The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) on Tuesday, March 28 launched a new breed of free-range chicken popularly known as kienyeji.
Ann Wachira, a senior research scientist at KALRO explained that the move followed an concerns from consumers of the free-range chicken over the colour of the previous breeds.
The KC3 is the third-generation breed of chicken developed by the organisation under the KC lineage. K=KC1 and KC2 were black and white and plain black respectively.
"People from Western and other areas started complaining that the black chicken was not that appealing to their eyes and they wanted the plumage changed," she explained.
Researchers released the new variety characterised by its plain brown colour with a variation of brown with white spots also available.
One of the farmers who went to collect her order of day-old chicks of the KC3 explained that the community had not warmed up to the KC2.
"It is just a matter of familiarity because the farmers were not used to it. From my experience, the black chicken was given to people who brought in dead bodies as a gift," she explained.
The bird was unveiled during the launch of a 2,000-capacity bird breeding and multiplication house in Kakamega,
Dr Joshua Chepching explained that the house would help meet the demand for white meat in Western, Nyanza, North and South Rift regions.
"Together with the current 19,000 capacity hatchery, 34,000 day-old chicks will be produced in the regional black every month," Chepching stated.
With the constrained productivity of indigenous breeds, KALRO's KC3 is a robust chicken breed to enhance sustainable production.
The country has an average demand of 200,000 day-old-chicks every month.
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