Kenyan research organization debuts improved chicken breed with exceptional egg-laying capabilities

KENYA – The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) debuted an improved indigenous chicken breed (KC3) with exceptional disease resistance in an effort to improve the incomes of poultry farmers in the country.

The new improved KC3 breed is an upgrade of KC1 and KC2 chickens that were launched in 2019 and is expected to boost egg production in the country.

“In response to the unique consumer demands in the Western region for a brown improved chicken, we have now introduced a brown variant, the KC3, which is being launched today,” Kalro director general Dr Eliud Kireger said. 

Kirege said that KC3, like the other two breeds, is well adapted to the tropical climatic conditions of almost all counties in the country.

He said the unique characteristic of the new breed is that they can start laying at five months and have the capacity to produce up to 250 eggs in a year,

The productivity of indigenous breeds was indicated to be constrained by the high costs of feed, diseases, low genetic potential and poor management practices.

The improvement focused on the growth rate, feed conversion efficiency, egg-laying capacity, disease tolerance and quality of meat and body conformation. 

Director General livestock systems, Samuel Mburu added that a new 2000 birds capacity breeding and multiplication was established to meet the national daily demand of over 2 million one-day-old chicks.

He said an additional 19,000-egg capacity hatchery, with a capacity to supply at least 34,000-day-old chicks monthly, up from 3,000 was put in place to boost production.

“Currently, our annual production of day-old chicks stands at 600,000 compared to a national demand of over 2 million chicks per year,” Mburu said.

“We are proud to have a new 2000 birds capacity breeding and multiplication house constructed for $ 37,861.58 with joint funding from the European Union and the Government of Kenya through the Climate Smart Agricultural Productivity Project (AgriFI CS),” Kirege added.

He also added that the industry has fairly well-developed inputs and services provided along the value chain.

Principal Secretary State Department for Livestock Harry Kimutai, hailed KALRO for researching the development of technologies, innovations, and management practices to improve the productivity of indigenous chicken.

Speaking at the function, the KALRO National Project Coordinator George Keya said the organisation has received US$4.92 million and US$1.13 from European Union (EU) and Kenya Government respectively to undertake various research across all the KALRO institutes across the country.

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