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HomebusinessJaphet Ichaba: Isiolo Farmer Cashing in Ksh 100K Monthly From Keeping Ornamental...

Japhet Ichaba: Isiolo Farmer Cashing in Ksh 100K Monthly From Keeping Ornamental Birds

Japhet Ichaba is the founder of Smart Link Farm situated in Kulamawe, in the outskirts of Isiolo town, Isiolo County.

Under his farm, the farmer keeps a variety of ornamental birds and chickens which earn him Ksh 100,000 every month.

While he testifies that the business is profitable, Ichaba mentioned that the secret to getting more customers is feeding his birds well and observing hygiene.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

In an interview, Ichaba noted that he started keeping ornamental birds as they are easy to take care of and they occupy a small space.

Additionally, he noted that the birds can also feed on chicken feeds making it easier for him to maximise the little he has.

Ichaba keeps the silkish bantam, sultan bantam and santin bantam variety of chicken and a variety of exotic ducks including the pekin.

Other varieties include muscovy, Indian runner and black Swedish.

Additionally, Ichaba rears geese, guinea fowl and quails bringing the total number of bird species that he keeps to over 300.

“Sometimes the number is higher than that. In fact, I just sold some recently. Many people have come to love them, not only for their eggs and meat, but also because they beautify the landscape,” he said.

Ichaba started his farm with 50 birds, a pair of each variety, and built a large poultry house which he partitioned into various cubicles.

Each bird has their own cubicle, “It’s better to keep them according to their types and sizes since there are birds that feed more than others.”

Ichaba has also taken additional measures to ensure that the birds thrive well.

For instance, he has to keep the poultry house clean all the time, and have the feeds and water placed clean containers.

The American pekin duck PHOTO/Oxfam

Further, Ichaba has to make sure that his birds are vaccinated as they grow to ensure longevity.

“In the first week after they are hatched, we give them the vaccine, but before they are vaccinated we give them multivitamins to help them become strong and develop well

“We vaccinate them again after 14 days and 21 days, and after one month they are usually strong enough to fight against any disease that may affect them, such as Newcastle, Fowl Pox and other bacterial infections,” he explained.

Ichaba noted that the birds are fed on chick mash when they are still young but they are introduced to layers mash as they grow.

The farmer also noted that keeping ornamental birds is quite profitable as he gets a profit of between Ksh 50,000 and Ksh 100,000 in a good month.

Additionally, Ichaba added that one egg of the exotic ducks is equivalent to two eggs of the ordinary chicken and costs between Ksh 200 and Ksh 250.

For the quails, one egg costs Ksh 30 while for the guinea fowls, each egg costs Ksh 100.

He sources the birds mostly from Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu.

Ichaba faces among other challenges the high cost of feeds which forces farmers to go for alternatives and diseases.

“Sometimes a disease may strike affecting some birds, which may end up dying. Diseases that may affect the birds, especially chicken are normally unpredictable.

“You can exercise all precautions, but before you vaccinate them you notice that they are already sick,” the farmer said.

Besides farming ornamental birds, Ichaba also grows vegetables on another piece of land which he sells in the local markets and uses them as feeds for the birds.