Poultry farming to pay for my university degree

Lucas Omuko

Gesonso, Kisii, Kenya

100% repaid

Entrepreneur

Name

Lucas Omuko

Member since

December 2015

On-time repayments

218 installments  •  77%

About Me

I was born in one of the poorest and violent "hoods" of Thika. Second born in a family of Six brothers and sisters, it was not easy growing up. Many days we went without food, but mama was determined to send us all to school. Her belief was that at least with a high school education, we could get by, and be ready for the job market. I got good grades in high school, and I could see myself in Uni. However, this was not to be.

Mama had to make a tough choice. My elder brother had wanted to go to college or trade school, but that did not happen because I had to be put through high school. So when it was my time, I had hoped that a miracle would happen and that all would be better. The truth is nothing got better. I too had to make room for my siblings to be educated. The entire amount I would need for one semester of University was enough to put my siblings through two years of schooling.

In desperation and a desire to help out, I started taking odd jobs here and there, ending up at the factory gates of the Industrial section of the district. In between providing a supplementary income to the family and trying to push myself ahead, I was inwardly suffering and languishing. Here I was, with good high school grades, jostling for position to carry heavy boxes around and other menial jobs with people who would transform to robbers at night, and muggers.

I wanted more, and so one day while at the gates begging to be taken in for a days casual job, I felt hopeless and lost. On my way home, having failed to secure a job for the day, I decided I had had enough. I never went back to the factories again. Instead, I sought solace in the only place that had meaning to me; a district library about four kilometers form where we lived.

This led to conflicts at home, and several months later, with my younger brother through with high school, I was technically ostracized from the family. I was not providing, and had no business eating or sleeping in that house.

I moved out and started applying some skills I had taught myself repairing electronics. It was the dawn of the mobile phone revolution, and I became a repairer for hire. This was also the time that I converted to Christianity.

Shortly thereafter I married and settled, but still felt I needed more. Over time, I managed to put myself through Uni, graduating in Dec. 2015. I am on course to completing a Masters degree sometimes in late 2016, or mid 2017.

UPDATE:
(I completed my MA in late 2018, and graduated in 2019!)

My Business

Every venture has its learning and growing curve. Raising poultry got me out of a comfort zone that I was living in ignorantly. I have had to go through the whole cycle of raising chickens from hatchery to market. It is tedious, but done right it is rewarding. But so is the mining of the most precious metal on earth, platinum.

Through the loans, I have managed to do the chicken business differently. I have bought chicks, have had my chicken hatch chicks, have burnt my fingers in lost stock due to diseases, and have enjoyed profits that have gone a long way to achieve my goal; education for my family.

As before, I am opting to leave my previous write-ups so you can have a background of my business.

Please do read, and let my story and previous writing on "My Business" add to what I have briefly written.

________________________________

I am presently engaged in raising chicken. Not much has changed from the below writeups in terms of what I do. I did use the third loan to manage feeding and some more modifications in the chicken coop. I can report that I have reached that point where I can now shift focus to hatching eggs and selling month old chicks to farmers and other growers.

˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜˜

I used the second loan to increase my current stock levels and to make improvements in the chicken coop. Of the 100 more chicks I procured, I lost some to an unknown cause. They just kept dying. I suspect that my supplier might have got me "tired" chicks. A neighbor's dog also took advantage over the period I was making improvements and I lost six birds in one night.

I also was able to find ways of bringing down the feed costs, by mixing several ingredients and milling them together. The chicken seemed to like it! The birds have started laying too, which is good because with time I can start selling eggs and the live chicken.

Currently I have about two hundred birds, all in different stages of growth. nine birds, and the parent stock has started laying fertilized eggs. I am applying for this third loan to be able to increase my stock levels and to make even more improvements in the chicken coop to be able to house the birds. Below, again, is my earliest write up of the business.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Early 2015, I started making plans for going into agri business. I saw potential in the chicken business, and made investment towards it. I built a standard chicken coop that can house between three hundred and five hundred birds.

The reason for going into chicken is because I realized that the farmers in Kisii cannot satisfy the existing demand for chicken and eggs. Eggs are being imported from Uganda. Also, the retail prices of the eggs and chicken are higher than in other areas.

I currently have twenty two birds, with an additional fifty on the way. It is a hardy breed that will require less input with a higher return on investment. I am seeking a loan to increase the number of birds to a number that can sustain itself, with my aim being my own hatchery. This will reduce my costs of production per bird by almost thirty percent (30%). With increased profits, I can manage to increase the stock of the birds and construct another coop.

I am aiming to be the person people come to when they want affordable chicken in Kisii. To achieve this, I am seeking someone, or people who will see beyond the cry for self preservation and into the desire to break free of the poverty cycle, not just for myself, but others too, by providing them with affordable food sources; someone or people to lend me a hand and see this vision come true.

Loan Proposal

With this current loan, I will invest in something I tried before, and which is turning out to be central to my interest in education through poultry production. Animal feed production. This is a viable market, and the demand is there.

I am able to get chicks when I want, maybe with a weeks delay at the maximum. I am able to get a market for my chicken, which is a plus, and I have influenced a couple of people to start chicken farming (they did it on their own after they saw my journey and where it has got us).

The biggest cost so far is in the feeds, and after trial and experimenting with several products, I can say it is very possible for me to eliminate the need to buy manufactured feeds, which are expensive, and make my own, which is very economical.

But this time round, I am aiming at producing a surplus of the chicken feed so I can sell to farmers around me. In my locality, there is only one animal feeds seller, and he is able to sell most of his stock. Often times, I have had to incur extra expenses to feed my chicken. I want to explore the feeds market, for two reasons. I will cut back on costs in feeds, and I can get profits from sales. This is something I have tried before, and it works. E.g. Instead of paying KES 850 for a 20kg chicken feed, I can produce the same for about KES 600, reflecting 29.4% savings! Imagine that scaled up, to about a ton.

I may not be able to give accurate figures, since the cost of the primary raw input, corn, is going downwards., but has habit of going up around May. But in terms of estimates, I may put it at about 20% to 30% profits and cutbacks on expenses.

I will use this loan to buy maize, and fishmeal primarily, and what is left, I will start as savings for a mill/crusher, or animal feeds machine.

Kindly do consider my application, and let my repayment discipline tell you that you I am all in on this.

Thank you

Feedback

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Loan Info

Project Type

Classic Loan

Disbursed amount

$664.06

Date disbursed

Sep 5, 2017

Repayment status

On Time

Projected term

10 months

Cost to entrepreneur

Service fee: $28.08

Lenders

PaulE

Cockeysville, MD, United States

YB Song

Seoul, Republic of Korea

MakeSense

-, St. Kitts and Nevis

Freewolf

Salt Lake City, United States

bb4dogs

United States

Laparo

Dusseldorf, Germany

V

Vivek

Arlington, VA, United States

kt

Brush Prairie, United States

DL

Dunja Lazic

United States

Ed

Howells, United States

B

BSM

France

Deirdre

Yorkshire, United Kingdom

JH

Joseph Hwang

Houston, United States

JF

Jason Florida

United States

M

Mary

United States

rob baird

Darwin Australia, Australia

James Douglass

Sydney, Australia

Ask Lucas a question about this loan project, share news and photos of your own, or send a simple note of thanks or inspiration.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 28, 2022

    I consider myself a veteran with Zidisha, and my record is clean. I know what Zidisha has done in my life, and I have personally grown financially, and my kids educated courtesy fo Zidisha.

    My wife is now running the project that was seeded out of Zidisha, and so does my son who is soon completing college. I am taking this loan to partially invest with my wife and start a partnership with my son.

    He knows Zidisha works, and when he is responsible enough, I will recommend him to apply for his own loans.

    Thank you.

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  • Janice Njoki    Nov 27, 2020

    Lucas is planning to settle his payments from next week,Friday.

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  • Lilian Kimko    Oct 3, 2020

    Halo lenders,, I have spoken to Lucas who has promised to continue repaying his loan for he had travel but now back..
    Thanks for your patience

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 22, 2020

    Hallo, Just to let you know that I received the loan. I have made arrangements to restock and waiting for the supplies to come through.

    I will keep you posted whenever there are new developments and also to keep you apprised of the project.

    Thank you.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 16, 2020

    I got the full amount disbursed and I must say it's impressive that the process was fast unlike in the past when we would have to wait for a couple of days. Thank you once again. I will keep you updated on the progress.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 16, 2020

    Thank you to all my lenders. I will definitely be restocking and procuring what I need to be on track for end of year increased demand.

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  • Mary    Jun 16, 2020

    Do you compost your chicken bedding Lucas? It can be sold to farmers once it is composted to be used for building soil.

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    • Lucas Omuko    Jun 16, 2020

      At the moment I am not composting. But every time I replace the beddings I use it on our small kitchen garden.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 12, 2020

    Well, at one point I encountered some hiccups with the last loan, and I ended up paying a little late than I would have wanted to. However, I was able to use the loan to improve on what is now our growing family project of poultry and poultry feed production.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Mar 26, 2020

    The current conditions make it hard to conduct business.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jan 29, 2020

    Apologies for the late payment. I traveled and had no way of repaying the loan.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Sep 20, 2019

    Thank you everyone for lending me your money. I will give it my best shot to stay on track with my repayments.

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  • Christine E Graham    Sep 19, 2019

    Hello, Lucas, God bless you in your endeavors!

    Numbers 6:24-26 - The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Aug 19, 2019

    So I have been trying to confirm and accept the loan but the button will not work, I posted in the forum but havent heard from anyone. This is to let you know that there is a technical error on the side of Zidisha.

    It's also not possible to raise a support ticket from within my profile, all queries terminate at the forum. If anyone reading this has an idea on how to proceed, any help will be appreciated.

    Thank you.

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  • Tim    Aug 18, 2019

    Best of luck with your poultry business, Lucas. I enjoyed reading your story, you're a good writer!

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jul 26, 2019

    After all these years and months, why am I subject to a credit risk fee of 16% above the normal processing fee? For first time borrowers, yes, it makes sense, but I have been here without defaulting!

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jul 24, 2019

    The previous loan helped me especially in making my own feeds. I was able to cut down costs of production significantly. I had also got a chicken feed making machine, but I had to return it since the workmanship and quality were poor. It would have held me back. But I do intend to get one soon.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Jun 9, 2019

    Hallo everyone.

    It has been a while since my last update. A lot has happened since. I was able to complete and graduate my Master's class! Unfortunately I was not able to attend the commencement ceremony in person, but all in all my name featured!

    My elder son is also doing his final year of high school and will soon have to take over the chicken venture and perhaps grow it beyond what I started.

    You will note that although I am on time with my repayment, there was a little fluctuation arising from the many things I had to deal with.

    I am looking forward to borrowing again when I clear the loan, and I hope you will still lend me your money.

    Thank you.

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  • Johannes    Dec 20, 2018

    Hello Mr. Lucas Omuko
    You have been in arrears for several weeks with the repayment of your loan.
    Are there problems?
    Please give me an answer.
    Bear in mind that other people are waiting for the allocation of their loan.
    Due to your late repayment, then these can not
    financed.
    many Greetings
    John

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  • Lucas Omuko    Aug 19, 2018

    The loan was disbursed.

    Thank you to my lenders and the Zidisha team. I am in the process of making arrangements to have the machine I wanted delivered.

    I will keep you posted along the way.

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  • Lucas Omuko    Aug 8, 2018

    Thank you for funding my loan. With this loan I hope to be able to get the chicken feed machine that I need to bring down the costs of production.

    I also cant wait for the day when I shall be able to open a cottage animal feeds factory, and who knows, even create employment for others.

    I will update you in the course of time, and I will try not to spam the comments wall.

    Thank you very much.

    Lucas.

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