Start with 20 chicken in January 2021. End year with over 300 Local chicken!!!
For those seeking info on local hens, here is my personal analysis, from personal experience.
If you started with 20 hens. At the end of the year you can easily have 300+ chickens. If you put your effort to it! This is how:
Buy 20 hens that are ready to lay and 3 mature cocks. Always keep the ratio of males to females at 1 cock to 7-10 females for fertilization purposes. That way you’re sure your eggs are fertilized.
Month 1, they lay.
Month two they hatch.
Month 3 they rear their chicks. Once the chicks are one month old, they don’t need their mothers for warmth. So withdraw the mother when the chicks are one month old (at the end of calendar month 3) and rear the chicks yourself till they are 2.5 months old before you let them on their own (free range)! This is meant to force the hen to start laying again. We are doing business not letting nature take it course! Come on.
Month 4, the hens take what we call a “Laying break” to adopt to not having their chicks!
Month 5, the hens start to lay again.
Month 6, they hatch again.
Month 7, they rear the chicks (process repeats itself)! Withdraw the mother at the end of month 7.
Month 8, they are on the laying break.
Month 9 they lay again.
Month 10 they hatch.
Month 11, they rear. Withdraw mother at end of month 11.
Month 12, they take the break, waiting for month 1 of the next year to start over again.
A few things to note:
1. You can only practically do this up to 5 times for one hen before it’s “tired”!
2. For every cycle, if you stay strict to the process, you get a week accrued for every hatching cycle because hens hatch after 21 days and in the post, I assumed a month for that. So you might squeeze a one month for the hens.
3. Put 8 eggs for every hen to hatch. In most cases, they’ll hatch the entire 8 eggs, and for the poor hatchers, they’ll hatch 7. Don’t be too greedy. 8 has a good chance of hatching them all, as opposed to doing 10+ and end up “spoiling” eggs!
4. If you take care of the chicks in a closed environment away from stray cats and other predators, you should have 5 mature hens for every hatch-cycle, per hen.
5. If you manage to get 5 hens for the 8 eggs hatched and you had 20 hens, you’ll have 100 new hens for the first cycle. There are three cycles for every hen per year. That’s a good 300 news hens. Plus your local 20 hens, you have 320. Let’s just say 300 for the sake of it.
6. By the way, by the time the hen is watching for the third time in the year, the first batch of chicks will already be hatching too. NIIICE!
7. But remember you have an assume 50/50 for cocks and ” layers”! So you have 150 cocks, and 150 layers!
8. If you sell 100 mature market in the Nairobi market, it’s waaaay better than trying to win the “Lotto sio Ndoto” con-game.
In all this, you gotta put your mind, effort, money and most importantly, time to it. Don’t look at the work right now, look at the end product.
And another btw, one local hen lays 15-18 eggs before wanting to hatch, if well taken care of that is. Let’s say 15 eggs, give it 8 eggs to hatch and sell the other 7 eggs x 20 hens x 300/= per egg, that’s some 42,000/= ugx to buy yaka tokens.
Always make sure you give the chickens the “newest” eggs for hatching. Eggs 15 days old have a 20% chance to hatch, 12 day old eggs have a 30% hatch rate. Eggs 10 days old have a 50% hatch chance. If it is 7 days, it shoots to 80%. Less than 7 days have a 90+% chance to hatch unless conditions like temperature and humidity fluctuate.
After hens hatch 5 times, sell them and rear the newer ones, they are rendered salvage, they don’t lay that much. For those with bigger spaces, do paddocks for easier identification of ages for sale. Always maintain your “floor stock” at 300 hens and 50 cocks for easier management and space.
With this, you’ll find out that you’re collecting 200 eggs every day X 30 days = 6000 eggs less 2500 for hatching, you sell 3500 eggs every 4 months. That’s 35,000/= in 4 months. Sell 500 hens 250 cocks and 250 layers, at an average worst price of local 800 , and that is 400,000 per year. /= Plus returns from eggs 35,000 X 3 =105,000 cycles totals ,505,000/= a year and you don’t wake up at 5 to go to work to come back home at 10 PM. More time for family. A balanced diet for your family. Well, this is theory. The practicals have much more fun and some hardships. But it’s fun doing locals. And the money is tax free. Unless you feel charitable enough to give to the government. Lol. Make it a side hustle and it’ll turn full time.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: FEED them, WATER them, VACCINATE them, and give them MEDICATION at first sight of symptoms of illness. I can’t stress that enough. Have fun farming people!!!
Feed Africa Initiative works with small holder farmers, agribusiness institutions, county, national and international agricultural agencies to address the problem of food insecurity in Kenya and entire Africa.