In 2018, part-time farmer Wency Ndjitaviua took on poultry farming as a favourite pastime. At the time, it was her passion for farming that drove her to experiment with the poultry sector, owing to great inspiration from her mother who had been a farmer in her own right.
But less than three years later, her passion would lead her to bigger and greater things - her own fully fledged poultry business.
As the pastime took wings and hatched a formidable business enterprise, Ndjitaviua has not looked back ever since.
Ironically, the business was started during the country’s first lockdown in mid-March 2020; a time when many other businesses were folding.
Upukos Free Rangers, a business that was born out of a need to escape boredom during the lockdown, has now surpassed its own targets and continues to grow daily.
Ndjitaviua increased her stock of chickens by enlisted more prominent breeds that would drive her egg and broiler business.
From a mixed breed stock she had since 2018, she bought Lohman Brown layer chickens renowned for the excellent laying ability.
“After realising that we had too much time on our hands during the lockdown, I said to myself that perhaps now is the right time to expand my poultry business dream.
I bought 101 day-old chicks, which I then raised to kick off my business,” she said.
The chicks were raised under stringent routine in her backyard in Windhoek for six months, before they were taken to the main business premises in the Otjimbingwe area.
She then added another 120 chicks to the flourishing egg business. Currently, she stocks well over 200 hens that she keeps as layers.
“The layers have been very good to the business. Every time a new chick is hatched, I drive to the farm and collect it. They will then be raised in my Windhoek backyard until such time that they are old enough to be returned to the farm,” she said.
Upukos Free Rangers soon ventured into broiler production, after realising the gap for chicken that yearns to be filled. Just like the egg business, the broiler business took off well and holds good prospects.
She would buy chicks and keep raising them for meat. At the right time - normally around 45 days - such chicken would be slaughtered and sold off.
This makes way for new stock, and the cycle is repeated.
“We actually realised that we can raise our own chicken for meat instead of buying from shops. Trust me, there is a huge demand for fresh chicken meat as opposed to some of these sub-standard quality chicken that we are exposed to,” she said.
As the poultry ‘bones’ in her began to speak louder to her, Ndjitaviua listened and decided to expand her business range by adding duck and turkey farming to the list.
“I added ducks to the business and currently have around 20. As for the turkey, they are raised in Windhoek and only taken to the farm when they turn three years old.
This is all trial and error for now, but the prospects are very good.
I believe that soon the duck and turkey business will also take off and have the same success as that of the chicken,” she said.
Upukos Free Rangers currently employs two full-time people - both of whom are stationed on the farm.
Wency and her family double up as business employees to fill the gap whenever needed too, she said.
The budding farmer believes that with the right attitude and passion, everything is within reach.
She encouraged others, especially women and youth to aggressively go after their passions and dreams, as the realisation of such dreams lay in their hands.
“Go on and spread your wings; there is a huge world out there that is waiting to be explored,” she noted.
For a full-time working professional, a wife and mother, Ndjitaviua surely has been juggling a lot of balls.
And she is determined not to drop any. In fact, if opportunity permits, she will gladly take on more. That is the kind of determination and perseverance that flow in her veins.