My poultry business grew in leaps and bounds amid pandemic
Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
Whenever Philip Mutahi, a resident of Kashani in Mombasa tells his friends, especially those from upcountry that he does poultry farming in the coastal city, they think he is a joker.
The Electronics Automation Engineer says most of his peers would casually dismiss his move to ditch the coveted Engineering profession and to venture into poultry farming.
After completing his Diploma in Electronics Automation Engineering at the then Mombasa Polytechnic, currently (Technical University of Mombasa), Mutahi turned to business.
“I was born and raised in Nyeri and came to Mombasa for studies. Later, I started doing businesses like any other ordinary Kenya. I have done so many businesses this is my 32nd business,” he explains.
Mutahi started poultry farming after the prolonged political tension that came with the nullification of the 2017 election and most of his other businesses under-performed.
At his compound in Kashani area, the distinctive ambiance of chicks chirping and cackling of mature chickens is what invites visitors into a homestead that is dotted with multiple poultry structures in almost every corner.
Mutahi says he has no remorse for changing his career as it has proved to be a change in the right direction.
And while Covid-19 pandemic wrecked havoc on various businesses across the country, Mutahi says it was a blessing in disguise for him as he made incredible profits out of his Kienyeji poultry farm.
He says clients would walk in and out of his Equinox Kuku Kienyeji farm in Kashani to buy chicken.
During lockdown many people were at home and there was growing demand for healthy food.
For most meat lovers, they opted for Kienyeji poultry, which is white meat and is highly recommended.
Others were opting to start poultry business and wanted to learn how to go about it.
“It was at this time I also realised that I made the right choice to choose business as some of my employed friends lost their jobs.”
He says after the government declared cessation of movement in and out of Mombasa, the Port City of Mombasa was literally cut off from the main supply of chickens.
As a result, he stepped up in a bid to offer an alternative option in that market.
“While people were being laid off and other businesses were closing down, I was making money.
I made money from eggs, chicks and mature chicken. It’s not that I am glad that the pandemic happened but the fact is it worked out well for me and I can’t complain,” he says.
Indigenous poultry farming generates money in various ways. He sells the chicks, mature chickens, eggs and manure.
Shortly before the pandemic struck the country, he says he had over 350 mature chickens in his farm, which he sold, pocketing more than Sh100,000.
Currently, he has an upcoming batch of 200 chicks he targets to sell during December festivities.
Every week, he hatches 200 chicks.
A chick goes for Sh100. The prices rises to Sh150 if the chick is two-weeks-old and to Sh300 if the chick is a month old.
Besides, he also offers training to upcoming poultry farmers,and helps them brood chicks using brooders and artificial incubators at a fee.
He says a shortage of chicken feeds resulting from the lockdown invited more profit as he went on to manufacture chicken feeds by mixing locally available materials such maize jam, wheat bran, broken rice, broken wheat and vegetable remains.
“Those are some of the ways I invented to cut down on cost. I even realised that buying chicken feeds from wholesale shops eats into my profits ” he explains.