A young farmer from Ndomba village in Mwea, Kirinyaga County has embarked on a commercial rearing of Geese and Turkeys on his one-acre farm.
Antony Muchiri said he initially had the idea of rearing chickens but learned that the many groups and individual people have ventured into the same trade.
Muchiri who has now over 400 geese said he first heard of the farming in a local radio program but the entire episode did not have enough information to make him get into the farming.
For instance, he said the program ended without giving details of where those interested in the farming could acquire the birds.
“I embarked on a fact-finding mission that landed me on the internet, lucky enough I was able to get many locations that provided me with the information regarding the rearing of different types of geese and how to take care of them,” he said.
“I started with only ten birds but have since multiplied to over 400 not forgetting that I have been selling to other farmers who want to venture into geese farming. Most of my customers come from outside Kirinyaga, with the most recent order coming from Nakuru,” he said.
Muchiri said a full-grown goose can provide enough meat to comfortably feed ten people and therefore the best bird to keep both for subsistence and for commercial purposes.
He rears the birds on a ranch system where they roam about freely feeding on anything green although he feeds them with high nutrition value concentrates to supplement.
The farmer said the business is rewarding due to the increasing demand for white meat amongst Kenyans.
“The demand for white meat has outstripped supply over the years since farmers who keep such birds or rear fish are very few,” Muchiri said. He spoke during an interview with KNA at his farm.
He said that it would take quite long a time for the market to be saturated with the supply of white meat in the country, going by the small number of the farmers who have ventured into the business so far.
“These birds bring me between Sh 4,000 and Sh 5,000 for female and male goose respectively while the turkeys, go for Sh 5,500 for a female and Sh 10,000 for a male and you can see I am quite comfortable if I sell just a pair in a day,” he said.
The beautiful birds have also cleared Muchiri’s homestead of snakes, spiders, lizards and other harmful crawling insects which they feed on, “They do not spare anything that comes their way with their strong beaks,” he added.
His homestead is well fenced to keep the birds secure since they can harshly attack strangers and injure them using their strong and powerful saw-like beaks and long legs for the turkeys.
“Whenever a stranger comes to this homestead, these birds are able to identify such a person by making warning noises thereby alerting us of the presence of such an individual or intruders,” he said.
The birds, Muchiri added do not require much labour since they are free to roam on the farm for the whole day.
He has constructed a water pond for the geese, which require the facility to regulate their temperatures while they have webbed feet, which are associated with wading in waters.
The farmer also said a veterinary officer regularly visits his farm to ensure the birds are free from diseases.
He added that those wishing to venture into the business are welcome to do so and has ready birds to start their farming activities.
The farmer can also manage to supply 100 birds at a go-to tourist hotels or to any other institution on-demand where their meat is a highly treasured delicacy.
By Irungu Mwangi