ONGATA RONGAI- In Kenya today, poultry farming has grown to be recognized as a financial boost in the lives of farmers. However, many issues to do with the poultry industry standards have been raised over the years due to the increased rate of poultry farming in Kenya.
One wonders whether these standards are being upheld by the many poultry farmers in existence today.
On The Chamwada Report program this week, we continued the series on better care of animals, this time with focus on chicken. And we base our story on two farmers in Ongata Rongai; the first being Margaret Wambua, a resident of Kandisi in Ongata Rongai.
She quit formal employment and decided to venture fully into poultry farming. She has been doing this for four years now.
“I started with 200 chicken using a startup capital of Ksh. 60000,” she says, “Now, I have a total of 1700 broilers.”
Disease control is key during chicken rearing; that is why there is need to have a foot bag at the entrance of a poultry farm. More so, a chicken’s room should be built up to three feet tall where there should be a wire mesh till the roof top.
If these standards are not met, the results of the yields will be quite poor and many losses will be experienced.
Caroline Ndung’u is another poultry farmer within Rongai. She started in 2015 where she only had chicken they used for household consumption.
Later on, thanks to good advice by a friend, she got a farm and started keeping 300 layers. With time, she got 300 broilers and from this, she grew to handle up to 6000 broilers.
Experts claim that Kenya is headed in the right direction when it comes to adhering to policies and standards on poultry. However, there is still room for improvement.
Dr.Victor Oyamo, World Animal Protection Manager in charge of animals and farming claims we are not very far from the best performing countries in the globe.
“My assessment is that we are not very far from the rest of the globe… we are almost where the industry is supposed to be.”
Just like any other animal, chicken must be taken care of. They also have rights and freedoms that ought to be followed at all times. Questions on feeds, feed prices, vaccination, right market and diseases these poultry encounter are very important to observe.
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What ought to be used sparingly and only when needed is antibiotics. Many poultry farmers misuse antibiotics on these birds and it is wrong.
Dr. Joshua Onono, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi explains that animal handling is very much necessary.
“Even when you transport these birds poorly, when you will take them to slaughter, the quality of the meat will be poor and thus won’t fetch the higher price,” he explains.
By the end of the day, one should understand that how you handle a bird will determine how it handles you!
Lavender Amunga contributed to this review. You can reach her via firstname.lastname@example.org