The most profitable livestock to keep in Kenya

Poultry farming is one of the most popular husbandry practiced in Kenya. Photo: Courtesy

Gone are the days when farming used to be perceived as only for the old, retired or the uneducated back in the villages.

In today’s world where the white collar jobs are limited the youth are being encouraged to venture into agribusiness as a means of livelihood.

Food is a basic need in our every day lives thus the ready market for farming products.

Potential farmers and existing farmers have a wide variety of crops to grow and livestock to rear and raise an income. today looks at the untapped potential in various kinds of livestock potential farmers can venture into.

1. Poultry farming
Rearing of poultry is one of the most lucrative farming in Kenya.
Farmers have the choice of keeping Kienyeji chicken or ornamental birds.
According to statistics 76 percent of chicken reared in Kenya are Kienyeji.
With the best practices in chicken farming such as proper feeding with quality feeds ensuring a balanced diet, provision of clean drinking water, properly constructed clean shelters with the right temperatures and light and regular timely vaccination and deforming a farmer is guaranteed of maximum productivity.
A farmer may choose to rear broilers for meat or layers for eggs.
For a farmer who cannot afford manufactured feeds they may consider making feeds at home using maize, sorghum and millet and surplus can be sold to neighbours.
Kitchen waste kales and cabbages , outside grass should also be fed to the birds.
A balanced diet to the chicken ensures faster healthy growth of broilers and a good egg production of layers.
Potential farmers should also consider venturing into ornamental birds farming such as turkeys, ducks, guinea fowls and geese which are more resistant to diseases and whose meat is sweeter and eggs fetch better prices in market.

2. Pigs farming
Pig farming is one of the most popular husbandry practiced in Kenya due to the high profits realized.
Pig farming is loved due to the fast maturity of piglets, many piglets farrowed about 10.
Pig farming is not labour intensive as pigs require less attention.
With the best breeds such as Large White, Duroc and Landrace which with five to six months have over 100 kilograms and are ready for slaughter.
Maximum production is guaranteed as long as the pigs are fed on quality feeds and a balanced diet, enough clean drinking water, clean well constructed pigsty and timely vaccination.

Pig farming is loved due to to the fast maturity of piglets and the many number of piglets that are usually furrowed. Photo:Courtesy

3. Goat farming
A farmer can rear goats either for milk,meat and fur or hides.
With the right breed, proper feeding ensuring a balanced diet , adequate clean water supply and a clean shelter a farmer is guaranteed of maximum output.
Goat meat and milk fetches better prices in the market.
When value added into products such as yoghurt it fetches even higher prices.
Goat milk is accredited with helping control diabetes due to low fats.
Goats are hardy, resistant to diseases, can give birth twice a year and mature fast.

Goats are kept for either milk production or their meat which fetches good prices in the market. Photo:Courtesy

4. Dairy farming
Although dairy farming is labour intensive and expensive to run it can be lucrative.
A farmer however requires a large herd to make profits due to the low prices of milk in Kenya caused by low purchasing prices by dairy processing companies and competition by cheap imports.
With the right breed, proper breeding, proper feeding, well constructed clean shelter and drinking water and proper vaccination a farmer will get good production.

A farmer earns from dairy farming through the sale of milk. The more the better. Photo:Courtesy

5. Beef farming
With modern dual purpose cows breeds such as the Boran, Brown Swiss, Dairy Cross, Beef Hereford and Charolais that can be kept for both meat and milk a farmer can win in both ways. However a farmer can still rear bulls that are entirely for meat production only.
Maximum productivity is achieved with the right breed, proper feeding, timely vaccination and proper clean constructed shelter.

The brown Swiss an example of the modern dual purpose cow breed.

6. Rabbit farming
Although earlier presumed to be a boys job rabbit farming can yield good returns if practiced as an agribusiness.
With the right market for the rabbit sweet meat which fetches good prices a farmer is guaranteed of smiling all the way to the bank. Rabbit meat is value added by processing further to make sausages, mshikaki and samosas.
Rabbits mature fast and suitable for slaughter within four to five months.
Other rabbit products include its urine which is used to manufacturer fertilizer, body parts to manufacture dog food and fur to make clothes,shoes and bags.
A farmer should acquire the right breed, feed them quality balanced diet feeds, adequate clean water , right breeding, proper vaccination and a good hutch for maximum production.

The sale of rabbit meat and other by products which attract high market prices earns the farmer good returns. Photo: Courtesy

7. Dog rearing
Although not considered by many dog keeping is very profitable.
Popular dog breeds which sell good prices include the German Shepherd which are bought mostly by the Police and Special Forces and dog lovers all across the world, the Chihuahua just to name a few breeds.
Dog rearing is easy as they only require a balanced diet, regular training, a proper kennel and timely vaccination.

8. Bee keeping
It is not labour intensive and is way to manage as it only requires a farmer setting up beehives at a safe place away from people near a good source of flowering plants and water pools nearby to achieve maximum yields.
Honey harvesting can be done thrice a year, every four months with yields of about ten kilograms per beehive.
Honey demand in Kenya is insatiable thus making it a good venture.

Which kind of livestock farming are you planning to start or which one do you already practice and why?

Share with us your thoughts and why you chose it?

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