July 08, 2010


Broiler chicken trading is very volatile where prices are determined based on demand-supply in a given market for the day. The broiler prices fluctuate widely and even short surpluses result in a very wide fluctuation in market prices. Consumption of poultry and other meats is adversely affected during religious festivals leading to significant drop in demand (off-season). With the little scope for sale of frozen products or inter regional movement due to preference of live birds, the seasonal swings in demand are causing high volatility for market prices of broilers. Broiler production is marketed mostly by big farmers, integrators, private wholesalers and retailers. In the interior pockets, the producers themselves are marketing in small retail outlets and catering to the local requirements. While most of the broiler birds are consumed within the producing town centers and surrounding areas, surplus broilers at times are marketed to other neighboring towns depending upon the supply and demand position.

In Bangladesh slums Mombasa, small scale broiler keepers (keeping between 125 and 250 birds) have picked up the science and art of broiler chicken keeping as a means of earning a livelihood, a venture that has seen both physical  (dietary) and financial (monetary) fitness of these slum dwelling populace. However, these poultry keepers are challenged financially and technologically, hence require a support for starting or reviving up their enterprise as well as capacity building coupled with regular monitoring activities to enhance their participation in this enterprise. Most of their production ends up satisfying the consumers within slums hence improving slum diet hence healthy population.

Birds are locally slaughtered and processed using locally available facilities (that is, a big sufuria for boiling  water and knives) although city council and veterinary departments are discouraging slaughtering of birds within the Municipal jurisdiction limits except in designated poultry slaughterhouses due to pollution and other issues. After slaughter, these birds are either sold raw (to consumers) or ready-to-eat which are processed by color additives add-up and then deep fried, a process that increase their value hence customers pay slightly more. Bearing in mind that this population bears a low purchasing power, poultry products dealers  have devised a sub-division method that allows a consumer to purchase what he /she can afford  and/ or consume due to poor storage facilities.

Broiler meat dealers on their part face big challenge  of storage of processed or semi-processed meat (bearing in mind that temperatures in Mombasa are too high and the meat and meat products very perishable). This has hindered expansion of poultry marketing in this area. they are forced to process what is enough for populace  for the day without surpluses that may end up in bins. Marketing of their poultry products can me improved by providing them with storage facilities so that they can process and sell their products far and wide, at good prices by avoiding losses they incur while disposing off (selling cheaply) the products for fear of going stale.

Poultry meat dealers, of whom most are also producers if adequately supported, through providing them with storage facilities, better hygienic sale yards  and clean meat handling facilities, sale of slaughtered chicken is expected to increase. this will be as a result of assurance of meat storage and better hygienic meat handling  that will assure safety to the consumer. Consumers could be advised to pay slightly higher amount for this improved service.

July 07, 2010


Day 1
·          Glucose @5g/ liter of water
·          Plain vitamin
·          Liquid paraffin @1 teaspoonful per drinker, three times a day for 3 days

Day 2-6
Chick formula (Alamycin, Egocin)

Day 7
Plain water

Day 8
Plain vitamin

Day 9
NCD + IB Vaccination: Eye drops

Day 10-13
Plain vitamin

Day 14
Gumboro vaccination: drinking water (Distilled water)

Day 15- 17
Plain vitamin

Day 18
NCD + IB Vaccination: Eye drops

Day 19- 20
Plain water

Day 21
Gumboro vaccination: Drinking water (Distilled water)

Day 22- 26
Plain vitamin

Day 27 to slaughter
Plain water plus feed

Schedule below is courtesy of Kenchic Limited (leading company in SUPPLY of Day Old Chicks) with slight modifications.

July 02, 2010


During one of my market research tours in Mwakijembe Market, Kinango District, I met Mama Mutuma, a renowned poultry business lady common with buying local free-range chicken. Curious on how she operated her business. I noted the following: 
a) That she buys an average of 100 chickens per week at an average price of Kshs 400 per chicken each weighing an approximate weight of 2.5kgs. These birds are bought from Mwakijembe and Ndavaya locations, Kinango District.
b) Her point of source was on-farm (was regarded as most expensive), market places and also by using middles men to purchase birds and latter sell to her.
c) Most of these birds were cocks/ cockerels because of their advantageous weight over hens.
d) She travelled to the market on averagely two (2) times per week and sold her birds at Majengo Mombasa.
e) On average she sold the birds at Kshs 500 each.
f) These birds were sold to brokers, hoteliers and Nyama choma zones.
g) Cost of transporting birds was: Kshs 200 for herself and Kshs 200 for the chicken basket with a carrying capacity of 50 adult chickens.
Therefore her approximate expenditures for 50 chickens was as follows: Kshs 400 x 50 as buying price (20,000/), while Kshs 500 x 50 as selling price, transport Kshs 500 totaling to 25,000- 20,500 = 4,500/=.
Per week, an average of Kshs 9,000/=. Conversion in Dollar/ day (1 Dollar= Kshs 75/=) = 17.14 dollars per day.
This is but just one of the few cases highlighting the success brokers sail through to make a business kill at the expense of the livestock keeper who hardly earns affluence after his/her longstanding patience and risk of raising a free-range chicken.
But how can we reverse this trend to make the producer (livestock keeper) benefit from enterprise? What strategies need to be put in place to bring out the concept of PROFITABLE LIVESTOCK VENTURE? Indigenous chicken sector has the potential of contributing to the family income considering the existing popularity, suitability to the local conditions, low-cost investment, fits into the low income economy, quick returns on investment and their potential for growth in business and Business Development Services. A few challenges face the poultry keepers in their efforts to raise the birds. Among them include: diseases, parasites and predators.
To make this production system profitable, it is relevant to engage novelty systems and principles in order to facilitate the establishment of necessary support systems that will provide sufficient basic poultry services, such as veterinary drugs; feed and poultry equipment; extension and business development services; and markets and marketing services. These activities should focus on capacity building, supporting poultry keepers to establish their production systems (micro-financial support) and developing linkages that will enhance promotion of new knowledge and technologies in poultry industry.
Greatest achievement in this industry will be to increase production of safe poultry and poultry products (to consumers) and at the same time establishing ready market by creating a demand for poultry and poultry products, all these converging at a secured supermarket shelve or an established venture where a producer and consumers will meet to exchange their satisfaction!