How to Start / Open A Chcken Butchery Business in Kenya

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Chicken Butchery Business Plan (Kenya)

This is refers to butcheries specializing in chicken and chicken parts like liver, feet, back, gizzard and neck. Just like in beef butchery the chicken in sold in different quantities and not necessarily as a whole. Thus a consumer can purchase a quarter kilogram, half, one and a half and any other quantity.

Broiler as opposed to kienyeji chicken are preferred. Broiler chickens are readily available in large quantities and their price favorable when compared to kienyeji chicken. The trend hasn’t changed despite many more farmers getting into kienyeji chicken rearing.



Type of License







County Business Permit

-Single user trade license


- Kshs.7000 to Kshs.15, 000




issued by the county


depending on county, size of




government to all businesses.


premises and the location






within the county.

















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Public Health License

-Issued by public health

Averages Kshs.3000.


officers in the area after



making sure the business



premises is fit for handling






- Among the check list is



availability of water, drainage,



and condition of floor, walls



and the general environment.



- In some areas public health



officers are not so strict. At



times they ask for bribes to



approve your business even if



it does not meet all the



required standards.



- Public officers are found at



the government/county



hospitals or county



government offices.



- Different counties could have



some ‘lesser’ licenses



associated with the health



license. For instance if the



butchery is also cooking



chips, sausages and other



food stuffs.


Medical Certificate

By law people handling food

Averages Kshs.500 and can


for public consumption are

be acquired at the local


required to have a medical

government/ county hospital


certificate to ensure they don’t

clinic after some tests.


have any communicable



diseases which can be spread



to customers.



Often employees seek and



come with the medical



certificates themselves since



they can use them even when



they leave your shop.




Type of Equipment









Deep freezer


- Chicken and chicken

Kshs. 30,000 –







products like liver,









gizzards and necks



- Electronic shops





are highly perishable

- Price depends







and to keep them

depending on size,

-Kitchen equipment





fresh you need cold

brand, where you are


























purchasing from and








whether second hand







- Even if you start with

or brand new.








low quantity of stock









there is always a

-If possible Buy a new







chance that at the end

freezer. And when its







of the day some

second hand test and







product will remain.

test to make sure it’s







You can’t risk having

free from any defects.







the smell or taste of

- There are some







stale. It will drive

chicken butcheries







customers away.

especially in the








slums which start with








a cooler box rather








than a proper freezer.








A cooler box









averages Kshs.6000.








It’s not as effective as








a deep freezer but

















nevertheless. When








using a cooler stock








quantities that will sell








within the same day.























Digital weighing


-Used for measuring

-Kshs.20,000 to

-Some supermarkets



machine and manual


the amount of chicken



and hardware shops



weighing scale


customers want.



stock them.







-Price depends on







-Digital scale

capacity, features and

-Some hardware





preferred by

whether new or







customers because of

second hand.








flexibility. For instance



-In Nairobi the area





a customer says I

-Manual weighing

around Nyamakima,





have Ksh.80 and a

scale range between

Kirinyaga road and





quarter is 90, you are

Kshs.6,000 and

lower parts of River





able to weigh chicken



Road have shops





of equivalent amount.



stocking them at








relatively low prices





- However if your









capital is low you









could start with a









manual weighing


















-Since the digital









weighing machine is









powered by electricity









you could have a









manual machine just



























in case there is a









power black out and









the battery also runs


















-Scales should be









certified by the









Department of









Weights & Measures









which falls under the









Ministry of Trade so









as to ensure they are









not tampered with.









-Usually officials go









round in shopping









centers checking









whether scales being









used are certified. A









new trader is









supposed to be









proactive and









approach the









department to have









her scale certified.









Certification costs









Kshs.2000 per year.



























-A small counter is

Between Kshs. 3000

-Local carpenter





necessary. It could be

and Kshs.10000







a simple table where

depending on








you place the

carpenter and size







weighing scale and









cut and wrap the
















Table & Chair


- To place small items

-Kshs.2000 to


- Local carpenter





like papers, knives ,



- Supermarket






trays and such









- Chair to sit on as

-Plastic chair is Kshs.







you wait for
















Knives, Trays,


-Butchers knives and

@ least Kshs.6000 for





Buckets, Basins and


board for cutting the



- Open markets









- Plastic shops






- Basins, trays for



-Wrapping paper





placing the chicken.



shops. E.g. in Nairobi





- Bucket and mop for



Ansami near Koja ,








Tom Mboya Street





- Dustbin for waste

































-Wrapping papers


Based on the above here is a guideline of the amount of capital that is needed to start a chicken butchery. Figures are found on a chicken butchery located in Kariobangi, Nairobi.







County Business License

1 Single user business permit


Public Health License



Medical Certificate



Sub total :










2 months deposit + 1 month



rent. Will depend on location.



(Using Kshs.11,000 per






-Could need painting



-Exterior branding – Name,



Chicken art etc


Sub Total









Deep Freezer



Digital Scale



Manual Scale






Table & Chair



Knives, Basins, Trays, Bucket,



Dustbin, Towels, Papers etc



Sub Total







Working Capital



20kg chicken + 4 kg liver ,



gizzards, necks, backs



3 months @ 6,000 per month



3 months @ 1500 per month



3 months @ 500 per month



Transport, Airtime, Kickbacks





Sub Total









Total Capital

Adding all the above subtotals


Notes on Capital

-Rent can be lower or higher depending on your location. Some landlords will ask for 1 month deposit while others for even3 - 6 months. The norm is 2 months.

-Cost of a single business permit issued by the county government varies from county to county, location within the county and size of premises.

-Cost of renovation will depend on the present condition of the premise, the mason, painter or artist. Also it will depend on your location and the competition. If you are setting up in a low income neighborhood then a basic shop with minimum renovation can do. In a place like Kangemi and Kawangware there are butcheries located in 1.5m by

1.5m space with a table for the counter and a simple sign “ Chicken”

-Cost of equipment and stock will depend on your suppliers.

-Working capital items like electricity, water, salaries are factored for 3 months. However it could take longer to break even. It’s to your advantage if you have enough capital to run for at least 5 months.

-If your capital is low you can cut off some items like the manual weighing scale. Also try keeping your miscellaneous costs at the minimum.

-Kshs. 180,000 to Kshs. 250,000 is enough to start a chicken butchery.


Below are average prices of chicken and chicken products in Nairobi.


Wholesale ( 1kg)

Wholesale Price

Retail (1kg)

Retail (1kg)


Average (Kshs.)


Average (Kshs.)

Range (Kshs.)



280 - 320


230 - 440



180 - 200


240 - 260



100 - 150


160 - 200



130 - 160


200 - 240



30 - 50


60 - 80



280 - 320


340 - 400

Notes on Revenue:

-Actual wholesale price will depend on the source of your supplies, negotiation skills and whims of individual sellers. (See more in suppliers)

-Exact retail price will depend on your location, competition, your wholesale sources, cost management and how much margins you want. If in a mid level or high income area then the prices will be relatively higher than in a lower income area. For instance butchery in Kangemi sells a kilogram of chicken at Kshs.80 per quarter kg, while butchery in Kariobangi sells the same at Kshs.100 per quarter kg. Another in Kiambu town sells a quarter at Kshs.90.

-Where direct competition exists in form of another chicken butchery then its common for one of them to lower prices of all or just some products by either Kshs.5 or Kshs.10

-If you are able to consistently source at lower prices then you can extend savings to your customers. However since there are always chances of supplier prices fluctuating don’t offer way below average prices. If you do then when suppliers price increase you could be forced to drastically raise prices, and when supplier prices falls you lower the retail prices again. Constant changing of prices could make a section of consumers think you are unreliable and hence avoid your shop.

-Since there are many and varied sources of chicken then the price range tends to be big. Thus it’s important to look around and establish the cheapest sources at a particular time. Consider this also in relation to costs such as transport and time needed to get the chicken to your butchery.

-As a rule of the thumb retail chicken prices tend to be equal or lower than that of beef by Kshs.40 - Khs.60per kilogram.

-Revenue is influenced by the inflation rate. A rising inflation rate reduces disposable income and thus the amount consumers spend on non essential items of which meat is sometimes considered to be by lower income groups. If inflation rates increase consumption of meat is likely to reduce. This is more so in the low income areas.

In lower income areas a rising inflation rate leads to more consumption of lower priced chicken products like liver, necks and backs. In mid level and high income areas a rise in the inflation rate not drastically reduce consumption unless it’s above 8%, in which price increases starts to bite into consumers’ income to a level that they could reduce consumption of meat products. Where the price of chicken is significantly lower that of beef, a rise in the latter’s price will see consumers shift to chicken.

-Revenue is slightly higher in chicken butcheries which cook chicken meat, and the chicken products. Presently the preferred way of cooking chicken by butcheries is to roast using a grill placed outside the butchery.

Roasted chicken meat pieces are based more on volume more than the true weight based definition of quarter. In some cases a kilogram could give more than 4 quarters say 5. Roast pieces are priced Kshs.20 and Kshs.30 above raw meat. At times roasting is used to attract to attention and draw people to the butchery and thus help sell more raw meat.

Deep fried liver, necks and gizzards increase gross revenue by an average of 20%. But then there are costs in time, fuel and oil. Cooking helps sell more especially to impulsive consumers who had no plan of purchasing chicken and are attracted by the look, smell or simply affordability.

Ready pieces of liver, neck and gizzard are priced at between Kshs.10 and Kshs.20. A quarter kilogram of necks which go for Kshs.50 could have 4 to 5 averaged sized pieces. When cooked and each sold at Kshs. 15 it could amount to between Kshs. 60 to Kshs.75.

-Revenue is also affected by the weighing scale. A scale that is tampered with means that you hoodwink a consumer so that a kilogram is not exactly 1000 grams but say 950 grams. In the end you sell less for more.

This is illegal though you are unlikely to be found out by Weight and Measures department officials.

If there is competition and customers discover a notable positive weight difference when they purchase from the competitor than at your shop they will of course they leave. Slowly word will spread and eventually you will lose customers. Be careful about it.

-If you offer good customer service, good and fresh chicken, fair prices then customers will be loyal. This will increase your revenue.

-Revenue is more in butcheries which are flexible when selling. This means that you only don’t sell in fixed amounts; 250 grams, 500g, 1 kg and so forth. You can sell 200 grams, 700 grams and so forth. Thus if a customer wants chicken worth Kshs.50 or 200 grams then you can sell that without looking down on the customer. If another says I have Kshs.130, you can weigh meat equivalent to the amount. This kind of flexibility is made possible by having a digital scale and an internal policy which allows it.

-Revenue is positively influenced by marketing. This could by a billboard, exterior branding of the butchery, proper display of prices and customer service.

-Breakeven period averages 5 months. It could be lesser or higher depending on the location and competition. It will be safe to plan with at least 4 months.


Competition and Survival


Chicken butcheries in Nairobi, county headquarters and major urban centers, are a relatively new phenomenon which picked from around 2008.

Although for years chicken has been sold in some butcheries it was as a whole. It was rare to find chicken being sold in quarter kilograms as was the case in beef, pork and mutton. Specialty chicken butcheries were none existent.

Most of the chicken sold in pieces was in fast foods, hotels and informally on streets. The only exception is at the City Market in Nairobi where for many years it has been possible to get

chicken parts like back, and purchase coupons in lesser quantities with a minimum of 500grams. There were also parts like skin, gizzards and backs.

The rise in the number of chicken butcheries since 2008 has been driven by:

-Increased number of farmers rearing chicken. There are now more chicken breeds, more hatcheries, feed companies and readily information on chicken rearing. All this has lowered the barriers to entry in chicken farming.

-Entrepreneurs seeking new investment opportunities. There is comparatively lower direct competition in the chicken butchery business when compared to other kind of meat.

-Low barriers to entry in terms of capital, supplies and legislation.

The chicken butchery business is still young and yet to reach levels of maturity. There are areas with only one chicken butchery, while others have none despite there being high potential.

Barriers to Entry

The barriers to entry in the business are low. With a capital of Kshs. 150,000 it’s possible to start a chicken butchery in some locations. In Kawangware there are butcheries which have started with Kshs. 60,000. And with many individual and institutional farmers rearing chicken then supplies are not a problem.

Direct competition from other chicken butcheries will continue to increase though it could take up to 4 years for chicken butcheries to have the kind of cut throat rivalry witnessed among beef outlets.

Opportunities exist in the business. In some areas, where there is no direct competition, chicken butcheries are a virgin opportunity. However the ability to successfully exploit such opportunities will depend on location, management and supply efficiencies.

The business is not yet crowded, and although there are now more avenues where consumers can purchase chicken. E.g. chicken choma on the street, the raw chicken demand for home cooking still exists.

In a region with more than one butchery competition is based on:




-Related extras like selling milk, eggs, sausages, smokies


Despite the sunny outlook of the business there are still a number of chicken shops that have closed down. From a small sample of 11 chicken butcheries that have closed in Nairobi and Machakos the major reasons for closing down are:

-Poor management

-Poor location

-Dishonest staff

-Lack of enough capital to sustain until break even point


(August 2014)

Nairobi (average) - 1 in every estate.

This is an average. Some estates have more butcheries some have none at all. For instance in Kangemi there are 6 in addition to numerous street vendors who sell chicken from late afternoon. In Kariobangi South there is only one. In Kariobangi North there are 2, one having closed in the last 1 year. In Kirigiti there are two. One having started in 2014.

In Nairobi CBD there are over 20 chicken open air butcheries located at the City Market.

In Kiambu town there is one. In Makongeni, Thika there are 4. In Machakos, there is no chicken butchery but many chicken vendors who sell in the evening. The full fledged butchery closed in 2012. In Embu there is no specialty chicken butchery. In Nakuru the distribution is average of 1 per estate.

The business is yet to get crowded.

What does it mean in terms of new entrants?

A new chicken butchery getting into a market will be competing indirectly with other meat traders like beef and pork butcheries. In most markets the price of chicken tends to be equal or slightly lower than that of beef.

Competition is not based on price rather on personal tastes of consumers. More often than there will be beef butchery located not within a 10 meters radius of the location of a chicken butchery.

You will be fighting for the same customers; consumers who purchase beef are the same ones who buy chicken. Some alternate their consumption of either, while others tend to specialize in one. Once in a while you find a customer who buys both on the same day.

Due to beef being the dominating meat in urban centers it doesn’t hurt to locate near beef butcheries; then touting some obvious advantages of chicken. People could also be tempted to change from the usual beef and do the novelty chicken.

In locations where there are flourishing beef butcheries, keeping everything constant, there is a big chance of a chicken butchery succeeding. The customers are the same, and what you are offering are alternatives.

For low end products like liver, legs and necks customers will be ‘new’ driven by affordable prices and culture. In a location where there is a sizeable number of members of the Luhya community then you will be assure of regular customers of meat and chicken parts from feet to gizzard.

Although there is some shift by a section of consumers to white meat, supposedly because it contains no cholesterol, most of purchases are based on the novelty of chicken rather than health concerns. However for chicken parts like necks, feet, liver, price and culture play a big part in purchase decisions.

Critical Success Factors

The critical success factors in the business are:


A good location is visible, preferably near residential areas and with enough consumer numbers. If you plan to sell feet and necks you need to have lower income groups within your demographics.

Like stated in a place where people are already consuming beef and the beef butcheries are surviving then there is a higher possibility of you succeeding.


Basic customer service contributes a lot to the success of the business. Courtesy, speed, flexibility, proper wrapping respect, selling fresh products, adapting to consumer needs will all contribute to customer loyalty and increased sales. Even if you have a monopoly always know that poor customer service can drive a section of consumers to the alternatives like beef, pork and street vendors. Then with the low barriers to entry in the business there will always be a possibility of a competitor joining the market and possibly dislodging you.


Like we have mentioned above price differences between various suppliers are sometimes quite big, for the same quality and quantity of chicken. If you are able to source at the least price without compromising quality then you are able to enjoy higher margins.


Management involves organizing everything from supplies, customer service, manpower and costs so as to grow the business. If you are not running the business yourself full time get a resourceful all round worker. This is the kind who will be able to source for chicken, monitor stock and advise accordingly, have good customer service and be honest in handling of cash.

Sometimes the business requires an owner or employee to wake up as early as 6am to go purchase or pick chicken. For instance in Nairobi the person should be crafty enough to purchase and transport chicken from such areas as Kayole, City center, City Stadium Market and Kangemi then deliver to the shop at the least cost. In situations where you as the owner delivers chicken then your employee should advise you on stock so that there are no shortages.

A big complaint among owners is ‘cash short’. This is the situation where the cash from daily sales does not correspond to the quantity of chicken sold, its less. For instance if you are selling a kilogram of chicken at Kshs.100 and by the day end after weighing and looking at your stock you note that 11 kilograms have been sold then you expect Kshs.1100. But you could find the employee giving you Kshs.800 and swearing that is the only cash she has sold.

Normally because of the small discrepancies when weighting there is room for some little short but when its sizeable it means that the employee could be stealing from you, she could be careless and not very keen when weighing such that instead of giving 250grams she weights 270, she could be careless when giving change or you could be wrong in your records. Persistent shortage leads to losses.

If the employee is late to go purchase or pick chicken, does not monitor stock, is rude to customers, does not know how to manage cashier is dishonest then it will negatively affect the revenue of the business leading to losses or eventual closing.

Try to go through the records everyday or at least every two days. Have a clear system of restocking. When hiring clearly tell the employee what is expected of them. And offer a fair salary based on possible profits. Very low salaries will encourage dishonesty.


There are various sources of chicken suppliers:


Kenchic sells chicken through stockists. There are a number of stockists in different parts of the country. You can contact Kenchic with the numbers below and they will advise where you can get a stockiest near you. In Nairobi a Kenchic truck stands at Teleposta towers opposite Nyayo house every morning so as stockists can get chicken. You can purchase from the stockists then. There are many chicken butcheries owners who do that.

At times Kenchic will sell directly to butcheries this is more so at their Tigoni plant.

Sigma Suppliers

Sigma suppliers is based in Athi River and opening in several locations starting with Pangani. But they sell in Nairobi and some other parts of the country. For much of the year they have been advertising in the papers selling chicken coupons at Kshs.280 per kilogram. You don’t need to be a stockist to purchase from Sigma suppliers. Kindly contact them through the numbers listed below and they will give you options of how and where to purchase their products.

Individual Farmers

There are many individual farmers who rear broilers. Some will approach as soon as you open your shops. Others will be found in markets with either samples of chicken or enough them. Nowadays has a big number of farmers selling broilers. Others will advertise on Facebook forums (E.g. Farming Kenya, Mkulima Young, and Seeds of Gold in the Saturday Nation). If possible see a sample, and don’t send money until you receive the coupons. Put out word among your friends and you will sure to find a farmer somewhere.

Individual farmers have more room for negotiations, and at times tend to have lower prices.


In urban centers there are brokers who purchase chicken from farmers in rural and peri urban areas and then sell in wholesale to chicken butcheries and hotels. In Nairobi you can find such brokers in Kayole, Kangemi and City Stadium market.

At the latter many sell ex layers; these are chicken which had been reared for eggs, and then sold after their productive period is over. They are usually sold as a whole as opposed to per kilogram. For instance Kshs.300 per chicken irrespective of the weight. When purchasing you are not sure of the chicken’s weight but assume it weighs more than a kilogram

Most ex layers weigh around 1.2 kilogram, but it’s also possible to get heavier chicken. By luck one can get a chicken weighing 1.7kilograms.


You can also check the local market. Sometimes there are farmers and brokers selling broiler chicken.

Kenchic Contacts

Tel: 020 2301518 / 020 2013313 / 0722 202 373

[email protected]

[email protected]

Sigma Supplies Contacts

0723 004 289 0737 451 701

Mombasa 0712 870997

What Consumers Want:

-Fresh meat

-Good service

-Flexibility in terms of the quantity they can purchase

-Convenient location

-Fair prices


Most chicken butcheries have one employee, sometimes there will be two. Like mentioned above honesty, good customer service and business acumen are important. The average salary is Kshs.7, 000.

Download Chicken Butchery Plan - Kenya PDF➥