The high demand for indigenous chicken due to health-conscious lifestyles have contributed to increase theft in Nakuru County.
The County Secretary for poultry keepers, Michael Wachira said a number of their members especially at the teachers’ estate and Lanet have lost their birds because of the lucrative market in Nairobi where they go for as high as Sh1,400 per chicken.
He said the theft of indigenous chickens was never taken seriously by security officers who in most cases downplay the reports, hence discouraging victims from reporting such occurrences.
Wachira was speaking in a meeting with poultry keepers at Lanet on Thursday, where the farmers called for stern action against the criminals.
He said thieves who can sneak into somebody’s compound, break into the chicken coop, should not be perceived as petty criminals, since apart from trespassing they walk away with stocks worth thousands of shillings.
The secretary urged security officers and the courts to take the chicken theft seriously because the farmers incur high production cost in terms of labour, vaccination, feeding and business.
He added that some farmers have resolved to keeping their chicken inside the houses at night for fear of theft, adding this was both unhygienic and a bother to the farmers.
Wachira noted that unlike large-scale farmers’ whose reports were taken seriously the cry by small-scale farmer was in most cases treated as a nuisance, yet they are majority in the country.
By Veronica Bosibori