Kienyeji chicken is the normal free-range chicken found in villages all over Kenya. They are mostly used for incubating eggs, and they are not susceptible to diseases.
The Kenya Climate-Smart Agriculture Project (KCSAP) and West Pokot County Government donated 2,136 three months old improved Kienyeji chicken worth Sh.800,000 to 150 women to help them improve their local breed.
The 2,136 improved Kienyeji chickens were donated to women who live within the Sigor constituency in West Pokot County as part of the government’s agenda for continuous improvement of breeding chicken in the region and its commitment to help farmers improve their indigenous breeds.
The donation was made at the Lomut Chief Office, by West Pokot County Chief Officer of Agriculture and Pastoral Economy, Samson Nyangaluk.
Nyangaluk encouraged the farmers in his speech. “The donations of improved Kienyeji chicken is part of the ongoing poultry project that has been implemented by Government of Kenya (GOK) and the same has been implemented in West Pokot County as a resilience program dubbed the Kenya Climate-Smart Project (KCSAP) and groups of farmers are encouraged to rare them in order for them to improve their local chicken breed and a source of income for their livelihoods.”
Nyangaluk said that they have donated a Rainbow roster breed of chickens which grows fast and with more resistance to diseases and produces more eggs compared to indigenous ones.
“I am encouraging farmers within this region to embrace this type of farming because chicken provides food and its eggs generate income that helps improve livelihoods,” Nyangaluk explained.
He also noted that this type of farming should be taken seriously because, at the period of six months old, the chicks will have matured and will be ready to lay eggs.
West Pokot County KCSAP project Coordinator Mr Philip Tingaa said that the project is offering assistance to farmers through groups and encouraged them to form farmers’ groups in order to get support from the national and county governments and development partners.
“We are committed to helping farmers within this region through groups and currently we have reached out to 172 groups in West Pokot County and we have managed also to donate 2991 Galla Goats and 743 sheep have so far been distributed to farmers for breeding purposes,” said Tingaa.
Tingaa added that the project has helped to reduce poverty levels in the region and locals have been empowered economically.
He challenged farmers to try their fortune in Improved Kienyeji chicken farming and said that an egg from indigenous improved Kienyeji hens’ retail at Sh20 per egg compared to Sh15 for the exotic chicken breed.
“Indigenous and improved Kienyeji eggs are preferred by many people for food since they are more delicious than the exotic ones but the problem is the low supply experienced in the market and farmers should really try their fortune in raring the chicken,” Tingaa encouraged farmers.
Rebecca Kitoo a farmer from Lomut village thanked the government for the initiative and encouraged mothers to build more spacious cages for chickens; she also encourages them to maintain good cleanness so as to prevent chickens from contracting diseases.
Kitoo appreciated the donations of the improved Kienyeji chicken and said it will help address the nutritional value of their children and encouraged them to buy more chicken for breeding.
Another resident Philip Kangalal added that many residents have benefited from the project and many mothers have been empowered economically from the region.
Poultry feeds and antibiotics were also supplied to the farmers. They were advised to be observant and take precautionary measures that will help prevent infectious diseases from attacking the chicken.
Farmers were also advised to watch out for diseases that can be cured at an early stage so quick action can be taken to treat the chicken, as a result maintaining the health of the chicken.