There was a lot of poultry in almost all homesteads in the rural set up and in the urban setups. There were those who kept a few indigenous (local chicken or otherwise known as kuku ya kienyeji), though few in number. Those that liked to keep chicken for commercial purpose kept the graded chicken i.e the broilers for their meat and layers for their eggs and they were all from one physically speaking genetic groups. This is to say that all those chickens that had brown feathers were all layers and all those that were white were the broilers and in fact that still remains the same to date.
Most homesteads here dealing with mainly poultry in the rural setup had very few variety of the other poultry namely the duck, goose, turkey. Very few keep the dove or pigeon and they do so for the beauty of the birds and not for their consumption.The owner would sell the chicken or eggs to their neighbour and once in a while the owner would slaughter for their families.
Despite all that, the main question still remains why not kept the turkey even if it would feed for itself. After all it has more meat than any domesticated bird.
This prompted us to want to find the answer to this one major question. To do so I asked many poultry owners in the rural areas that I visited in my line of duty that very simple question i.e why do you have only a few turkeys? Why don’t you have more? For those who had, had three. I would ask why don’t you have seven other than just three? The answer I got despite having asked the question in different parts of the country was very simple and that was that the bird is very useless. For those that were free range, the owner would say that when she began laying she would disappear for almost the whole laying period or she would hide her eggs so that nobody would know where she had a nest .Those that had their turkeys watched over, they would say that once the egg were touched they would become infertile and in most cases the eggs were left in such open and dangerous places thus end up broken or coated with all sorts of dirt such as droppings and mud and in the end the eggs would be chocked and even when sat on, they would be dead even before the hen became broody. Others had all the poultry in one pen and at times there were other domestic animals in the same pen such as the goat, sheep, cow etc. This usually obstructed the bird even if she was ready to brood, especially in the dark.