One poultry farmer has reduced the amount of feeds consumed by broilers by half and tripled egg production by crossbreeding layers with the meat breeds.
Chore Sunda, a Kisii County farmer who has been in the poultry agribusiness since 1984, said the resultant crossbreed lays between 20 and 30 eggs per season.
“Broilers lay six to ten eggs after maturity as they wait to be sold. But when the market is poor, feeding them adds no much weight because they have attained a growth climax. Layer-broiler crossbreed continues laying eggs as they wait for slaughtering,” Sunda said.
Broilers consume one kilo to one and half kilos per day. But his crossbreed feeds on half a kilo in a day.
He, however, said the laying is not as regular as in pure layers, but the size is thrice that of other normal eggs. Sunda sells each at Sh40.
The ‘dual’ breed also takes long to mature. Broilers are ready for marketing after six weeks if they are well taken care of. But the cross-breed starts laying after four months.
Profits in crossbreeding
Sunda allows pure breed cocks from layers to fertilise the eggs of the broilers. He transfers the eggs to local breeds for hatching.
The farmer said crossbreeding is an easy way of raising the chickens when the demand for meat is not high. By April, he had 30 cross breed chickens.
He sold 10 at prices ranging from Sh1,500 to Sh2,500. A hen of 3.5 kg goes for Sh1,500 while a cock of six kilos earns him Sh2,500.
“I feed them like local chicken. Having taken more time to mature, they are sweeter than the six-week pure broilers, which also fetch less than Sh500 each.
Veteran poultry lover
Besides the crossbreeds, he is rearing pure kienyeji and layers, improved kienyeji, geese, and turkeys-since 1979.
His stock rises up to 70 or 80, depending on the season, with April, August and December being the best times.
At the moment, the farmer, who is better known as Ekiaramba Ekenyerere-the slim wasp, has seven turkeys three geese, 12 kienyeji and eight layers and several chicks.