Egg hatching turns into money spinner for medic

T he nurse, who quit his job to try his hand at agribusiness, is now raking in Ksh120,000 monthly from hatching chickens. All Mr Martin Mau does is to gather eggs and put them in an incubator, wait for them to hatch and sell chicks at Ksh90 each.
The farmer from Murang’a County invested Ksh300,000 and his poultry venture is barely six months old. Yet, the impressive income from breeding chickens has motivated him to set a target of Ksh10 million in earnings in the next seven years.
The maths in his ambition is based on the incubator’s capacity of hatching 2,132 eggs per single brooding. A fertilised egg costs Ksh15, meaning that he spends at least Ksh32,000.
Assuming that 2,000 eggs hatch successfully, he gets a gross profit of Ksh180,000. Production costs add up to Ksh10,000 and he pockets Ksh138,000 in 21 days!
Small-scale traders also bring him eggs for brooding and he charges Ksh30 for every successful hatching. Here, the profit margin is lower but not in anyway discouraging.
“At the fee of Ksh30 per hatched egg, full capacity would translate to a gross income of about Ksh60,000 after three weeks, the time it takes an incubated egg to hatch. After deducting costs, I am left with Ksh50,000,” he says.
“Those delivering eggs for incubation spend Sh45 instead of Sh90, the price at which I sell a day-old chick,” says Mr Mau.
Many in the rural areas, who are in business of selling indigenous chicken to restaurants, he adds, prefer their chicks reared naturally by hens instead of nursing the young ones using artificial warmth.
“A good number of my customers use their hens to sit on the eggs. Once they hatch, they buy more chicks to add on the already hatched ones. A hen successfully incubates about 12 chicks but can warm up to 30 chicks. It means that the breeder will buy a further 18 chicks from my business,” says the farmer.
He adds that the hatchability rate is at about 95 per cent and he has been making an average monthly income of Sh120,000.
His unsuccessful attempt to join the military, he adds, has turned out to have been a blessing in disguise. Mr Mau, who scored a grade B-Minus in his KCSE exam at Njiiri’s High School in 2007, could not secure a place at the public universities, which led him to try his luck at the Kenya Defence Forces Training College.
However, after three unsuccessful attempts, he decided to join a medical training college in 2009 to study clinical nursing. In 2012, he graduated and was posted to Thika General Hospital.
“But my heart was simply not in it and I found myself thinking about how to get into agribusiness,” he says. He settled on poultry but avoided the high risk venture of rearing chickens, opting to feed the market end with chicks. He then started saving with his eyes set on purchasing an incubator… FULL STORY INSIDE ISSUE 36

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