I grew up in town but in the backyard, my mum kept hundreds of chickens.
We didn’t have to source protein because we got it directly from our chickens.
Years later chicken is still a delicacy.
My mum would sell the eggs and chickens to our neighbours.
Our chickens were free ranged chickens that fed on corn, worms and vegetable from our vegetable garden.
But they had a modern structure to rest at night and prevent them from getting stolen.
Years later, I didn’t know that my childhood memories of growing up in town but feeling like the rural home would make me want to start a chicken farm.
Covid made spicy deep-fried chicken popular and famous.
Chicken is delicious and an easy business to start.
My mum didn’t have to start with a million shillings; she started by getting a gift of a chick from our grandma, may her soul rest in eternal glory.
My sister loved the chick gift, that she named her NORA.
Nora produced chickens and cocks from 1998 to 2010 before she died. We created memories with her.
They say the lifespan of a chicken is 5 to 10 years, our Norah lasted longer and she blessed us with chick after chick.
Starting a chicken farm business doesn’t have to get complicated or cause you headaches.
I learnt from my mum and sister.
I feared how the chicken pecked me so I was afraid of chickens from a young age.
Later on, Norah birthed MGUU RUNGU.
Mguu Rungu outlived her mum by 2 years.
What I realised on flashing back is that anyone that loves animals can be a successful chicken farmer.
You don’t have to have millions in your account or build complicated chicken structures but you can make millions from chicken farming.
Analyse the market, choose the bird, learn to market, decide on the location for your chicken business, have a logo and build a brand.
What’s Chicken Farming?
Chicken farming often confused with poultry farming is the rearing of chicks to chickens for meat, eggs, feathers for profit.
Chicken farming is one of the most popular kinds of farming in Kenya.
The startup costs for the chicken business are low therefore anyone with as little as 20k shillings can get started.
Ultimate Guide on Becoming a Millionaire Chicken Farmer in Kenya
Learn from a farming institution.
Don’t dive into the chicken business without learning from the Ministry of Agriculture.
At the ministry, you get taught how to build your chicken house, where to get a quality feed or the tools to use to make quality feed.
They show you other chicken farm projects to emulate.
beginner chicken farmers don’t know the resources available at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Go to your nearest office and get to learn so that you avoid chick losses.
Take a course to avoid the loss of your chicken by death
Instead of diving headfirst in the chicken business, it’s wise to learn from the ministry or take courses on how to rear your chicks in order to avoid loss.
Choose your sector or niche
Specialising is also in the chicken business. Start with and from a niche. The niches to choose include the following:
Incubating eggs and raising chicks =hatchery
Egg and meat processing
The niche you choose determines how much you spend on the chicken coop, the labour, the profit you make.
What’s your budget?
What do you want to start with?
Are you ready to see yourself develop your chicken business no matter the hurdles?
TIP: Find the market/contacts before diving into chicken production/any niche you select.
Pick the bird
You can choose to start with chickens only or do mixed poultry farming.
Mixed poultry farming though profitable can become overwhelming because every bird comes with its own demand.
You can learn how to start other poultry farming like goose, duck, turkey, guinea fowl, pigeon, a peacock in upcoming posts.
The links to follow are on the resources page — scroll down.
Have a farm logo
A logo is marketing material.
Most chicken farmers undermine the importance of branding their business.
What do you do?
What kinds of poultry do you deal with?
You want your logo and farm name to scream for you and before you.
In other words, you want what you do in your chicken farm to be known by others.
Remember scream marketing is the norm to get more business at your doorstep.
Scream marketing is literally unstoppable and constant marketing.
So, do create or hire someone to create w website for you and a logo.
You can DIY your logo on Canva or DesignHill or PicMonkey.
You don’t need to be a designer to use Canva.
Remember you will use your logo in your marketing materials like brochures, catalogues, website, Facebook, YouTube or any other social media you choose.
Choose a location
Where do you want your chicken farm to be?
If your farm is deep in the woods, how do customers reach you?
Can you deliver to them?
If delivering, factor in the costs of travel.
Don’t let your chicken farm location deter you from doing business.
Have a business plan
A business plan is a guide.
I remember sitting down for a week to copy and paste how to write a business plan online.
It was a severe waste of time.
I don’t regret it though because, in the process, I came across a lean business plan.
This doesn’t mean you skimp on the details because it’s lean.
No, the lean plan helps you understand what you want to offer as a chicken farmer.
What do you want to do on your chicken farm?
Who are your customers and how will you reach them?
What are the marketing strategies you have?
How big is the market and how much will you charge your customers?
Instead of using jargon to write a business plan or find it a daunting task, I simplified for you the business plan so you don’t have to struggle as I did.
What are the problems you solve in your chicken farm?
A good plan attracts investors.
What’s the gap in the chicken business in Kenya?
What have other chicken farmers not thought of and is the thought profitable?
Other things to include in your business plan include what’s the chicken industry overview?
What are the opportunities?
In your executive summary summarise every detail like where’s your location and why? Say what you will do differently. Explain your vision and mission for the chicken industry in Kenya.
What are your products?
Why did you choose layers instead of broilers or why choose both?
Tell me about your target market.
Will you see to hotels, households, sell in your store, fast food restaurants like KFC, street vendors or kiosks?
What’s your pricing method for the products?
For example, why sell your eggs at 12 shillings per piece instead of 10? Is your pricing profitable?
What made you choose this pricing strategy over maximising profits?
Build your chicken house
The most daunting task about the chicken business is determining the housing for the chickens.
Visit some other chicken farms in your area to get inspired.
Remember other farmers welcome you when they believe you’re not a competition or bringing something else to the table.
Others welcome you no matter what.
You want to deal with abundant mindset farmers because they spell it out to you in black and white.
A chicken coop depends on the budget you have. And each type of coop structure you go for has its advantages and disadvantages.
Cages for example keep your chickens from sunlight, rain, diseases, wind, pests.
When designing your chicken coop take into consideration the space for ventilation, lighting, walkways.
Take into account the amount of land you have.
The examples of the chicken coop to build include the following semi-extensive, battery-caged, wired, deep litter.
Ask a professional for guidance and depending on budget, land you will get wise wisdom.
What’s the money in your hands?
The money in your hands will help you build elaborate structures, have professional advice for how to tend and care for your day-old chicks and become a profitable chicken farm.
You need to have enough money to buy
Waste disposal system
You need to keep into account money for professional advice, salaries, cost of structures, building materials, workers, sales and marketing, security guards, transport, maintenance, vaccination for your chickens.
PRO TIP: Install what’s necessary and what your budget allows for the time being. Then invest as your business grows and as you learn.
When buying your chicks buy from dependable breeders.
If using services from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, they’ll advise you on the best breeders to use.
If using your connections from a farmer, check for malnutrition, diseases.
Chicks are fluffy and yellow when cared for and from diseases.
They don’t sleep anyhow plus make sure you’re not getting pressured to buy because they’re a referral.
You can always ask a friend to accompany you someone you trust when buying chicks.
Keep your numbers low.
Don’t be afraid, to begin with as little as 20-day old chicks even if you have money for 500 chicks.
Trust your guts and learn and develop as you grow your chicken farm.
Food is the most stressful part of rearing any animal.
Ever kept a pet dog?
You know how daunting it is. Dogs are cute and pretty when young until they start consuming food like lions.
It’s the same with chickens.
If you don’t have a plan for chicken food for the next six months, it’s wise to reconsider getting into the chicken business or get a plan.
Buy your feeds from a trusted company.
Know the expenditures on food.
You can choose to produce your feed to cut costs ensure you get guidelines on what feed is good for the growth and health of your chickens.
You can cut costs by providing lots of grain, greens and allowing your chickens to free-range.
Free-ranging chickens allow them to forage for the food where they get nutrients from worms, grass and other vegetation growing around your farm.
Your chicken feed must be nutritious and balanced
NOTE: If you don’t feed your chickens well, they will produce fewer eggs, have diseases, chicken dermatitis, paralysis, liver syndrome due to vitamin deficiency in the feed.
Seat a health management plan
A health management plan helps you know the mortality rates and what to do about the mortality rate of your chickens. What’s causing their death.
Ensure your chickens have clean drinking water, maintain proper hygiene by knowing proper waste disposal.
Light management because chickens have longer light days; consult a light expert to know what lights to use in case there’s no sun.
Keeping a healthy management plan for chickens ensures you’re up to date with what happens in case of sudden death.
Your management plan helps you plan ahead and avoid death/loss.
Treat sick birds
Look for unusual behaviour/appearance to keep your chicken business risk-free.
Call a vet to diagnose illnesses asap.
Have knowledge of the vaccines meant for chickens.
No business grows without spreading the word you will learn that in your chicken business.
Talk about your chicken business, chicken breeds, meet at animal events like farms or visit chicken farms.
Use social media and business cards to be professional.
Have a website
Create a website that loads faster, is user friendly.
User friendly here meaning navigation is easy, have a contact, page, an about page, blog to educate and get more traffic.
Creating a blog for your business means getting organic traffic and more income for you.
Have the right images/videos showing your chickens.
Have a landing page and home page.
Many farmers in Kenya don’t care about hiring professionals.
And the professionals demand more money.
If money is tight, it’s best to train your staff in hiring your chickens.
You should also hire an admin officer, farm manager and an accountant to help you with the daily running of your chicken farm.
Market your chicken products
Market your chicken business by knowing the largest consumer/audience that buys your products.
Sell to local and nearby shops.
Show every day running of your farm by creating a YouTube channel or blogging about your chicken business.
Showing the daily running of your chicken business educates and shows others the effort it foes in running a chicken farm. People appreciate your effort when you show them what you do.
So, create a YouTube channel and start filming.
Sell your products in the same market so that people know about chicken produce.
Ask others to sell you chicken products. You don’t have to do the selling, you can employ others to help you sell then they get a commission or salary depending on what your discussion is.
Chicken farming is a 24/7 job and a competitive business that requires your commitment to achieving success
Chicken business is a 25/8 job and there’s no excuse for you being away from your farm or giving others your role. Your role cannot be compensated by someone else.
Read extensively on not only chicken
After getting a course from the Ministry about raising chickens, your chicken education doesn’t end there.
In fact, the beginning of your chicken business is facing challenges, knowing how to deal with them, expanding and learning how to manage your workers/staff.
You cannot stop learning.
Chicken farming is a dynamic business that means the days aren’t static at all. Get ready to learn daily.
Organise self-care routines
Yes, chicken farming may be a 25/8 business doesn’t mean neglecting your mental health.
Step away from the management of the business by letting your staff handle business.
Book a day/week of vacation go to the spa/beach or travel around or do whatever as long as it’s not dealing with chicken.
If buying an existing chicken business consider the following
It’s hard buying an existing business let alone a chicken business.
If buying an existing chicken business, don’t jump because your friend is selling.
Check to see the chickens aren’t coming to the end of their production life by inquiring about their age, health, condition of the chickens.
Examine if the cages or the coops meet the regulations. Is the chicken farm what you envision for yourself?
Examine the financial health of the chicken business, how much did they earn?
How much are they asking for?
How much are you willing to pay?
Buying an existing business doesn’t have to be a headache process but it is.
READ the article about guidelines for buying an existing business to gain an insight into what you need to know before buying an existing chicken business
READ: Buying an Existing Business, a Mistake or an Investment? Tips for Buying Like a Billionaire in Kenya
Price your chicken products for profits
The most confusing day for an entrepreneur is how to price their products.
And you would think pricing chicken products would be easier because there are many chicken products in the market.
Now to price know what kind of chickens you keep for example, organic or free-range chickens fetch higher prices for their products.
The quantity you produce may be limited by the size of the farm, efficiency in farming methods, your employees and the capital you have.
Determine who your customers are / Who’s your target market?
Your customers may range from
Supermarkets and other retailers
Egg packing stations
Local restaurants and hotels
Schools and other institutions.
Equipment Needed for a Chicken Farm Business
The equipment needed for a chicken farm business include:
Poultry nipple systems and fountains
Chicken feeders and troughs
Trays/egg handling equipment
Poultry housing and chicken coops
Chicken inn laying nests and accessories
Poultry lights and accessories
Poultry brooders and heaters
Poultry coops and cages
Poultry fountain accessories
What’s the Best Food for Chickens to Lay Eggs?
The following is the best food for the chicken to lay eggs and they include:
Why Do Chickens Quit Laying Eggs?
Chickens quit laying eggs because of the following:
Little light/sun exposure
How Do You Improve Chicken Eggs Quality?
The following are ways to improve chicken eggs quality and they include:
Calcium for strong shells
Probiotics /Prebiotics to promote digestion.
What Can Chicken Not Eat?
The foods that chickens cannot eat include:
High in salt food
FAQs on Becoming a Millionaire Chicken Farmer in Kenya
1. How much does it cost to start a poultry farm in Kenya?
The cost of a chicken farm business isn’t determined by a number but by the number of chickens you want to start or have on your farm, the equipment, the staff you want to employ, the structures for the chicken and what kind of chicken farming you want to have.
2. How do I start a poultry farm?
Learn /get an education from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock or get an expert opinion before starting
Have a farm logo
Create a website
Choose your niche/sector
Choose your location
Have a business plan
Build the chicken coop/structure
How much money do you have?
Know that you will spend the most money on feeds
Have a chicken health management plan
Get your licenses
Market before production of your chicken
Chicken business is a 25/8 business
Come up with a pricing strategy
Who are your customers /target market
3. Can poultry farming make you rich in Kenya?
Yes, poultry farming can make you wealthy in Kenya
4. How do chicken farms make money?
Start by choosing breeds of chickens
Selling chicken products to the market.
5. Is poultry a good business?
Yes, the poultry business is good.
6. How long does a chicken take to grow?
16-24 weeks is the length of time that it takes chickens to grow depending on the breed and how you care for them.
7. What makes chickens grow faster?
Chickens grow faster because of genetics, feed, breed, drugs/enhancement given.
8. What’s a lifespan of a chicken?
The lifespan of a chicken is 5 -10 years.
9. How long does it take to lay an egg?
24 -26 hours because egg formation is overnight.
10. How many eggs does a chicken lay a day?
1 and the factors like weather, day length, nutrition, predators affect egg production.
Egg laying is dependent on the length of the day. Less than 12 hours of daylight and = low egg production.
11. How many times a day should I feed my chicken?
2 servings a day 3 -4 small feedings. Chickens love small frequent meals.
12. Can chicken drink cold water?
Yes, chickens love nice cold water.
Resources Related to Becoming a Millionaire Chicken Farmer
Start a Turkey Farming Business
Start a Quail Farm Business
Start a Farming Business
Most Profitable Farming
Most Profitable Animals to Breed and Sell in Kenya /Most Profitable Animals to Raise in a Small Farm
How to Make 150K+ Selling Deep Fried Spicey Chicken From Home in Kenya
Start a Hatchery Business in Kenya
How to Start a Poultry Feed Business in Kenya
How to Start a Chicken Broiler Business in Kenya
How to Start a Chicken Layers Business
If you want to breed chickens for money, you have to take time to invest in your learning.
Don’t start chicken farming without learning.
Like my mum, you can start with a chick then get a cock.
This may seem like you won’t make the millions but starting small opens your eyes to what to do and what not to do with your chickens.
And even after learning, you have to keep on educating yourself on not only chickens but farming in general.
We used the manure from our chickens to grow our vegetable garden and potato farm.
The chicken business has the potential to turn you into a millionaire or billionaire if done right.
Are you a chicken farmer or a would-be chicken farmer wondering how to increase or grow your chicken business?