A Guide to Pure Kienyeji Chicken Farming.
Pure kienyeji chicken farming has been practiced for a long time. It is still being practiced to date. The pure kienyeji chicken is more commonly known as the indigenous breed of chicken. This breed is kept in most rural areas in my country Kenya. Initially, this breed was the most common breed of chicken before the development of the improved kienyeji breed of chicken.
The improved kienyeji was developed to provide better productivity for faster and higher turnaround profits for small-scale and large-scale poultry farmers in Kenya. The improved kienyeji chicken matured faster, it produced more eggs, was bigger in size, and weighed more than the pure kienyeji chicken. However, this was not to come on a silver platter. Farmer’s inputs doubled with improved kienyeji as compared to the management of the pure kienyeji chicken.
This led to the recent change in preference for some poultry farmers in the country. They claim that old is gold! And they prefer their common indigenous chicken. Here are the reasons I got from a neighbor about why she decided to revert to pure kienyeji chicken farming from improved kienyeji chicken farming;
- The pure kienyeji was more resistant to diseases.
- The pure kienyeji fed less per day because they were happy under her free-range system
- The pure kienyeji chicken meat tastes better
These were just a few opinions that I got to gather from a neighbor who keeps pure kienyeji chicken. But what are the general advantages of keeping the pure kienyeji chicken as a business? Poultry farmers in Kenya keep both the improved kienyeji chicken and the pure kienyeji chicken. These two are equally important breeds in the industry because of the different preferences by both consumers and producers. So, essentially, learning how to rear the two breeds of chicken appropriately will be beneficial. For this post, I will only focus on providing a short guide on how to properly rear pure kienyeji chicken; but first, let’s look at some of the advantages of keeping pure kienyeji chicken.
Advantages of the Local Pure Kienyeji Chicken.
1. Yellow yolk, highly nutritious eggs.
Pure kienyeji chicken lay very nutritious eggs. You can clearly tell the difference by the color of the yolk once you crack open the egg. The comparison can be easily done with other chicken eggs to even determine the difference in taste.
2. Ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions.
Pure kienyeji chicken is the toughest chicken breed that has ever been seen or kept. Even though there is a certain degree of care and maintenance that is required from the farmer that keeps this breed of chicken, the chicken themselves are able to withstand harsh climatic conditions. Meaning that any farmer in any part of the country can keep this breed of chicken, no matter the climate.
3. Disease resistance.
The pure kienyeji chicken is highly resistant to diseases. Good poultry-keeping practices dictate that the vaccination schedule is supposed to be adhered to. But even without vaccination, the pure kienyeji chicken has been known to develop its own natural immunity against mildly harsh diseases that affect chicken.
4. Mothering ability.
Pure kienyeji chicken brood their chicks for close to two months before they start laying again. Hens have the ability to protect their chicks from predators and harsh weather conditions as well. This mothering ability, however, is not enough to sustain a pure kienyeji chicken business. A poultry farmer needs to contribute to the security of his or her chicks by either constructing a fence or chicken coop for the pure kienyeji hens that have chicks.
Quick Tips to starting your pure kienyeji chicken business.
Feeding for pure kienyeji chicken is fairly easy. There are basically two types of feed that you can provide to your chicken; home mixed kienyeji feed and commercial feeds. Both are very effective, but the choice of which one is most suitable depends on the situation and purchasing power of the poultry farmer. However, since pure kienyeji chickens are scavengers, the best you can do for them is to keep them in a free-range system with access to a compost pit, fresh and clean water, and a little kienyeji mash to supplement what they find through scratching the ground.
Vaccinating your pure kienyeji chicken is a must. It doesn’t matter if they are highly resistant to diseases. Vaccines genuinely increase the immunity of your pure kienyeji chicken. Diseases like Newcastle, fowl cholera or fowl typhoid, and fowlpox are lethal to a pure kienyeji chicken flock of chicken. And usually, when one of your chickens is infected, the whole flock will be dead in a matter of hours. These diseases are incurable and infectious and the only solution will be to properly vaccinate your pure kienyeji chicken in advance. Prevention is better than a loss!
Housing as well is not as complicated as the other tips have provided. The pure kienyeji chicken is a versatile bird and can survive in various conditions appropriately. While constructing a chicken coop for your pure kienyeji chicken, pay attention to the system that you prefer to keep your chicken under. The most suitable system is the free range system.
Biosecurity is the maintenance of a biologically clean environment for your chicken. There are different methods of maintaining the biosecurity of the chicken environment. However, most of them have been ignored. Ignorance to biosecurity measures will cause an outbreak and spread of diseases in the poultry coop or environment. Some of the biosecurity measures that can be effected in the poultry coop are;
- Setting up hand washing stations.
- Organizing for different attire to be used within the chicken coop.
- Setting up foot baths in chicken coop entrances.
- Wearing gumboots at all times when managing the poultry environment.
- Basic adherence to biosecurity measures.
FAQ (Frequently asked questions)
How long does it take for a pure kienyeji chicken to mature?
A pure kienyeji chicken may take up to as long as 9months to mature depending on your system of feeding. Free range chicken have even proven to go even as long as 12 months before maturity. This is according to my personal experience.
How do I know if my kienyeji chicken is pure?
You can tell if a kienyeji chicken is pure by checking the color of the skin. Yellow fatty skin is the most common determinant of whether or not your kienyeji chicken is pure or improved.