Indigenous Chicken – Kienyenji


Ann Wachira, Research Officer, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO),, 0722443973. Damaris Nyingi, Intern, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), , 0713210328, Monica Olala,, 0727250496, Adul Ochieng,, 0722303602.

The livestock sub sector contributes 7.9-10% GDP to the Kenyan economy. Out of the Agricultural GDP, which is 25% of the national GDP, the poultry industry is estimated to contribute about 1.7 %. The industry has over the years, progressed to become one of the most important livestock enterprises particularly in rural households where over 70% of the country’s population live and derive their livelihood.

Poultry are the most abundant livestock species, and domestic chicken (98%) are the most important, with other poultry species constituting 2% of the current total estimated population of 32 million birds.


The industry is an important source of food, income and employment. In addition, it is an integral source of livelihood to over 80% of the rural households, with many social and cultural uses. The poultry industry also has linkages with other sectors of the economy that include input suppliers, feeds manufacturers, breeders, transporters, processors, traders and consumers. The industry continues to be constrained by various challenges among them, poorly organized marketing structures, poor and high cost of inputs, loss of genetic diversity, low productivity within the indigenous chicken sub-sector, fluctuations in production, diseases and inadequate funding to development.

The demand for poultry and poultry products has increased due to urbanization and increasing human population. This demand may not be met due to the underlying challenges currently facing the industry. The potential of poultry to increase household incomes, creation of employment and ensure food and nutrition security can only be realized if improved strategies and technologies are put in place in a holistic manner involving all actors along the poultry chain.