15 years ago, after working in a bank for three years, Anthony Sserunjogi Magala got bored with ledgers and accounts and he decided to quit his job and do something else with his life.
Sserunjogi joined his father Fred Magala, who was a poultry farmer in Nansana, Wakiso district. Over the years, the older man had been using the deep litter system, which is a method of chicken waste management in which the droppings are left on the floor of the coop, and sawdust or shavings are spread around it.
However, Sserunjogi thought that the deep litter system was not as efficient and profitable as he would have like and he decided to persuade his father to adopt the battery cage system.
Sserunjogi and his father now own 8,000 chickens kept in rows of cages divided into four sections, each holding 2,000 birds.
According to Sserunjogi, the battery cage system has its advantages over the deep litter system which is more commonly used. He says the system makes it possible to rear more birds on a given piece of land-up to nearly three times more than under a deep litter system. Sserunjogi also says the battery cage system makes it easier to feed and water the birds, collect the eggs and gather the chicken waster. The system also enables automation, which greatly increases efficiency in production.
Sserunjogi says it is important to do ones research before rushing into any business. Thorough consultation and expertise are required when constructing the coop to give the birds a well-aerated environment. The cages should be well-ventilated to keep the birds free from risk of disease. It also helps cut on the labour and allows for safe hatching.
Despite challenges like sourcing funds for the expensive initial setup and the fluctuating prices in chicken feed, Sserunjogi says he has found poultry farming extremely rewarding and profitable.