Dennis Kinara, a college student in Mtongwe, Kwale County, resorted to breeding ornamental birds to make ends meet after the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the country.
The 21-year-old rears unique chicken, with some drawing their origin from China. Kinara realised the opportunity to profiteer from the venture after he visited his friend house, in search of a pet.
Kinara breeds over nine ornamental birds, with Silkie bantam, Braham and Polish Bantam, poultry standing out from the others.
I bought my first mature chicken breed at Ksh10,000 and after two months, I got a profit of Ksh2,000 from selling its eggs,” the student stated.
The Silkie Bantam, from China, is the most popular breed worldwide and one that Kinara adores. Silkie Bantam is a five-toed chicken with rabbit-like feathers.
It has blue ear lobes and lays blue eggs. I usually sell one egg between Ksh250-300. A chick costs Ksh1500. These birds are reared as pets at home,” he stated in an interview with Citizen TV.
Silkie Bantams are complete with hair-like plumage and an incredibly sweet temperament.
They have black skin and bones, make wonderful brooders and mothers, and are even known to adopt baby ducks according to multiple reports.
Some individuals argue that the chicken is edible similar to other ornamental birds like geese, parrots, budgerigars, ducks, pigeons and turkeys.
In Nakuru County, at Kamira Birds farm, a mature bantam chicken and cock of the Silkie breed costs Ksh7,000 and Ksh9,500 respectively, while a chick sells for Ksh1,400.
Their demand is high while the supply is low, so they fetch good prices in the market,” 21-year-old Nakuru-based farmer Brian Kamira stated.
Kamira sells one parrot at Ksh30,000 and Ksh 40,000 for one pair.
All ornamental birds have a high potential of scaling up meat and egg production which boost farmers incomes. Their waste is also used as manure in farms to boost soil fertility.
He added that while breeding ornamental birds, farmers should prioritise the health of the breeds, age of eggs and age of breeders.
Rearing ornamental birds requires one to have a permit from the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS). The license cost around Ksh1,500 and is renewable every year.
KWS officials also inspect the farms on a regular basis to ensure the birds are well catered for.