As kienyeji chickens become popular in Kenya, more chicken breeds are entering the market. We now have among others, KARI, Kuroiler, Rainbow, Kenbrow breeds. These improved breeds have higher productivity than the local kienyeji breeds. They have been bred for certain purposes. As a farmer, it is important to take advantage of the different kienyeji chicken breed’s characteristics to fit your purposes. For example, If you are keeping chickens for meat, a rainbow rooster gains faster weight than the improved KARI and kuroiler breeds. Here are some of the improved kienyeji breeds;
KARI kienyeji: This was bred from a range of indigenous chickens in Kenya by KARI (now KARLO) Naivasha. There are five distinct types distinguished by their colours (Table 2)
Kuroiler: This breed entered Kenya from Uganda but originates from India
Kenbro: This is a Kenchick breed
The rainbow rooster: This is a multi-coloured breed originating from India .
Here is a summarized table showing different kienyeji chicken breeds with their characteristics:
|Description||KARI kienyeji||Kuroiler||Kenbro||Rainbow rooster|
|Purpose||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat||Eggs and meat|
|Average egg production (per month)||15-20||18-20||20-25||20-25|
|Average meat production||Cocks: 2.0-2.2kg||Cocks: 2.2-2.5 kg||Cocks: 2.2-2.5||Cocks: 3.0 kg|
|Hens: 1.5-1.8 kg||Hens: 1.8-2.2 kg||Hens: 1.9-2.2 kg||Hens: 1.9- 2.2 kg|
|Sitting characteristics||Multi-coloured ones are good sitters||Poor sitters||Does not sit||Does not sit|
|Decline in production (years)||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years||Hens: 1.5 years|
|Cocks: 1.3 years||Cocks: 1 year||Cocks: 1 year||Cocks: 1 year|
|Disease resistance compared to each other||High||Low||Low||High|
Improved KARI indigenous chickens come in five different colours; spotted, white, black, brown and multi-coloured. They have the following characteristics;
|Colour||Visual Features||Sitting||Laying||Weight/ meat|
|Spotted||Good camouflage||Poor sitters. 25% will sit||Poor layer||Faster weight gain Highest quality meat with better muscle structure|
|White||With some black||White starts laying earlier.
Good layers. More eggs. Larger eggs, so stronger chicks
|Black||With brown front||Moderate|
|Multi-coloured||More indigenous||Better sitters. 75% birds sit||Moderate layers|
When starting the improved indigenous chicken business, consider the above characteristics and choose the breed that best suits your purpose. Ensure that you get your breeds from certified breeders for pure breeds.
You can only achieve maximum production through proper management of your chicken. Get a copy on how to manage kienyeji chicken.