Women who practice Poultry farming in Kiambu County have received a total of 120,000 one-month-old improved Kienyeji chicks donated by Kiambu County Governor Kimani Wamatangi.

Women who practice Poultry farming in Kiambu County receive 20,000 improved Kienyeji chicks

The exercise, which began in Kirenga and Kijabe wards in Lari Sub-County, will be extended across all 12 sub-counties.

Speaking while presiding over the launch of the distribution of the chicks, governor Wamatangi told the farmers that the chicks being given to them are seed capital to kick-start them and that the long-term goal is to have the beneficiaries supply the County Government Early Childhood Education feeding programme.

“Every beneficiary will receive a total of ten chicks, and in three months from today, we will be buying eggs from them for our Early Childhood Education feeding programme where each child will receive an egg and a cup of porridge every day,” said Wamatangi.

Wamatangi added that the programme seeks to enhance economic empowerment through farming and to support farmers in diversifying their agricultural production to improve their living standards.

“800 farmers will today receive chicks in Lari Sub-County. If the chicks are well taken care of and not sold, this will be a big boost to sustainable food and nutrition security in the county,” added Wamatangi.

The county boss further cited that in the coming weeks the County Government will also be distributing piglets, where listed male beneficiaries will receive four piglets each.

“The piglet programme will be targeting our youth to help keep them away from alcoholism and drugs, which have become a menace in our region,” he said.

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Elisabeth Wangari, a resident of Kirenga in Lari Sub County and a beneficiary of the one-month-old improved kienyeji, told KNA the programme is going to change her life.

“I’m so excited to be among the people benefiting from this programme I’m sure it is going to change my life since I will have a sustainable income by selling eggs to the county government,” she said.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2019 statistics, Kenya has an estimated 43.8 million chickens, contributing 5.1 per cent of the total livestock value added.

Poultry meat production is at 35,000 tons per year, while egg production is at 1.6 billion pieces per year.

Characteristics Of Kienyeji Chicks

  1. Hardy and Disease Resistance: Kienyeji chicks have developed natural resistance to common poultry diseases found in their local environments. They are known for their ability to withstand various diseases, parasites, and adverse weather conditions, making them well-suited for backyard and free-range farming systems.
  2. Adaptability: These chicks are highly adaptable to different climatic conditions and can thrive in various ecological zones. Whether it’s in hot and arid regions or cooler highland areas, Kienyeji chicks can adapt to their surroundings and continue to grow and produce eggs.
  3. Foraging Abilities: Kienyeji chicks have strong foraging instincts and are excellent at finding their own food. They are skilled at scavenging for insects, worms, and plant materials, reducing the reliance on commercial feed. This characteristic makes them suitable for free-range or semi-free-range farming systems.
  4. Slow Growth Rate: Compared to commercial hybrid breeds, Kienyeji chicks have a slower growth rate. This is because their genetic makeup is geared towards resilience and survival rather than rapid weight gain. However, this slow growth rate can be an advantage in terms of producing lean and flavorful meat.
  5. Good Egg Production: While Kienyeji chickens may not lay as many eggs as commercial layer breeds, they are still capable of decent egg production. They typically lay brown eggs, and their natural broodiness often makes them good candidates for hatching and raising their own chicks.
  6. Dual-Purpose: Kienyeji chicks are considered dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be raised for both meat and egg production. Their meat is flavorful and sought after in local markets, and their eggs are prized for their taste and nutritional value.
  7. Low Input Requirements: Kienyeji chicks are known for their ability to thrive on minimal inputs. They require relatively simple housing and can sustain themselves on a varied diet that includes locally available feed sources, such as kitchen scraps, grains, and foraged materials.
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It’s worth noting that while Kienyeji chicks possess these characteristics, their productivity and performance can vary within the breed due to genetic diversity. Selective breeding, proper nutrition, and good management practices can help optimize their potential for improved productivity in both meat and egg production.

By Grace Naishoo

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