What you must know about Poultry Farm
Growing up, the society looked down on poultry farmers, the few poultry farmers were thought to be uneducated individuals who could not get a white collar job or old individuals who wanted something doing so as not to be idle. Things have changed now, young graduates are at the forefront of poultry farming. Poultry Farm
Today I will be giving us few tips on how to start poultry farming in Nigeria , these tips are being practiced by most poultry farmers like the saying goes “the early bird catches the worm” most industries are already being populated already. Should you be on the look-out for what to invest in, poultry farming is one you should tryout.
Following the current trend in Nigeria, poultry farming is one of the most profitable businesses in which weekly income is guaranteed, this depends on how much capital is being invested. The business of rearing birds and producing eggs for sale has created an opportunity for earning a stable income.
When poultry farming is mentioned, most people limit this to just bird (turkey, chicken) rearing, but this is not so as poultry farming is a very wide business with different aspects, below are the different branches in the poultry business:
- Egg production
- Chicken breeding
- Poultry equipment manufacturing
- Egg and meat processing, packaging and marketing
- Poultry feed production
The factors responsible for the remarkable development of the poultry business in Nigeria
- Demand for eggs and poultry as source of food: majority of individuals put more value on poultry products above other types of meal, I know of families whose source of protein daily ranges from eggs, turkey and chicken, not forgetting the demand for birds such as chicken and turkey by fast food outlets on daily basis. This implies that want or demand for poultry can not dwindle.
- Profitability of poultry farming in Nigeria : When compared with other branches of agriculture ventures, poultry raising has high profit rate, poultry animals in general have a fast reproduction and growth rate, this implies that the quicker the growth, the faster they can be traded.
- Price for poultry products have maintained high rise for years, an average sized chicken costs at least two thousand five hundred Naira (N3000). At this rate, thousands of naira can be made monthly, especially during the festive months.
Steps involved in poultry farming
- Select Your Poultry Niche: The poultry industry has a wide range of sub-sectors like was earlier mentioned, you have the opportunity of choosing from the likes of: egg production, poultry feed production, meet production etc. You need to find out your area of specialization, (depending on the capital at hand, which of these branches are profitable in your area in terms of demand and income) then select the most attractive.
- Poultry Location: A good location is vital to the success and profitability of any business, poultry faming is not an exception. A poultry farm should be situated where there is a large availability of cheap land, away from residential area , close to area with high population density. Locating lands in sparsely populated settlements although cheap, one needs to strike a balance and find a place that is favorable to customers. Your poultry farm should be situated in an area that is not exposed to extreme climatic conditions, establishing a poultry farm on a rented land is absolutely a bad idea.
- Breed Of Birds: For those who would be engaging in bird breeding, there are three types of breed that are suitable for commercial poultry farming in Nigeria. Modern poultry breeds “agric” are highly productive, modern layers produce more eggs than traditional breeds and broilers also grow faster. Depending on your choice , you can choose from the following common commercial poultry breed:
- Layers: Theses are used for commercial egg production, if you will be interested in producing eggs commercially, this is your go- to breed of bird.
- Broilers: These are very fast growing poultry breed, they are known to gain weight within a short time by consuming the right amount of food. They are used for commercial meat production.
- Cockerels: These are also used for meat production, although these ones have slow growth rate but are in high demand.
Starting a poultry farm in Nigeria is capital intensive, depending on the location and how large you want your poultry farm to be. The turnover is largely dependent on the size of the farm. You will need about #70,000 naira to begin in a small scale with about fifty birds while rearing them in your backyard. For medium scale, you will need about#500,000 or more to start a mid-scale poultry farm which includes, housing and other materials spreading over 1-2 plots of land. To maximize profit and minimize cost, you can learn how to produce your own poultry feed
- Poultry Housing System: Poultry housing is one of the determinant of the rate of success that would be achieved in poultry farming. The housing system commonly used are:
- Free roaming: in this system , the birds are allowed to roam freely and feed themselves. This system is not for an individual who wants to engage in wide scale production as the birds may go missing.
- Battery cage: This is system where birds are kept in cages and fed on regular basis, it is highly organized and effective. The birds have access to food and water through troughs, the cages are separated into various compartments and also creates a perfect environment for laying eggs. This system of housing helps to keep the birds from coming in contact with their droppings which might cause infection but it is capital intensive.
- Deep litter: In this system, saw dust is poured on a large mass of land so the birds can be comfortable. The major disadvantage to this is, it is difficult to manage disease outbreak. This does not require large capital.
- Poultry Equipments: The following equipment and facilities are to be put in place in order to fully manage a poultry farm:
- Feeders: Like the name implies, this is used in feeding the birds. It is advisable for the feeders to be in equal proportion to the birds.
- Heaters: To keep the temperature of the poultry farm during a cold weather, heaters are used to regulate or increase the temperature of the farm.
- Incubator: This is an instrument used in hatching eggs, it can be employed when there are many eggs to be hatched.
- Chick box: This is an equipment where the poultry birds are kept for egg laying, it helps in preventing egg damage.
- Fly tray: This helps to prevent flies on the farm
- Egg tray: This is used in housing the eggs.
- Water pots and drinkers: Neat water is required for growth and digestion in poultry birds, these are used to supply water of the birds.
Other equipment include:
- Egg washer
- Egg scale
- Laying nest
- Poultry incubator controller
- Poultry plucker rubber finger
- Feeding Of Birds: Feeding is a major aspect of poultry farming, majority of the expenses is spent on feeding, it is important to figure out the feeding pattern of your choice before venturing into it. There are two ways to go about in poultry feeding: producing the feeds yourself , buying already made poultry feed. The former is of more advantage because it helps to save cost and on the long run, you might decide to engage in selling feed too.
- Health: The birds needs to be checked regularly, they need proper vaccines and medications to prevent diseases and promote growth.
- Marketing: Before venturing into poultry farming, you should consider the marketing strategies you would use to break into the market.
Challenges of Operating a Poultry Farm in Nigeria
- High startup capital
- Outbreak of diseases
- Non availability of vaccines
- Adulteration and high cost of poultry feed.