GFAR blog

YAP proposal #370: Village Chicken-Breeding and Hatchery (Percival Ganizani Mwela, Zambia)

WP_20151110_001My name is Percival Ganizani Mwela, 32, Zambian and a resident of Lusaka. I am a farm manger for a company that keeps 510,000 broilers (per cycle) with a total of six cycles per year. I am also the National Broiler Chairperson for the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ).

I have a vast amount of knowledge and experience of the poultry industry. Additionally, I have extensive knowledge and skills of making poultry incubators.

I currently manufacture incubators of varying capacities the smallest of 30 to over 5,000 eggs. Most of these incubators are made from steel and galvanized iron sheets, but I also make some from recycled materials such as old deep and upright fridges and office filing cabinets.

My business idea is to start the first-ever Zambian commercial breeder farm for indigenous village chickens and sale of day-old village chicks (DOVC) to the general public (like is done for broilers and commercial layers).

This idea has two main components: one being the breeding part were local village chicken with genetic merit will be selected and bred to produce fertile hatching eggs.

The breeding flock will be confined: feed and water will be provided, nest boxes for laying will placed in the confinement, and egg collected.

The second part will be the incubation of the eggs for 21 days (18 days setting and 3 days in the hatchery).

When the chicks hatch they are vaccinated against Newcastle disease and then packaging in different-sized boxes and they will be marketed as day-old chicks to agricultural agents and direct sale to farmers.

In all hatchery operations in Zambia there is a 21-day order policy where agents order chicks 21 days prior to delivery. Therefore, all chicks hatched already have market.

This project has being on my mind for the last three years as I got to understand the poultry industry very well. A lot of people have approached me as I am a board member of the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) to find out why village chicken production has not being prioritized. After researching, results showed that there is great potential and that’s how this project was born.

It will be the first breeder farm dedicated to indigenous village chickens in Zambia if not in Africa.

This project will help develop and improve the local breeds. Zambia produced over 70mllion Broiler DOC in 2014­–2015 farming season and but no records of DOVC are known as this sector is not formalized.

The project has a lot of potential, it will empower a lot of people who will start keeping these birds as a business and it will create a lot of employment.

A lot of rural households will benefit, as they will keep these birds for livelihood, food security and socio- economic purposes.

It’s imperative that rural farmers diversify their farming ventures as we have had partial droughts in the recent past due to climate change.

This project is financially viable and sustainable for many more years to come. For the last five or more years the price of the village chicken as consistently been double that of broilers on the market and this is because of high demand, short supply and change in consumer trends as more people want meat that is more organically grown.

This project has potential to diversify in future to milling feed for village chickens and also growing these birds through out-grower schemes to market weight and adding value by processing and selling to chain stores and other customers (hotels, restaurants, lodges etc).

What sets this project above the competitors (Broiler and Commercial layer) farmers, is as follows:

WP_20151110_003Village chickens (VC) are dual-purpose birds (egg and meat production), resistant to disease, require less/low startup capital, do not rely 100% on human intervention for survival, and use low-cost housing, which does not require electricity.

DOVC in future can reproduce to give the farmer more, profits.

VCs are widely preferred as they are healthy and contain less or no chemical residue (organic). Consumer trends are moving to organic food sources.

The DOVC will be sold in smaller boxes of quantities of 25, 50 and 100 to accommodate our different target markets.

Each box will contain a production manual to help farmer produce profitably. They will be hatched and distributed to agents on weekly bases, so they will be readily available.

All these factors mentioned will make more people engage and start keeping these birds.

The breeding flock will be established as follows: mature hens which are at the point of lay and those that are in lay together with cocks will be bought based on genetic merit, physical and health status of the birds.

The mating ration will be 10:1 so the initial number of hen that will be bought will be 360 hens and 36 cocks; I already have 5 cocks and 50 hens at my farm.

The total will be 410 hens and 41 cocks therefore the daily egg production at an average of 55% will be 225, the weekly setting total will be 1578 eggs. With hatchability at 85% the weekly sells of DOVC will be 1,341, with a monthly total of 5,364.

Most of the USD 5,000 grant will be used to purchase birds, feed ingredients and packing boxes for day old chicks. For the housing, nest boxes, feeders and drinkers we will use cheap but durable materials that are found in our natural environment.

Since I am already in the incubator making business, therefore incubators are defiantly out of the budget. This project will take 2–3 months to set up.


Blogpost and picture submitted by Percival Ganizani Mwela (Zambia): percivalmwela[at]

The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as proposal #370 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3

Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.

Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

77 thoughts on “YAP proposal #370: Village Chicken-Breeding and Hatchery (Percival Ganizani Mwela, Zambia)”

  1. This is a brilliant idea. The demand for indigenous chickens is very high. I am from Namibia, and would like to get in touch with you over this idea.

  2. This is the best idea I’ve seen so far. Given the opportunity I would be, without a doubt one of the potential customers. Broilers are good but nothing beats the road runner. Better termed as professor chicken. I’ve always washed they could be produced commercially. Thank you for a wish come true.

    1. That’s very true this project will impact the rural communities positively as this will diversify their farming, it will guarantee food security at house hold level, increase incomes sources and also all year round cash flow. Youths and a lot of women will benefit from this project.

  3. Nice work my man keep it up, let your project be a shinning example to many young people in Zambia and encourage those young people that have innovations to to take them serious and offer employment to the many unemployed young people in Zambia.

    1. Projects like this have the capacity to help young people to be self employed and can help in creating a lot of employment for many youths in both rural and urban areas.

    1. Thanks very much your comment. This project is for farmers of all walks of life, the youths, women clubs, small scale farmers and commercial farmers will all benefit.

  4. Loving the project. Youth empowerment guranteed and a push towards rural development and the country’s developement too

    1. Thanks very much I really appreciate your support. This projects potential is beyond most peoples imagination and the benefits are so great.

    1. Indeed it’s a great business venture that will help diversify the poultry industry as more farmers can engage in this type of poultry farming.

    2. My projections are that one million Day old chicks should be produced within the first two years of commencement of the project.

    1. I will definitely get in touch with you so that we can discuss further. It’s nice to know that is already work being under taken in terms of value addition in the value chain.

    2. Value addition is a very important part in making this type of poultry production to be sustainable. Day old chicks are the primary product, alot more needs to be done to grow the sector, i.e the will be need for extension services, feed milling, processing and marketing. Along the value chain alot more opportunities will be created from this project. My realization is that availability of of a product creates opportunities. Once day old chicks are ready available on the market people will start farming these birds.

  5. briliant idea, i have always dreamt of keeping village chickens commercially. have already started sourcing for the birds but they are difficult to find where iam. my plan is to have at least 100hens. i will watch this space.

    1. I am very happy to hear you are in the process of implementing your village chicken farming idea. Like I started on the blog a lot more are thinking of starting village chicken production but the main challenge is were to source Day Old Chicks (DOC) with genetic merit. That’s how this project idea will help a lot more the solve the problem of where to sourcing DOC.

    1. Thanks very much. Your positive feedback will definitely make this project idea to be a success.

  6. Great project Percival! I am just starting my own village chicken production project; delivered 22 hens breeding stock to the farm day before yesterday to kick start this. Recently bought an incubator for purposes of ramping up production. Am definitely charmed by and interested in your ideas. Let’s produce more village chicken for healthier diets and healthier populations!

    1. Wow!! I am very impressed with your progress so far. Village chickens will thrive even more if we incorporate improved husbandry methods I.e. Improve; nutrition, housing, availability of fresh water and prevention of disease through vaccinations especially Newcastle disease (NCD).

    2. As mentioned in the blog write up village chickens are dual purpose birds and this will help improve the nutrition status if most families as the will have eggs on daily basis which can be used in a house hold and surplus sold to generate income. Village chicken meat is very healthy as it is produced more organically.

  7. It’s refreshing to see a young Zambian thinking ‘out of the box’. This is a very good proposal which stands to benefit the rural communities.

    1. Thanks very much. To every problem the is a solution. The solution of addressing low crop production in resent years due to climate change which I causing droughts is farmer diversification. This is one of the solution for rural farmers to help mitigate the challenges of food security and lower revenues due to reduced yields.

  8. This is a very practical project that will create jobs, increase livestock production, increase family incomes and improve food and nutrition in urban and rural Africa. I love its ease of replicability anywhere in the world.

    1. That the beauty of this project it not only solving a Zambian problem but it will help to solve a global problem. It cuts across continental boundaries.

  9. Great project! With the challenges we are facing with loadsheding solar power is the best solution. Please keep us posted on your progress

    1. Thanks very much. Power deficits are really affecting production at all levels within the poultry value chain. The good part about village chickens is that they thrive need electricity as normal day light hours as sufficient enough for efficient productivity. Solar power should indeed be incorporated in equipments like incubators so that rural communities can fully benefit.

  10. I did a research project on village chickens,egg laying using the sausage tree fruit administered in water at 75,50 and 25 percent respectively.The results where outstanding.This one is a brilliant project Mr mwela as many people are looking forward to having a village chicken served on their table.This will surely stand a test of time.Best wishes

    1. Very excited to hear such positive feedback. Please lets contact each other so that you can share some of your research findings. I’m very eager to learn more.

    2. Tralven Kawanga, what do you use the sausage tree fruit for? You have just just said that it is administered in water. Is this for nutrition purposes or for diseases control?

  11. Am Impressed,jst A Few Days Ago Was Asking My Husband To Get Into This Venture.May God Favour You!

    1. Wow good to know your think of this venture. My advice to you is please go ahead and implement it. The benefits are great and the is a lot of potential for growth.

  12. Very good projects Mr Mwels Percival am very much interested in lncubators because am also doing village chickens so the incubators can help me hatch the chicks in big numbers.

    1. That very true incubators improve productivity and efficiency of the village chicken farming venture. Please contact me for your incubator needs because I manufacture some of varying capacities starting from 30 eggs to over 5000 eggs. Contact me via my email.

    2. Additionally on the subject of incubators I’m developing a hybrid type that’s will help mitigate the power deficits that the most of Africa is facing due to reduced rainfall. Most of rural Africa is not connected to the power grid so these incubator will be very practical for Africa. Please check out my other project submission # 306

  13. Very brilliant project this will encourage small scale farmers to progress in poultry farming especially the ones that are keeping village chickens.

    1. Thanks very much that’s the objective of the project to help diversify the poultry industry so small scale farmers benefit from this project.

    2. This is a brilliant idea. I did a business proposal on Village chicken production and value addition in 2015 and was approved for a matching grant. I should be able to receive the funds in the next two months (May 2017). Let us keep in touch and share notes. I am in Lusaka and have about 76 Austrolope village chickens. I have a disused upright fridge which i have been trying to convert into an incubator. I will need your assistance on this. My number is 0971 582523

  14. Thanks very much to everyone that has liked and commented on this blog post. Your support means a lot and I have been motivated and encouraged to pursue this project further. Thank also the YAP project for giving me and all the young people a platform to submit such brilliant projects.

  15. kindly may i have your contact please because currently iam looking where i could be taking eggs for village chicken for hatching

  16. What a coincidence, I have just been pondering over many options that would help our people especially our youths and women over the vexing problems of unemployment in our country. Among the options I had settled on is the commercialization of village chickens. When I went through your proposal, I was very very excited. I wish Government could put aside a fund for grants to youth and women groups for such projects. This is a project worth pursuing for funding. Wil get in touch regards Mwela.

  17. Thanks very much Gerald Hamaamba for your comments. I really appreciate you taking time to read through the proposal. It’s a pity that the is no government commitment in terms of helping funding innovative youths empowerment project’s like this. But nevertheless I will continue pursuing this project until it works. Thanks very much.

  18. What an excellent idea. Percival have you started producing DOVC? I’m desperately looking for where I can find them so that I can start my project.

  19. I am Happy to here such good news, my self aim interesting in poultry farming. i will keep in touch.

    1. Hi Bon Ben
      Thanks very much for your interest in the article and its very nice to know that you have a lot of interest in poultry farming. Let’s keep in touch and share notes. My email is

  20. Great news and gives hope for elderly farmer. Recently acquired an incubator ex auction sale. Would’ve been better if I’d seen this before. Will definitely contact you – in a hurry to make hay before expiry date!

  21. These are people we need in zambia who are willing to go an extra mile by creating a way in the sector that nobody could perceive in short innovative,thumbs up! Sir.

  22. Great passion is always followed by awesome results! Iam proud of your drive and vision!
    Am praying for this noble cause implemmentation success.May i mention that i need an incubator 250 eggs capacity.

    Best regards

    Aaron Banda

    1. I am very humbled by your comment and such positive feedback is what motivates me. I have started implementing the project and I expect to be at 80-90% by the end of this year.

  23. I would like to buy an incubator and start hatching my own chicks at home and raise them, do you some?

  24. im a rural farmer in chilubi.Ive been in this business found 3years now,very excited about this.Now constrants in our geographical location;market very weak coupled by poor state of the road,the district is not connected to national grid making it capital intensive.Conceptnote to make outgrower being worked on to spread the risk and reduce the cost and inrease capacity.Want to meet you please.

  25. That’s a brilliant idea.I started a small project at home of one cock and ten hens and its doing fine- more than I expected,unfortunately I don’t have an incubator,so I chose 10 good breed of chickens which are able to sit on eggs and are good mothers.Go ahead brother and nothing will stand in your way

  26. This is a very good idea I am also thinking of buying an incubator and starting village chicken production. Continue in your line of thought my brother. I’ll contact you

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s