Side hustles play a crucial role in the lives of many Kenyan workers, bridging the gap between financial struggle and stability. For Sela Awino Migaya, an Information Technology expert, chicken farming has proven to be a lucrative side business, earning her an additional monthly income of Ksh. 150,000 on top of her IT salary of approximately Ksh. 60,000. This essay explores her journey and sheds light on the profitability of chicken farming in Kenya.
Sela Awino Migaya’s Success Story: Hailing from Siaya County, 28-year-old Sela Awino Migaya discovered her passion for farming during her childhood. In 2016, she identified an opportunity to boost her income by raising Kuroiler and indigenous chickens on her one-eighth-acre farm. At the time, she found herself barely saving any money after covering rent expenses of Ksh. 20,000, transportation costs of approximately Ksh. 5,000, and other personal needs.
Starting with an initial capital of Ksh. 15,000, Ms. Migaya purchased 150 one-day-old Kuroiler chicks from Thika. As her flock multiplied, she invested Ksh. 70,000 to construct a poultry house. Despite her full-time job as an IT specialist in Kisumu City, where she worked weekdays and half-day on Saturdays, Ms. Migaya dedicated her weekends to attending to her poultry farm in Siaya.
Profitability and Expansion: Ms. Migaya’s poultry farm is situated in the rural setting of Usire, along the Bondo-Usenge highway near Maranda High School. She currently supplies 14 chickens per week to two local schools, generating an income of Ksh. 9,800. During the festive season, she experienced peak demand and sold approximately 5,000 chicks. Currently, her farm houses around 470 to 500 chickens, prompting her to restock in order to meet the next round of orders.
Apart from supplying established schools, Ms. Migaya also caters to first-time farmers by providing them with chicks. These customers typically order between 250 and 300 chicks each month. To meet the demand, Ms. Migaya invested in an incubator with a capacity of 126 eggs, allowing her to hatch more chicks for the market. She prices day-old chicks at Ksh. 100, while mature chickens fetch between Ksh. 600 and Ksh. 800.
Challenges and Cost Management: Like any business venture, poultry farming presents its own set of challenges. Ms. Migaya acknowledges the need for full-time availability on the farm to address various aspects such as feeding, stress management, and vaccination. To mitigate costs, she purchases unmixed feeds weighing 100kg at Ksh. 3,500, which lasts for seven weeks, instead of the mixed variety priced at Ksh. 5,000. By making strategic choices, she ensures efficient cost management within her farming operations.
Conclusion: Sela Awino Migaya’s success story exemplifies the profitability of chicken farming in Kenya. Through her side hustle, she has not only supplemented her IT salary but also created a sustainable professional career. Her experiences demonstrate that with careful planning, dedication, and strategic investments, individuals can find financial success in the poultry farming industry.