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Taking advantage of Covid-19 situation – How banker earns a living from rearing birds

By Brian Malila
Sunday, June 20th, 2021 08:10 | 3 mins read
Peter Musyoka Kinyua at his farm in Runyenjes.Photo/courtesy

A banker from Runyenjes, Embu East Sub County is reaping in thousands of shillings from an ornamental bird rearing business which he started when Covid-19 struck the country.

Peter Musyoka Kinyua decided to take risks and started bird rearing amid the Covid-19 pandemic using money he could have used to pay school fees for his children since they were at home and also other tax reliefs that came with the Covid-19 but he did not know the business he ventured into would become his daily source of livelihood.

''When Covid-19 came to the country, we were told by our employers to work from home and I felt very idle.

Because the children were home and no learning was ongoing I decided to merge the school fees I could have paid for my children that time together with other disposable income that came as a result of Covid-19 and tax relief to risk in ornamental birds and that is how my business started," Kinyua said.

Kinyua initially started rearing geese before purchasing 35 other varieties of ornamental birds and he describes them as very productive compared to poultry farming.

Some of the ornamental birds he rears include; Welsh harlequin, Indian runners, Khaki Campbell ,Muscovy ducks ,Egyptian Geese, Peking ducks, Smooth satin silkiest, Silkier bantam, Frizzled bantams ,endian fantail pigeons, Rock pigeons, Broad breasted bronze Turkey ,Royal palm Turkeys, White Holland Turkey, Dotted guinea fowls, Vulturine guinea fowls, Japanese (Chabot) bantams, Partridge silkiest, Rouen ducks, White guinea fowls, Peking lavender bantams, Lavender guinea fowls, Ring-necked pheasants, Polish bantam, Kuching.

Kinyua says that few people rear ornamental birds because of the challenges of accessing feeds and other inputs.

However, Kinyua says consumption needs of the birds are similar to other types of poultry farming but the return on ornamental birds is higher and impressive.

''A mature pair of peacock  in my business is between Ksh60,000 and Ksh70,000 and if not mature it is Sh30,000,the less valued ornamental bird am rearing here is Muscovy ducks and one goes for Ksh1,500,''said Kenya.

The young entrepreneur says he only used Ksh20, 000 to start his business where he used KS 5,000 to purchase the first birds and the male geese cost him Ksh3, 000 and the female geese Ksh2, 000 where he used the other amount to build the house the ornamental birds.

The former banker said he was caught by surprise within the few months he engaged in the business after realizing that the business on ornamental birds was fetching a lot money and it when he decided to quit his banking job and concentrate in his new business.

''I decided to venture in different business of rearing birds and change the tune of normal chicken farming because the competition is not tough, I am really proud of my business and I don’t regret leaving banking sector, " Kinyua said.

He said he is earning over Ksh100, 000 monthly after deducting the cost of production which much of it goes to the feeds.

The birds he rears produces eggs which he says are expensive compared to that of chicken.

''An egg can cost up to Ksh150 shillings compared to Ksh10 bob that normal chicken produces,” Kenya noted.

In order to sooth the birds to produce more eggs and remove stress on them which may hinder production Kenya plays them music to keep the comfortable.

He says there some of the birds who are good dancers and he says he enjoys when running the business monitoring how they produce and behave.

In order to easily look for market for the ornamental bird Kenya said that together with other ten people who are on a similar business like him they have formed a social media platform that they use in marketing their business.

He said he and others in similar businesses who are less than 10 in Embu have formed social media groups where they assist one another in finding the market.

Kinyua said he is looking to grow the business to a level of exporting the birds outside the country while getting new varieties from those countries.

With the business steadily taking shape as more people venture in keeping ornamental birds, Kinyua opts to grow his business to meet the export market where various birds are highly sort out.

Brian Malila