Poultry farming has been one of the best ventures in the country, where farmers are minting money once they invest. Such is the story of Jackson Achiela and his team.
Dressed in a maroon overcoat, a blue T-shirt, and white gumboots, Achiela ensures that every step into the chicken pen begins with a dip in a disinfectant.
This bio-security measure is just one aspect of the carefully orchestrated operations that have transformed this chicken farm into one of the best in Kenya.
With 3,500 indigenous and Kenbro chickens, including 500 resilient cockerels, the farm is a bustling hub of productivity. Achiela, the farm manager, walks through the pen, checking laying nests to ascertain the 2,000 hens and cockerels have delivered their daily quota of eggs.
“We collect over 100 trays of eggs perday, which we put in a 15,000 egg capacity incubator for hatching. We do not sell eggs.” Achiela says
“We also do breeding for clients. A good number of our clients are from Tanzania and Uganda, although we sell
more locally. We sell to farmers in the countries through the Migori and Busia border points. In a week we sell up
The farm’s unique selling proposition lies not in the sale of eggs but in the strategic incubation and sale of day-old chicks.
In a meticulous process, the collected eggs find their way into a state-of-the-art 15,000-egg capacity incubator.
Achiela and his team have mastered the art of discerning quality using a candler—a tool that reveals the interior of the egg, identifying blood spots, cracks, and other defects.
“Any egg that has deformities should not be hatched as they can begin to rot and eventually burst, contaminating
the rest of the eggs with bacteria.” He says.
The decision to focus on day-old chick sales proved to be a game-changer. “We sell the chicks locally, and we have a significant market in Tanzania and Uganda. Our sales extend to these neighboring countries through the Migori and Busia border points.” Achiela proudly reveals
This cross-border approach is facilitated by local agents who distribute the chicks to farmers, creating a network that transcends national boundaries.
The farm’s founder, Washington Omollo, who works in Nairobi, invested Sh200,000 to kickstart the venture.
His initial investment went into acquiring 4,000 layers and constructing a poultry house.
Omollo, who oversees the overall administration, acknowledges the challenges posed by the influx of cheap eggs from Uganda into the local market.
Undeterred, he saw an opportunity to turn the tide by venturing into the chicks’ market in neighboring countries.
Feeds, a substantial portion of production costs amounting to Sh70,000 per month, poses a financial challenge for the farm.
“Feeds are very expensive. We spend that much because we rely on commercial feeds but I have now imported a
feeds mixer from China at about Sh1 million. This will help me lower my cost of production and go into
processing of feeds using omena, maize bran and cotton seeds, among other ingredients, for other farmers,” says Omollo.
Vaccination is a paramount practice at the farm, with the chicks receiving protection against Newcastle Diseases, Mareks, Gumboro, Coccidiosis, and Fowl Pox.