Solution4youths is a group represented by Meshack L Mwakar, 24, from Makueni County in Kenya. Once it has started and grows, Solutions4youths will focus on working with teenage youth. It will be dedicated to promoting educational programmes for the OVC and youths in dire need. It will also seek to facilitate income-generating projects for youth, as well as creating development initiatives to employ them.
The group aims at poultry farming, concentrating much on indigenous chickens. This breed is disease resistant and starts laying eggs only five months after hatching. Solution4youths Poultry will also offer other breeds such as KARI, Kuroiler, and Kienyeji breeds; day-old chicks and fertile hatching eggs. The eggs can be set in an incubator or under a brooder hen.
The practice will be done in various systems:
- Intensive systems of raising local chickens commercially are uncommon but due to the heavy demand for indigenous chickens in urban areas we will now considere venturing into the practice.
- Free-range systems, in which the birds will not be restricted and can search for food over a wide area.
- Backyard systems, are the most common system in the rural areas. Birds are housed at night but allowed to roam freely during the day. Before release in the morning they are fed a small amount of feed, usually maize grain. The same is repeated in the evening as supplement. Other feed types such as ugali leftovers can be included or thrown to them in the course of the day.
What motivates us to do this project is because there is already a ready market available for marketing our poultry products. We can easily sell these products locally. And when we grow to a large-scale poultry farm, we can try to sell the products in large hotels, companies or on the international market. This does not need a lot of capital to happen.
Poultry farming has a great contribution to the economy and food demand of Kenya. The main benefits of commercial poultry farming in Kenya are that, diseases are limited in poultry and as a result we don’t have to import poultry products from a foreign country. Along with gaining profit from commercial poultry farming in Kenya we have to ensure the availability of required food demand.
Poultry farming makes a substantial contribution to household food security throughout the developing world. It helps diversify incomes and provides quality food, and renewable energy and fertilizers. The demand for the indigenous poultry meat is high owing to its minimal fat and cholesterol levels.
First, during this project we have to formulate a business plan which is the most important thing to draw up as part of our operation. It tells us what goals we wish to achieve and how we intend to get there. It’s also a plan of how we want to operate our business not just from a producer’s standpoint. Second, we need to have land, capital, and equipment.
We cannot start up nor maintain a chicken farm or a chicken farming business without these necessities. We will need buildings to raise our chickens in, whether they are houses, cages or hutches, but in our case: do we want to have cages, conventional or free-range? Land for the buildings and to grow crops to feed our chickens. Equipment and machinery are needed to clean cages, dispose of dead stock, and work crops.
Third, we will have free-range systems to allow our chickens to move about and have the run of the farm, to behave as naturally as possible. The next step is to find a niche market that targets the consumer’s interest in chicken meat and eggs. We have to advertise ourselves by simply letting other people know we have eggs or meat we want to sell. Often selling by word-of-mouth is a lot cheaper and still the most popular means of advertising than paying for an advertisement in the local newspaper that may get read by only a few people.
Last, we have to keep the chickens according to Kenyan law. We have already purchased 30 chickens; we got them at the age of two weeks and took care of them until they have now started to lay eggs, which we will sell and the rest we allow to hatch.
We always keep up with records and accounting of our business and operation as the measure of success; to let us know if we are making money or not. This also helps us to determine if our chickens are increasing or not.
Here is a simple budget for the project:
- A well-maintained cage for the chickens and construction costs USD 1,000
- Three hatching incubators at USD 150 each
- Five chick brooders USD 500
- A piece of land USD 2,000
- Feed, such as maize USD 700
- 230 chicks USD 650
The first week is construction, after that buying of chicks and feeding, and when the chicks start laying we buy the incubators ready for hatchery.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Meshack L Mwaka (Kenya): solution4youths[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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