Five types of improved kienyeji breed in Kenya

Today, every poultry farmer is looking for a high-productivity yield that is less prone to diseases and easy to manage. In Kenya, improved kienyeji breeds have become a good option for many farmers. What many beginner poultry farmers don’t know, however, is that, unlike pure Kienyeji, there are at least five types of improved kienyeji breeds in Kenya.

Each of the five breeds (KARI, Rainbow Roster, Sasso, Kuroler, and Premium Chicks) has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, as you start or continue your journey to successful poultry farming, it is important that you try to understand them.

KARI/Kalro Improved Kienyeji Breed

The KALRO improved kienyeji breed is a creation of the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute (KALRO), originally known as Kenya Agricultural Research Institute(KARI) in collaboration with researchers from Egerton University. It is a breed from a variety of local chickens in Kenya.

Here are some quick facts about this breed

  • Kalro improved kienyeji chicken has multicolored varieties
  • High disease resistance
  • Maturity is estimated at around 5 months during which a hen will weigh 1.2kg and a cock 1.8kg.
  • Productivity is high (the annual productivity is about 220-280 eggs compared to commercial breed whose productivity is about 300 eggs per year)
  • Free-range
  • May be fed with maize, greens, and left-overs

Rainbow Rooster

Rainbow rooster improved kienyeji chicken is a breed of chicken that originated from India. According to, the breed was developed by Indbro Research and Breeding Farms in South India.

Some quick facts about Rainbow rooster are as follows

  • Rainbow rooster chickens are able to sustain backyard and free-range rearing conditions
  • They are medium consumers
  • Have high disease resistance
  • Can be fed on greens, maize, and leftovers
  • Matures within five months, attaining an average weight of 0.5kg (for hens) and 2.8kg (for a cock).
  • Highly productive


Sasso improved kienyeji breed originated in France and was developed by Sasso Poultry. The breed was originally developed as an alternative to fast-growing commercial hybrid broilers.

  • Below are some facts about Sasso
  • Dual-purpose breeds, but are basically intended to be kept for meat
  • It May be raised as free-range chicken
  • The average maturity period is 84 days (approximately 3 months)
  • The estimated market weight at maturity is 2-2.4kg.
  • If fed and raised as layers, Sasso improved kienyeji breed lays between 220 and 260 eggs
  • Possesses necked neck characteristics


The kuroiler breeds originated from India. Here as some things you should know about kuroiler

  • Maturity is within 5 months
  • Estimated weight at maturity is 2-2.5kg
  • Cock remain active for up to 2 years while hens remain active for 1.5 years
  • Kuroilers have medium feed consumption
  • They are capable of surviving as free-range birds
  • These birds lay between 200-220 per year.

Premium Kienyeji Chicks

Premium kienyeji chicks were introduced by Western Seed Company. The breed is a dual-purpose breed.

  • Suitable for Free-range, Semi Free-range or Fully Housed Flocks
  • Resilient & Disease Tolerant
  • Maturity 4-5 Months
  • Healthy Meat & Eggs
  • Tasty Kienyeji Meat
  • Hens are often reared as layers
  • The productive capacity is between 240 and 270 eggs per year.

1 thought on “Five types of improved kienyeji breed in Kenya”

  1. What advice can you give to someone like me who would like to start poultry farming for eggs and meat for sale or business


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