In Summary
  • It is convenient to buy an animal closer to where you are.
  • Ensure the animals have proper housing and maintain good hygiene.
  • Stress may lead to reduced production in layers and reduced weight gain in broilers.
  • Changing feeds can be stressful to the birds.

Chicken house for 200 hens
What size of a house can accommodate 200 mature hens and what should I do before I bring them in?
George, Sori

Each layer bird requires a floor space of 2 square feet. For 200 hens, you require an area of 200sq ft or a house measuring 20ft x 10ft.

The siting of your layer house must be on an East/West orientation with ventilation on both the long sides.

Two weeks before bringing in the chicks, wash and disinfect the house and put 4 inches wood shaving on the floor.

Three to six hours before bringing in the chicks, prepare and switch on the brooder, have clean drinking water mixed with glucose, Stressmix multi-vitamin and liquid paraffin.

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Best dairy practices
I am interested in keeping Holstein Friesian cows in Nyandarua. Please educate me on the following:
i) How to plan a cowshed:
There’s a recommended plan for a zero-grazing unit available online on the link http://kdb.co.ke/press/publications/manuals/3-design-of-zero-grazing-unit, or search for ‘design for zero grazing unit’.

ii) Where should I source for the best breed?

It is convenient to buy an animal closer to where you are. Kinangop has good Friesian cows. Alternatively, you can get good animals from farmers in Githunguri in Kiambu or Njoro in Nakuru.

iii) How do I make the best dairy meal at home?
I would encourage you to buy ready-made commercial dairy meal due to challenges of sourcing correct ingredients, uniform mixing and economies of scale.

iv) What are the best management practices?
Ensure the animals have proper housing and maintain good hygiene.

Ensure you offer them quality nutrition and mineral supplementation, deworm regularly and spray weekly.

Please keep records on heat and service, feeding and milk production.

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