Is local chicken farming profitable? You may be asking. Local chicken can be profitable if you run your chicken farming enterprise like a business, with a proper chicken business plan.
Before starting your own local chicken venture, you will need to ask yourself one question. Why? Why go into chicken farming? Why keep local chicken instead of hybrid broilers or layers? There are several reasons why farmers consider keeping local chicken. These are:
Ease of entry
It is very easy to start rearing local chicken business. No much initial capital is required, especially if you are doing it as a hobby or trial. Getting one rooster (male chicken) and two hens are enough to start. When the hens start laying, let them sit on eggs. If each hen hatches 10 chicks, and is let to brood them for two months, then lay for another month, you should have at least 60 chickens at the end of one year. Assuming zero mortality and no chicken is disposed of; you should have hundreds of local chicken by the end of the second year.
As people become more health-conscious, there is increased demand for local eggs and meat. Local chicken meat is perceived to be healthier. The growing niches include purely free-range chicken, antibiotic-free chickens, improved local chicken, etc.
Hardiness of local chicken
Local chicken is known to be hardy. They have better resistance to disease than hybrid chicken. When it comes to feeding, they can forage for their own feed. Some breeds are known to have the ability to survive on agricultural waste alone.
Hybrid chicken have to feed on a well-balanced well-formulated feed ration throughout in order to achieve maximum productivity.
Breeding indigenous breeds that have good qualities with other indigenous breeds that have good qualities always leads to good results for the farmer. There are five common improved local breeds in East Africa. They include Kari (from Kenya), Rainbow rooster, Kuroiler, Kenbro and Sasso.