The poultry farming business is not only lucrative, but it can make you an employer of labour.
Today, poultry farming is an indispensable segment of agriculture and contributes over 25% of agriculture’s GDP to the nation’s economy.
Despite the increase in the number of entrepreneurs investing in poultry farming, the demand for poultry products still remains enormous. This is because poultry meat and eggs are one of the most consumed animal proteins in Nigeria. So, there’s a need for more entrepreneurs to embrace poultry farming.
Poultry Farming Business
Poultry Farming is an act of rearing and breeding domestic birds for commercial purposes or personal consumption. It can be chicken, turkey, duck, geese, peacock, guinea fowl, e.t.c. Poultry can produce eggs and feathers or serve as meat.
Currently, Nigeria has the second-largest chicken population in Africa after South Africa. It produces thousands of eggs and meat and contributes to people’s livelihoods through numerous channels.
Poultry farming provides income for families, employment that boosts the economy, manure for fertilizers, and investment opportunity for investors. More so, the high consumption rate of the end products of poultry makes the success of the business guaranteed.
This article explores how you can start a poultry farm. It does not matter whether you have limited start-up capital or not, you will learn how to start and grow your poultry farming business from this article.
How To Start A Poultry Farming Business
Follow these steps to start a sustainable and profitable poultry farming business.
Business Plan And Business Registration
If you are a regular on this platform, you should know by now that the first and most important steps to starting any business are having a business plan and registering your business with the appropriate authorities.
A business plan lists your business objectives and strategies on how to achieve them. Also, a business plan is needed if you want to seek out investors. In addition, you need a workable business model with a clear means of generating revenue.
Your business should be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). You can either register as a business name, limited liability company or partnership. You may need to speak to a lawyer to guide you or reach out to ReDahlia which offers business registration
Having done that, the following step by step plan will guide you in effectively starting and running your poultry farming business.
Initial Capital Depend On Scale
Poultry farming business can be capital intensive depending on the scale you want to operate. If you want to start small, you can start with as little capital as your savings can afford.
Operating on a large scale requires hundreds of thousands to millions of naira depending on how big you intend to begin. The bigger you plan to start, the more capital investment you have to make. Simply put, what you put in, is what you get out.
Select A Suitable Location
In poultry farming, location is an important factor. It has a direct effect on your cost and plans. For instance, you can decide to start from your home if it’s spacious enough or buy a piece of land where you can rear thousands of chickens.
More so, operating a poultry farm in a rural area, far away from noise pollution is recommended but, you have to factor transportation and road network. A good road network ensures that you are accessible to buyers and it’s easy for you to transport your products to the point of sale.
Operating in rural areas helps cut down expenses and gives you access to cheap labour.
In addition, you need to ensure you have access to clean water supply, electricity, and security for yourself and the livestock.
Decide On The Kind Of Poultry Farming
After choosing a location, the next step is to conclude on the kind of livestock you want to rear. Basically, there are different kinds of poultry farming. Some of which are chicken, quail, duck, geese, guinea fowl, squabs, turkey, broilers, layers, cockerel e.t.c
The chicken is the most widely domesticated fowl. It is generally raised for its meat and eggs and less commonly as pets. There are different kinds of chicken; broilers and layers are the most known.
A broiler can be up for sale in about two-months if well-fed. Also, a layer hen can lay over 300 eggs in about 364 days before becoming weak and subsequently used for meat.
Besides, poultry farming can also involve hatchery and poultry feed production. Hatchery is an artificial control of eggs for commercial purposes. While poultry feed is the feed meant solely for poultry production.
For birds to grow and be productive, they need to be well-fed. Their feeds must be balanced, nutrition-wise. Also, water is very important for growing healthy poultry. Therefore clean water at the right quantity must be readily available.
Depending on the kind of poultry, there are different kinds of housing systems you can create to accommodate the birds. For example; you can create a deep litter, half litter, half slats, and battery cage systems.
The deep litter is based on the spreading of straw or sawdust material in indoor booths. The slated floor can be slated, iron rod or wood reapers used as floor and about 2-3 feet above the ground level to enable droppings through the slats. There’s also the combination of the slate and litter system where 60% of the floor is covered with slate and the rest with litters.
The battery cages are made of metal in a modern system of housing. It is mostly used for laying hens. Rows and columns of identical cages are connected together and arranged in units as in an artillery battery.
The housing system can also be grouped into three; extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive.
The extensive system employs the free-range system of housing. The free-range system is adopted only when adequate land is available to ensure desired stocking density to avoid overcrowding.
The Semi-intensive is when birds are half-way reared in-house and half-way on the outside. And the intensive, birds are fully confined to houses either on the floor or on wire-netting floor in cages or on slates.
Size Of Workers
The size of the farm and the number of chicken will inform the number of employees you need. Rearing 50 -100 birds can be single-handedly done, but thousands require capable hands.
Part of the job is keeping records. You need to keep records of everything from feed consumption rate to water consumption rate even to mortality rate. The records come in handy when making future forecasts about your business.
Your accounts need to be intact as well; you don’t want to run into financial challenges. You have to decide whether you can handle these or if you need help handling them.
You Need A Vet
Poultry can be susceptible to bacterial infection, pathogens, and viruses. So, you need the advise and consultations of a good Vet right from the beginning of your venture.
There are routine vaccinations and medications that poultry needs to stay healthy and productive. If they don’t get the medications on time, they may not resist certain diseases. Trying to save cost on this may result to penny-wise, pound foolish.
Many poultry farms have been wiped out in the past as a result of preventable diseases. Not doing the needful will see you losing your investment.
The work will not be complete if money does not exchange hands. You have to carefully think of how you’re going to get people to buy your product.
First, you need a website. Also, you need to have social media pages where you can communicate your brand offering. There are prospective clients online who can make orders online if you make it easy for them to do so. In addition, you need to print flyers and other marketing materials.
Most importantly, you need to know who your target market is and where they are. Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, etc are places you need to visit and distribute your marketing materials.
Also, your family, friends, neighbours, and any social association you belong to should know about your business. Their word of mouth advertising will do your business good.
Equipment You Need To Start A Poultry Farm
Depending on your choice of poultry farming, there are several equipment needed to have a smooth operation. Some of which will be explained in the following paragraphs;
i. Incubation Equipment
Incubation equipment is used for hatching eggs for another production process. There are several types of incubator equipment like a setter, hatcher, compressed air system, emergency standby electric plants, hatchery automation.
ii. Egg Handling Equipment
This include; hatching egg trays, egg washer, hatching egg transfer machine.
iii. Egg Candler
This is a lighting device used for testing eggs; to see the inside of a fertilized egg during incubation. There are two types; individual and mass candlers.
iv. Heaters or Brooder Equipment
These are equipment used to provide warmth and light to rear the baby chicks during the first few weeks of life. They consist of some heating source like reflectors.
They are also used to regulate the temperature level on the farm. Examples include; Gas brooder, stove, infra-red bulbs, reflectors, guard, heaters, e.t.c
v. Feeding Equipment
These are numerous kinds of equipment used in feeding the birds. They come in different shapes, styles and designs. They are; automatic feeder, linear feeder, circular feeder, small grit box
vi. Water Equipment
Just like there are several feeding equipment, there are also watering equipment for supplying water to the bird. There are water heaters, softeners and filters. And they are; water basin, pan and jar type, nipple drinker, manual drinker, e.t.c
For treatments there are syringe with needle/vaccine droppers, automatic vaccinator and fowl pox vaccinator/lancet.
viii. Other equipment
- Beak trimmer; to cut a portion of the beak in order to prevent cannibalism among birds
- Chick box; to keep hen who are laying eggs
- Nest boxes; to get clean eggs
- Weighing balances; to weigh birds or feeds for record and marketing purposes
- Perches/Roost; a wooden device usually kept at a height of about 3-5″ from the floor in order to help the bird to stand over it.
- Ventilation Fan; to control the temperature inside the farm.
- Rake: made up of iron rods and fitted with wooden handle. It is used to rake the litter material in case of a deep-litter system of rearing.
- Sprinkler; to cool the surroundings and roof of the farm during hot weather
- Sprayer; for spraying, disinfectant or sanitizer in the farm area.
- Flame-gun (Blow-Lamp); To rid the building from external parasites and/or their eggs/larva e.t.c
Cost Of Starting A Poultry Farming Business
Purchase the comprehensive guide on how to start the poultry farming business and get the cost of starting the poultry business. The guide contains the financial breakdown of starting the business and other businesses. Click here to purchase the comprehensive guide.
Yeap! There you have it; all you need to start a poultry farming business. Like every business idea we discuss on this platform, there are risks and success is not guaranteed just by starting.
There will be challenges along the way. It takes hard work, patience, determination and the willingness to persevere to succeed in any business venture.
There’s no jumping the rope. You need to start by doing the first things; register and structure your business. Also, it helps to start small so that you can taste the waters.
Do you currently run a poultry farm or are you thinking of starting a poultry farm? We will like to hear your thoughts in the comments.