What you need to know before setting up a chicken hatchery business

Chicken is one of the biggest delicacies in Kenya today. Its demand has continued to rise year on year and existing farmers just can’t satisfy the market.

The free range chicken, referred to as kuku kienyeji is the most sought after and its prices for a 2-3kg now range between Sh700 to Sh1000 in the market. It gets more expensive during festivities and other public holidays. There is simply no chicken farmer who cannot get a market.

But chicken farming starts with hatching.  If you have a hatchery that can do 500 chicks a day, it means you will be looking at making gross sales of Sh600,000 per annum from one hatchery. This is if you hatch at least once every month. A hatching cycle is every 21 days.  A good hatchery in Kenya is between Sh200,000 and Sh300,000. It can also be cheaper if you visit Jua Kali stores where they can customize one for you.

If you have 5 hatcheries to allow for chicks every week, you will be looking at making Sh3million. Assuming your costs are as high as 50 per cent, which is highly unlikely, you will be looking at making at leash Sh1.5million in profits every year.

This business has a good market demand throughout the year and can provide employment to youth and women. The net profit margin can go as high as 80 per cent if you manage to keep down your costs and the business has a payback period 3 years and 5 months.


You need to select good eggs and insert them into an incubator for 18 days. They are then transferred into a hatchery for 3 days to hatch.

Production assumed 21 days in a month with. Depreciation (fixed assets write off) assumes 4 years life of assets write off of 25 per cent per year. Supply of one day chicks has a high demand both in rural and urban areas throughout the year. Today one average, a one day chick goes for Sh100.

Market for the one day chicks from good breeders can be produced anywhere in the country to reduce transportation and sold within the country and to the neighboring counties.


The risk involved in this kind of business is poultry diseases like coccidiosis which can be mitigated by vaccination of the birds either weekly or monthly.

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