KIAMBU

Poultry farmers increase earnings, tame aflatoxin with organic supplement

Njenga Hakeenah
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Poultry farmers in Kenya are saving up to Sh12,000 on feed costs monthly and increasing the maturity rate of their birds by two and a half weeks.

In addition, they are taming the spread of aflatoxins from chicken to humans thanks to a low cost organic supplement that has now caught the attention of Uganda and academic scholars.

Dubbed MolaPlus Poultry Microbes, the solution, which is a form of supplement, is the first of its kind in Kenya. It is organic ensuring that the birds and their products are free from chemicals.

It has been developed by animal feed manufacturer MolaPlus Limited and comes in the wake of increasing cost of chicken feed and diseases that are taking a toll on poultry farming in the country even as the sector struggles to stoke growing competition from Uganda.

Feeds account for 30 per cent of poultry farmers’ expenses with the cost of preventing and curing diseases taking another 30 per cent. But the unprecedented spike in feed prices in recent years, occasioned by the scarcity of raw materials and competition for grains by poultry and humans, is eating into the farmers’ profits. Farmers are also grappling with diseases as changing weather and poor feeding take a toll on the health and immunity of the birds.

“With the increasing cost of feeds, poultry farmers need a feeding formula that ensures right rations with a good nutritional mix while keeping the birds free from diseases. This is no mean feat,” said Henry Ambwere the CEO of MolaPlus Limited.

The MolaPlus Poultry Microbes, a set of beneficial living microorganisms, and which come in the form of liquid, ensure that chicken are able to utilise the feeds faster while consuming less. This increases the bird’s growth rate and weight faster than a chicken relying on feeds alone.

The microbes attach themselves to the gut of the bird, additionally creating a protective environment that inhibits attacks from disease causing organisms.

They are mixed with water, at the ratio of five millilitres for every litre of water, once every day.

A farmer is able to save a bag of 70kg feed every week by using the supplement for every 1,000 birds. With a 70kg kilo of layers mash feed going for Sh3,000 a farmer is able to save Sh12,000 every month.

The microbes also assist chicken reach maturity two and a half weeks earlier than they ordinarily would which reduces the cost of feeding.

“This has got to do with a host of other beneficial aspects that the microbes produce in the body including Vitamins to boost the bird’s immunity,” Ambwere said.

A study by the Animal Science department of Egerton University on the MolaPlus Poultry Microbes also found out that the microbes increased bird weight by half a kilo under three weeks. They also assist in strengthening of the egg shell, the yellowing of the yolk and increasing the egg weight.

And at a time when the country is grappling with the aflatoxin menace, microbes are offering a cheaper and more organic solution. Kenya has been classed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), as one of the world’s hotspots for aflatoxins.

The growing demand for the company’s microbes has been rising in the country which has seen it increase its outlet network to 1,500 stores.

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-Njenga Hakeenah

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