A cost-effective and environmentally friendly brooding machine has been innovated in Bungoma County, making poultry farming easier, cheaper and more profitable.
The chick brooders, which are made entirely of plastic materials, are the brainchild of a poultry farming company in Kanduyi Constituency called Chukwoma Prime Limited.
The company is now working with the Kanduyi Poultry Farmers’ Cooperative Society Limited and the Bungoma County Indigenous Poultry Program to help poultry farmers raise their chickens efficiently.
The company breeds chickens and raises them from one day to one month, then sells and distributes them to farmers in the county and other districts.
“In the month of July, we were able to distribute a total of 6,500 chickens to farmers in Bungoma County and beyond and the demand is growing,” Chukwoma Limited chairman Douglas Situma said.
The company also provides training for poultry farmers at a cost of Sh3,000 in coordination with district poultry cooperatives.
“We also sell these chicks to farmers at Sh5,500 and once a farmer buys chicks, then free training is offered,” said Mr Douglas Situma.
“We keep the chickens for at least one month before selling because this is the most vulnerable age in terms of infection and mortality,” Situma added.
According to Situma, poultry farming always faces many problems at an early stage because chickens are prone to numerous infections such as aspergillosis, omphailits, coccidiosis and Newcastle disease.
“Once the chick is out of this danger zone, it will always be easy for the farmer to take care of it until it grows into a hen or rooster,” Situma added.
The brooder has a capacity of 100 chickens, which are reared throughout the month without space limitations.
“These brooders can hold 100 chickens for one whole month, which helps farmers overcome space and labor constraints as one person can handle up to five brooders,” Situma said.
The plastic brooder has the ability to prevent the contamination of the food substances for the chicks by using outdoor feeders and drinkers that are hung around the chick to prevent the mixing of food, water and disposal of the chicks.
The company received financial support from the Agricultural Sector Development Support Program Phase II operating in Bungoma to meet the government’s food security agenda.
It has also created employment opportunities in the region where women are employed to clean the cubs while the youth provide security and production services.
Bungoma South Agriculture director Mr. Nassir Wekesa, in an interview with KNA, commended the innovation group for its ability to reduce the cost of poultry production by using the heat produced by the chicken instead of electricity, which represents huge bills that are always unaffordable for the average farmer.
Wekesa called on other partners to help them expand their services beyond the county so that they can get more farmers in the country into poultry farming.