I said ‘No’ to teaching job for this thriving chicken business - FARMERCIST 254

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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I said ‘No’ to teaching job for this thriving chicken business

It is feeding time at Elisha Wekoya’s poultry farm when Smart Harvest visits. Excited hens make cluck sounds as they fight for the rich chicken meal Wekoya is methodically throwing at them. “If you notice, the birds are making a lot of noise because they are about to lay eggs,” Wekoya says of his indigenous breed, commonly referred to as Kienyeji.
Though now he has a solid 2,000 birds at various stages of development on his one acre farm at Kibabii village in Bungoma County, he started the brood with just three layers. Step by step, his stock grew to 50, 100, 200 and now 2,000 kienyeji birds not counting those he already sold and slaughtered. “I started very small. But now these birds have flooded this compound, there hardly any space to play,” says Wekoya whose love for poultry keeping started in high school.
“People were calling from allover asking whether I had some birds to sell, I took advantage of the demand to sell several of them. The eggs also fetched good money,” he says. During high season, he sells a mature cock at Sh1,500 while a hen at Sh900 depending on size and weight. He sells a tray of eggs containing 30 pieces at Sh650 almost double the price of exotic eggs which are mostly sourced from Uganda. I took a risk So why did he decide to focus on poultry farming instead of looking for a safe and stable teaching job with Teachers Service Commission? “After obtaining my degree, I decided to focus on poultry farming to aquire wealth. Teaching is stable but it keeps you in a comfort zone. You can never make wealth from holding such a job. That is why I decided to take a risk and rear chicken,” he says. The secret of a successful poultry venture, he says, is getting it right with the poultry rearing system. Subsequently, Wekoye confines his birds at night and early in the morning in a cage built for them. He allows them to roam freely around the farm during the day. As a cost-cutting measure, Wekoye uses chicken droppings to enrich his traditional vegetable farm where he grows night shade, saga and amaranth. Wekoye sells his birds and eggs at nearby Chwele and Mayanja markets.  ALSO READ: I keep ornamental birds because day-old chick fetches Sh1,000 When he has surplus, he exports the products to Bungoma town, Busia and Kakamega. Though his business has broken even, he admits rearing chicken is not a walk in the park. The project is wrought with challenges, he says. The biggest is feed. “Feeds can eat into your profit margins. To avoid that, I supplement commercial feed and kitchen waste.” Another key thing in poultry management is following a strict vaccination schedule. 
Read more at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001269211/i-quit-teaching-now-i-reap-big-from-poultry-farming

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