Best chicken breeds in Kenya

Chicken Breeds

Are you wondering which is the best chicken breeds to rear for high farm profits? In this post, we will give you a list of the best broilers, layers and dual-purpose chicken types in East and Central Africa region. The analysis compares the exotic meat chicken and egg producing chicken. Others are the indigenous ecotypes and other cross breeds.  

In this article, the following 26 chicken breeds or varieties has the highest profits per bird in Kenya. These are listed in the chart below.

Related Best poultry farms in Kenya

Improved Dual Purpose BreedsExotic dual purpose breedsHybrid Layers (egg) breedsExotic Broiler (meat) breedsPure Indigenous chicken Breeds
Kari Improved Kienyeji ChickenRhode Island RedShaver Star crossArbor Acres
Dwarf size birds
Rainbow RoosterLight SussexISA brownHybroNaked neck
KenbroNew Hampshire RedRossCobbBarred feathered
SassoBlack AustralorpsKenchic layersHypecoMauve feathered
KuroilerWhite leghornsKenchic broilersBlack feathered
A chart of the best chicken breeds in Kenya

The post analyses each breed type in terms of their maturity period, number of eggs laid and their tolerance to common poultry pests and diseases. Others are feeding characteristics and average weight of mature hens and cocks.

Improved Dual-Purpose chicken Breeds

These are the improved chicken breeds from Kenya and abroad. They are liked by commercial farmers for their enhanced productivity than the local and the old dual purpose chicken. They are cheaper to raise than the hybrid layers and broilers for they can withstand many diseases. Consumers prefer their nutritious and organic raised meat and brown eggs. In this category you have the KARI Kienyeji, Kuroilers, Kenbro and Sasso.

KARI Improved Kienyeji Chicken

 This breed is a result of over 30 years of extensive research by the KALRO National poultry research Centre in Naivasha. They have improved productivity and maturity than local breeds. They are better adapted to local conditions and have resistance to many poultry diseases than the exotic layers and broilers.

Those dual-purpose chickens are one of the most popular and profitable among successful farmers today. An improved hen can lay 220-280 big (grade 3) eggs annually. The mature cocks will weigh 1.3-2.0 kg in 6 months. Its mature hens weigh 1.2-1.5 kg. You can rear them organic on kitchen scraps as they have normal feeding. They are reported to have excellent brooding and sitting behavior.

Kenbro

You can buy quality Kenbro chicks from the Kenchic poultry farm. The dual-purpose chicken breed matures fast and ready for sale or consumption at 10-14 weeks. It will start laying eggs at 25 weeks. Hens can lay 20-25 eggs per month for a period of 1.5 years. Its best sold as live birds.

Mature Kenbro cocks can weigh 2.2-2.5 kg and hens can weigh 1.9-2.2 kg. It’s a heavy feeder and best reared as a free-range bird. Its robust to disease and has tastier meat than small indigenous and exotic broilers.  

Sasso                

It is a dual-purpose chicken breed from the France based SASSO poultry breeding company. Its hen can breed 170-171 eggs per year. Its meat has a reddish color. The mature birds has long legs with a thin narrow v shaped breast. Its one of chicken breeds with yellow fat.

Sasso broiler chicken matures in 84 days of breeding. Its live weight is 2.2-2.4 kg at the time. Beyond 6 months they are good layers. Their eggs are naturally brown, tasty, nutritious and lower cholesterol. They adapt well to the hot and humid conditions and are resistant to most diseases. They are versatile birds flexible and easy to manage. You can rear them in indoors or free range.

Kuroiler

Kuroilers are dual purpose chicken raised for meat and eggs. The birds are well adapted for free range and scavenging rearing system. It was developed in India by Kegg Farms limited.

They are fast maturing chicken types with the males weighing 2.202.5 kg while hems can weigh 1.8-2.0 kgs in 5 months.  The kuroilers do not sit on eggs. Besides, they have low resistance to diseases with high cost of medication.

Rainbow rooster

It is another breed from Indbro Research Breeding farm in Hyderabad, India. The dual chicken can lay 20-25 eggs every month. The breed is fast maturing taking only 4 months. When they are fully mature, the hens weigh 1.9-2.2 kg while the cocks grow to 19-2.2 kg live weight.

as an exotic improved breed in Africa, they have low resistance to diseases. The breed is a medium feeder and has no seating characteristics. To breed them you need to invest in a cheap electric or solar incubator.

Hybrid layers and Broilers chicken breeds

These breeds are purely commercial. They are best reared indoors under deep litter system. They are susceptible to many diseases and require expensive vaccination programs. You will need to follow a strict feeding program to get the desired results.

Broilers

The hybrid broilers are reared for meat only. They are super growing and mature for slaughter in 35-49 days. Mature broilers weigh around 1.75 kg. They can either be males or females Examples include the Kenchic broilers, Arbo Acres, Hybro, Cobb and the Hypeco.

Layers

Examples of the best commercial layers in Kenya are the Kenchic Layers, shaver star cross and the Isa Brown and the Ross breeds. You will raise the pure flyer breeds for eggs only. They can give you eggs between week 18-80 of their live. You will make more money by selling the 2 kg ex-layer hens for slaughter. They have a good conversion ration of 6 eggs for each kg of consumed layers mash.

Exotic Dual-Purpose chicken breeds

Most of these chicken were introduced in Kenya as pure breeds in 1960’s and 1970’s. They included the famous Rhode Island Red, Light Sussex, New Hampshire Red, Black Australorps in the 60s. The white leghorns. Plymouth rock, the barred rock and the buff rock breeds were introduced in early 70s. They are some of the most widely spread chicken types in the country

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Most farmers consider them the original Kienyeji. The advantages of these chicken include their resistant to diseases. They are cheap to raise since thy are natural scavengers. The hens can give you 3-10 eggs every month. Mature hens will weigh 1.2-1.5 kg while the mature males can reach 1.3-1.8 kg. They are good for both meat and eggs production and they have excellent sitting and brooding behavior.

Original Kienyeji chicken

These are the real indigenous chickens in Kenya. They have a high resistance to diseases. On the down side they take long to mature and their productivity is very low compared to the other types of chicken in Kenya. According to FAO review, they include the dwarf sized birds, naked neck (mucunu) barred feathered, Mauve feathered, the black feathered and the frizzled feathered birds.

Watch YouTube Video on Most Beautiful Chicken Breeds in the world

Samuel K

Samuel is the founder and senior agribusiness development consultant at Agcenture. He can be reached at skibicho@agcenture.com

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4 Responses

  1. April 21, 2021

    […] appearance, weight or how long do broilers take to mature? Following are common characteristics of hybrid broiler breeds in […]

  2. April 21, 2021

    […] continually breed better dual-purpose breeds like the KARI improved kienyeji chicken. Other improved kienyeji chicken breeds in Kenya are the Kuroilers, Kenbro, Sasso and the Rainbow […]

  3. April 27, 2021

    […] chicken farming. For these reasons, invest in improved breeds like the Improved KARI kienyeji chicken breeds. These bird types grow fast and have higher quality yields. For instance, the adult cockerel can […]

  4. April 27, 2021

    […] following is the projected revenue and cost analysis of raising 100 hybrid layers chicken in Kenya. It uses the current market prices and recommended feed and nutrition […]

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