The Money Math of Kienyeji Chicken Farming in Kenya

Caleb Karuga, a former TV star, is one of Kenya's renown Kienyeji Chicken farmers. This young chap is a bright mind who must have identified a wide gap in the market and an untapped potential thereof. Consider the following:

For those seeking info on pure kienyeji hens, here is a personal analysis, from personal experience.
If you started with 20 hens. At the end of the year you can easily have 300+ chickens. If you put your effort to it! This is how:

Buy 20 hens that are ready to lay and 3 mature jogoos. Always keep the ratio of males to females at 1 jogoo to 7-10 females for fertilization purposes. That way you're sure your eggs are fertilized.

Month 1, they lay.
Month two they hatch.
Month 3 they rear their chicks.

caleb karuga chicken farmer
Once the chicks are one month old, they don't need their mothers for warmth. So withdraw the mother when the chicks are one month old (at the end of calendar month 3) and rear the chicks yourself till they are 2.5 months old before you let them on their own (free range)! This is meant to force the hen to start laying again. We doing business not letting nature take it course! Come on.

Month 4, the hens take what we call a "Laying break" to adopt to not having their chicks!
Month 5, the hens start to lay again.
Month 6, they hatch again.
Month 7, they rear the chicks (process repeats itself)! Withdraw the mother at the end of month 7.
Month 8, they are on the laying break.
Month 9 they lay again.
Month 10 they hatch.
Month 11, they rear. Withdraw mother at end of month 11.
Month 12, they take the break, waiting for month 1 of the next year to start over again.

A few things to note:
1. You can only practically do this up to 5 times for one hen before it's "tired"!

2. For every cycle, if you stay strict to the process, you get a week accrued for every hatching cycle because hens hatch after 21 days and in the post, I assumed a month for that. So you might squeeze a one month for the hens.

3. Put 8 eggs for every hen to hatch. In most cases, they'll hatch the entire 8 eggs, and for the poor hatchers, they'll hatch 7. Don't be too greedy. 8 has a good chance of hatching them all, as opposed to doing 10+ and end up "spoiling" eggs!

4. If you take care of the chicks in a closed environment away from mwewe and other predators, you should have 5 mature hens for every hatch-cycle, per hen.

5. If you manage to get 5 hens for the 8 eggs hatched and you had 20 hens, you'll have 100 new hens for the first cycle. There are three cycles for every hen per year. That's a good 300 news hens. Plus your original 20 hens, you have 320. Let's just say 300 for the sake of it.

6. By the way, by the time the hen is watching for the third time in the year, the first batch of chicks will already be hatching too. NIIICE!

7. But remember you have an assume 50/50 for cocks and hens! So you have 150 cocks, and 150 hens!

8. If you sell 100 mature jogoos in the Nairobi market, it's waaaay better than trying to win the "Lotto sio Ndoto" con-game.

In all this, you gotta put your mind, effort, money and most importantly, time to it. Don't look at the work right now, look at the end product.

And another thing, by the way, one kienyeji hen lays 15-18 eggs before wanting to hatch, if well taken care of that is. Let's say 15 eggs, give it 8 eggs to hatch and sell the other 7 eggs x 20 hens x 15 bob per egg, that's some 2k unaezalipa tokens za stima.

Always make sure you give the chickens the "newest" eggs for hatching. Eggs 15 days old have a 20% chance to hatch, 12 day old eggs have a 30% hatch rate. Eggs 10 days old have a 50% hatch chance. If it is 7 days, it shoots to 80%. Less than 7 days have a 90+% chance to hatch unless conditions like temperature and humidity fluctuate.

After hens hatch 5 times, sell them and rear the newer ones, they are rendered salvage, they don't lay that much. For those with bigger spaces, do paddocks for easier identification of ages for sale.

Always maintain your "floor stock" at 300 hens and 50 jogoos for easier management and space.
With this, you'll find out that you're collecting 200 eggs every day X 30 days = 6000 eggs less 2500 for hatching, you sell 3500 eggs every 4 months. That's 55k in 4 months. Sell 500 hens 250 jogoos and 250 mweras, at an average worst price of kienyeji 500 bob, 250,000 per year. Plus returns from eggs 55X 3 cycles totals 415K a year. Kienyeji only take about 20-25% of budget. Say 25%. Pocket the rest 311k. Average 25k a month and you don't wake up at 5 to go to work to come back home at 10 PM. More time for family.

Well, this is theory. The practicals have much more fun and some hardships. But it's fun doing kienyeji. And the money is tax free unless you feel charitable enough to give the government.

Make it a side hustle and it'll turn full time. MOST IMPORTANTLY: FEED them, WATER them, VACCINATE them, and give them MEDICATION at first sight of symptoms of illness. I can't stress that enough. Have fun farming. Na kumbuka, UKULIMA SIO USHAMBA.

Kienyeji chicken farming is ideal for Kenyan youths who do not have access to large pieces of land. We have been exploring such opportunities to benefit our youth and we found another very lucrative one that you should consider venturing into in this year 2021.  That is mushroom farming, and as you will see from this article How To Make Money With Mushroom Farming In Kenya Throughout The Year 2021 it is nothing difficult to start. We also wrote and gave details of the profitability of mushroom farming in this article: How Profitable is Mushroom Farming in Kenya? Costs and Market analysis. You also have full time support from Richfarm Kenya incase you have questions about mushroom farming through our weekly training and even on phone 0724698357. 


Unknown said...

Fantastic bro, l come from meru how can lget your fully mature chicks to start this business.

Unknown said...


Agwenge's web said...

This is a nice piece. I'm encouraged and learnt. Im hustler doing paultry as a side hustle. Thank you so much

Unknown said...

So one can vaccinate kienyeji kukus

Omony Robert said...

So interesting and encouraging im planning to establish my own and im in the process of constructing the chicken house. im also intending to cross breed croiler with locals prefereably i want to produce them organically by using IMO.

Unknown said...

A great article. I have done this before but there were few challenges I faced when i rared the kienyenji chicken.
1. There was infestation of chicken lice that almost killed all my birds.
2. There was cannibalism of mother chicken to its chicks and also among the brood.
3. There was a challenge of hens feeding on their eggs.
4. The chicken required supplements or alternative feed especially when there was a dry spell and cannot get anything to feed on around the compound.
5. I would have liked to know the feeds for the pure kienyenji chicken one can buy for the chicken other than those used by commercial layer chicken farmers. or those i can make for myself to cut costs.

Currently I have stopped this farming due to the above challenges, otherwise Your article was very enlightening. Thanks