- The couple sourced some money from their fleet management business and started farming.
- The own a six-acre farm that hosts dairy cows, chickens, different livestock fodders, cowsheds, a greenhouse and two homesteads.
- They are also thinking about venturing into fish farming and expanding their poultry business and have already purchased a 1520-egg capacity incubator.
- They are looking for ways in which they can use their business to empower women and youth groups in the area.
A cloud of dust threatens to envelope us as we navigate the earth road that leads to Chui Villa Farm, a few kilometres from Kakamega town.
Famous for its poultry, dairy and tomato farming ventures, Chui Villa is a top destination for many.
Owners Tom Kitai, 52, and his wife, Naisiadet, 48, welcome us warmly when we arrive on the six-acre farm that hosts dairy cows, chickens, different livestock fodders, cowsheds, a greenhouse and two homesteads.
In the chicken coop, are 1,500 Kuroiler, Rainbow roaster and Kari Kienyeji chicks at different stages of growth. In the cowshed are six cows, three heifers and the rest that are milked. And there is a 15 by 8 metre greenhouse.
With the help of nine workers, the Kitais have been able to turn what was initially a hobby into a booming business.
“My husband wanted chicken but I was interested in milk. We further realised that there was shortage of both in the village. We then decided to rear chickens and cows,” says Naisiadet.
So they took some money from their fleet management business and started farming.
They started with 100 Kari Kienyeji chicks bought from the Kakamega station at Sh100 each, built poultry structures and bought feeds to last six months, all that cost them Sh200,000.
But as fate would have it, coccidiosis struck and they were left with only 25 birds.
“We were really frustrated, each day we would lose three to four chicks. The 25 birds matured and started laying eggs. In a week we would collect about five crates,” says Kitai.
The couple later bought a 50-egg capacity incubator for Sh20,000 in December 2015 to hatch their eggs.
“The hatchery failed due to frequent power blackouts. We finally settled on buying and selling chicks at different stages,” says Naisiadet.
The chicks are given mixed feeds till they are three weeks when they are sold.
MAKE THEIR OWN FEED
The farm now sells from Sh150 to Sh190 three-week-old chicks. Day-old chicks and two months old go for Sh90 and Sh380 respectively.
“Most farmers prefer three-week old chicks to the one-day-old ones because they are vaccinated and easy to manage. Many farmers love the Kuroiler and Rainbow rooster breeds because they mature fast and grow bigger,” says the couple, noting they sell the chicks to farmers to as far as Bomet, Narok, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Garissa.
Every week, they purchase 200 Kari kienyeji, 200 Kuroiler and 200 Rainbow rooster chicks. They source for Kari Kienyeji from Kakamega and Kuroiler and Rainbow Rooster from Uganda when they are a day old.