyando sub county offering yields and income to many a youth in the area.
As one Nelson Orembe explains, the business has thrived in the locality and many youth are now embracing the activity to boost their income and withstand the economic hardships.
Orembe says after venturing into many menial jobs in the area with dwindling income, he decided to try his hands on poultry farming to make a difference.
“I was tired of getting meagre income from my previous work as a waiter in 2015. This prompted me to venture into farming activities as well as the motivation from other youth who had already engaged in the poultry business and were getting profits,” he says.
He adds that his main aim was to rear chicken which involved layers and broilers for maximum profits but at first, he was suspicious of the operational costs and all that appertains to their rearing. “However, I was convinced by the huge profits other farmers got from the business,” he said.
Orembe says that at the initial stages, his fears were confirmed after the project was subjected to challenges due to stiff competition and market pressure, but he eventually learnt the tricks of the trade including how to overcome the challenges.
He says due to stiff competition, he came up with the idea of including guinea fowl into the farming as a way of diversifying his earnings to get more profits with less competition and he has never looked back.
“Quite a number of competitors had joined the trade and to find out a way to beat them in the struggle, I had to come up with a ‘unique’ product to supplement my income,” the poultry farmer says with his eyes radiating with joy.
Later in the year 2017, he shifted to the keeping of the domestic Guinea Fowl, the goose and turkey though the most stake he literary got accustomed to was guinea fowl rearing.
In that period, he says, he bought two guinea fowls from the Agricultural officers at a cost of Sh4, 500 per pair, and after two years of care, he has had to enlarge the poultry farm with about 50 guinea fowls found on it when Kenya News Agency newsmen visited him.
In addition, Orembe explained that in a day they collect about 18 eggs and each cost Sh 100 in respect to the market locality, for instance in Kericho County they sell one egg at Sh 200, a price which he says is hugely different when compared to chicken egg which goes for Sh 12 each.
The cost differs due to the areas we live in. Like in Awasi market, we occasionally reduce the price to increase the demand. Many people also like it because of its nutritious value and is used to cure asthma among children and adults according to the farmer.
The farmer in his remarks pinpointed some of the challenges they undergo especially when the fowls hatch, a lot of caring and treatment is exercised to keep diseases which can wipe out an entire flock away at a tender age.
“Not only do we cater for treatment at this stage but also the young fowls are separated from the adults to ensure they are secured from harm in the event of a stampede,” he says.
The room should also be well aerated and a transparent bulb used to regulate the room temperature for good growth and development. He adds that the fowls commonly feed on coarse grains which were readily available thus easy to rear.
The big paired size fowl cost Sh4, 500, middle size Sh3, 500 and least goes for Sh2, 500 Orembe says.
He adds that he has managed to pay for and afford basic needs and calls on youth to venture into the farming activity to cushion them from hardships of unemployment and to sustain their livelihoods.
“You can make it through farming but you must be able to go the extra mile and be very hardworking to ensure maximum profits because this job it is not for the faint hearted!” he concludes.
By John Ochanda/Charles Marvatourne