Enhancing supply of Day Old and Month Old Chicks to meet farmer demand
On the livestock, the project has registered foundation flock of indigenous chicken and up-scaled the improved KALRO chicken which is in high demand by poultry producers. While the KALRO indigenous chicken breed from Naivasha has become very popular among farmers the supply of day old chicks has been low forcing farmers to wait for a long time for day old chicks. Some of the farmers prefer 4 week old chicks but currently Naivasha does not have the capacity to rear the chicks to 4 weeks. This has meant the farmers who prefer this class of chicks (mainly the more resource poor farmers) cannot be served. ASAL APRP has developed a rearing model where the following private sector activities will be used to increase the number of chicks available to farmers:
- Breeder farmer/hatching farmers – these will be farmers who can invest and therefore keep a parent stock to produce fertile eggs (currently KARI Naivasha the only source of fertile eggs). As the eggs must be produced under strict management conditions so as to have controlled breeding and disease control, these farmers must be willing to invest in appropriate infrastructure. These farmers can produce fertile eggs and sell to those with hatching equipment or they can invest in hatching equipment.
- Brooder farmers – this group of farmers will get day old chicks from KARI and from breeder farmer/hatching farmers and grow the chicks to 4 weeks and then sell to grower farmers.
- Grower farmers – these farmers will grow poultry for the market.
The following sub-activities are envisaged;
- Production of dissemination materials
- Production and maintenance of foundation (parent) stock by KALRO
- Capacity building of breeder, brooder and producer farmers with technical and business skills.
- Licensing of breeder farmers
- Establish and operationalise innovation platforms in the indigenous chicken value chain
- Enhance value addition in the indigenous poultry product value chain
- Promote farmer to farmer learning exchange tours
- Linkage of producers to markets
- Promote job creation in the value chain
Develop Climate Smart Indigenous Chicken (IC) technologies for improved productivity
Indigenous chicken is an integral part of rural farming systems where it provides food and nutrition security as well as income to resource-poor smallholders, especially in the Arid and Semi-lands (ASAL), where options for generating income are limited (Guèye, 2009). Advantages of IC compared to other livestock include low cost of production, and high adaptation to ASAL conditions. Moreover, IC has quick returns to investment, requires simple management practices and its products have numerous market outlets (Tadella et al., 2003). Chicken is also a first step in the process of acquiring larger livestock such as goats and cattle for resource-poor and the disadvantaged, especially women headed households. This makes chicken a suitable enterprise for emergency restocking programs following disasters such as drought in the ASALs. Under ASAL APRP support, KALRO developed two improved indigenous (kienyeji) chicken breed lines (KC) with high egg production and enhanced growth rates. The two KC breed lines have been registered with the Kenya Livestock Breeders’ Association. These two breed lines are now being disseminated to farmers. A big constraint in adoption of the improved indigenous chicken is the high cost of commercial feeds. Furthermore low hatchability of eggs at farm level has been identified as a constraint. Farmers also want a bird that can go broody to leverage on cost of accessing fertile eggs of improved lines.
The following sub-activities are proposed to build up on activities implemented under the ASAL APRP on the indigenous chicken value chain namely:
- Breeding to register more lines for market desired traits,
- Improve on hatchability at farm level
- Develop low cost feed rations and management systems including appropriate housing