Kenbro, kuroiler, rainbow rooster or Kari? which is the best.

As kienyeji become more and more popular in Kenya, more and more breeds are entering the market.These improved breeds have higher productivity than the local kienyeji breeds. They have been bred for certain purposes. As a farmer, it is important to take advantage of the different kienyeji chicken breed’s characteristics to fit your purposes. For example, If you are keeping chickens for meat, a rainbow rooster gains faster weight than the improved KARI and kuroiler breeds. Here are some of the improved kienyeji breeds;

KARI kienyeji: This was bred from a range of indigenous chickens in Kenya by KARI (now KARLO) Naivasha. There are five distinct types distinguished by their colours (Table 2)

Kuroiler: This breed entered Kenya from Uganda but originates from India

Kenbro: This is a Kenchic breed

The rainbow rooster: This is a multi-coloured breed originating from India .

Here is a summarized table showing different kienyeji chicken breeds with their characteristics:

DescriptionKARI kienyejiKuroilerKenbroRainbow rooster
PurposeEggs and meatEggs and meatEggs and meatEggs and meat
Maturity (months)5.554-55
Average egg production (per month)15-2018-2020-2520-25
Average meat productionCocks: 2.0-2.2kgCocks: 2.2-2.5 kgCocks: 2.2-2.5Cocks: 3.0 kg
Hens: 1.5-1.8 kgHens: 1.8-2.2 kgHens:  1.9-2.2 kgHens: 1.9- 2.2 kg
Sitting characteristicsMulti-coloured ones are good sittersPoor sittersDoes not sitDoes not sit
Decline in production (years)Hens: 1.5 yearsHens: 1.5 yearsHens: 1.5 yearsHens: 1.5 years
Cocks: 1.3 yearsCocks: 1 yearCocks: 1 yearCocks: 1 year
Disease resistance compared to each otherHighLowLowHigh

Improved KARI indigenous chickens come in five different colours; spotted, white, black, brown and multi-coloured. They have the following characteristics;

ColourVisual FeaturesSittingLayingWeight/ meat
SpottedGood camouflagePoor sitters. 25% will sitPoor layerFaster weight gain Highest quality meat with better muscle structure
WhiteWith some blackWhite starts laying earlier.Good layers. More eggs. Larger eggs, so stronger chicksBecomes heavier
BlackWith brown frontModerate
Multi-colouredMore indigenousBetter sitters. 75% birds sitModerate layers

When starting on improved indigenous chicken business, consider the above characteristics and choose the breed that best suits your purpose. Ensure that you get your breeds from certified breeders for pure breeds.