To start with your poultry farming, you should know that there are certain guides to put you through with regards to how to make money in poultry farming and become a successful poultry farmer.
Usually in the poultry farming business, there are three breeds of birds, which are Layers, Cockerels, and Broilers and the differences between them.
Broilersgrow very fast as in about twelve weeks after the hatch, they areready for selling.
Themajor advantage of Layers is that they are very lucrative becausethey lay eggs and can be sold for the meat at a very good price.
Cockerels, however, are more reliable, when it comes to survival rate and level of high resistance with regards to enduring the bad weather. This breed is more resilient to the shocking situations, in comparison to the Broilers and Layers.
Youprobably already know that poultry farming is capital intensive andrequires plenty of effort, but the money that you will earn will makeup for it in the end.
Besides,It appears very expensive especially if you want to start yourbusiness on a higher scale.
Withthat being said, before you start your business ventures in poultryfarming, the first thing you need to do is to properly calculate allthe costs.
There isa very high chance that if you invest in farming, you will gainprofit soon and here are the things you need to do first to get yourpoultry farming business started:
(1) Acquire the Land in a Comfortable Location and Housing
This isa very important factor you need to put into consideration, no matterthe number of birds you are keeping the housing can make or destroyyour success in poultry farming.
If youhave successfully worked on the housing system more than 40% ofproblems have been solved. I have met some farmers who have poorlyconstructed houses. Some poultry problems and loses are as a resultof poor housing.
ThereforeI will encourage you to ensure that you source for the services of agood poultry house mason.Note that housing is the second mostexpensive of the poultry venture after feeds.
You will not have to get a lot of the land let’s say the 120×60 lot will be just enough for the medium-scale farm, at least for those people who are just starting their poultry venture.
You should know that the most expensive land is near the big cities in Nigeria for instance, like Abuja, Lagos, or other state capitals.
In thedeveloping areas, the piece of land of the same size can be acquiredfor a much cheaper price, compared to big cities.
Besides, it is not perfect to start a farm within the city, because of its smelly nature and the possibility of infecting your birds with exhaust fumes.
Read Also: Basics of Bio-Security in a Poultry Farm
Accordingto some sources, getting a piece of land in the remote areas of Lagoslike Odogunnya, Imota, and Ijebu can cost about N500,000.
You willhave to plan this according to your financial capabilities. But it ishighly recommended to acquire your own piece of land instead ofleasing.
Fromwhat many poultry farmers know, the owner of leased property mightask you to quit any time, and when you are already making progress inbusiness, it will cost you a lot to relocate.
Buildinga chicken house for the birds. Poultry house, or chicken coop, is theplace where you will keep your birds. This is an extremely importantpart of the farm set-up.
The sizeof your chicken house, as well as construction, will depend on yourneeds, but you will have to make sure that it contains enough spaceso that your birds would be able to move around.
Therealso has to be ventilation for the air to move. You should hire anengineer for building the house and designing it for you if you areplanning to do large-scale farming. The engineer’s prices will varydepending on qualification.
If you feel like you can do it on your own, you should just visit the successful poultry farms and have a look at the construction of their houses.
You should always keep in mind the importance of the space. Otherwise, there is a risk to lose the birds frequently because of contamination and suffocation.
(2) Choosing and Purchasing of Healthy DayOld Chicks (D.O.C)
Purchase the healthy chicks that are one day old. Obviously, now you will have to get your birds for the farm.
Always remember to buy them from good hands and make sure that they are healthy because the productivity of your farm depends on healthy chicks and you can aso carry an expert close to you along for identification if you don’t have much idea about high quality Dayold chicks to avoid mistakes.
Theyneed to be one day old normally, and you are supposed to take care ofthem during the first 7-9 weeks of their life.
Usually,the farmers buy their chickens from the hatchery which is dealingwith the chicken supplies and selling the various species ofchickens.
Purchasingfrom the hatchery is good because there are mostly good quantities ofchicks which are grown in the incubators and please until you see thechickens with your own eyes or you are very sure you are dealing withfully tested, certified and trusted people or companies and make surethat you want to buy them, do not pay anyone money as there arealways advance-fee scammers that want to take advantage of people andeven the photos of chickens are not always convincing and should notconvince you to pay since they can be easily found on the Internetthese days.
Therefore, it is best to meet up with the supplier in person instead of ordering your goods online.
(3) Feeding and Maintenance of Birds
Also donot forget to get the water troughs, feeds, and feeders. Feeding yourchickens with the good feed is extremely important if you want theprofit.
You needto map out a feasibility studies on poultry farming before youkick-start anything this will go a long way to help you achieve yourgoals and succeed,feeds and feeding carries larger part of theexpenses in a poultry farm and adequate plan towards feeding can helpmake the journey easier.
You can choose either to produce your own feeds yourself using the following feed formula’s we provided for you here: Chicks Mash Formula, Growers Mash Formula, Layers Mash Formula, Broiler Starter Mash Formula for Female Broilers, Broiler Starter Mash Formula for Male Broilers, or Broiler Finisher Mash Formula or alternatively, buy various stages feeds from feed mills. Proper feeding makes the birds grow well and to a larger extend their health is secured.
Meanwhile.Making your own feeds can cut the cost of production by 50% but evenat that, new farmers should not make their own feeds until they break-even.
Rememberfeed making increases the cost of raw materials as you will have tobuy machineries like feed grinder/hammer mill and feed mixer whichare very expensive.
OnlyFarmers with over 500 birds can make their own feeds as this willprove economical.
Thefeeds can be bought in the special stores, and you should also ensurethat you are buying exactly the feed for the kinds of chickens thatyou are in charge of as there are different types of feed fordifferent type of birds and at different stages – broiler starter,layer feeds, chick starter, and others.
You will have to avoid the feeds which have a low level of nutritional value because although they may appear cheap, but usually, it will not influence your bird’s health in a positive way.
Read Also: The Different Types of Poultry Feeds
The goodfeed is high quality, and it will contain the high amount ofnutritional value.
Theyoung chickens require a lot of protein foods, and they will not eatthe grain until they are at least 6-8 weeks old.
Thebirds need to be fed 2-3 times a day, and you also need to give themwater of good quality so they would always stay hydrated.
You alsoneed to be sensitive to changes and differences in your poultry farm,which includes the growth, feeding, their droppings, the layingcapacities, number of birds, sound amongst others.
This will help you as a farmer to be sensitive to changes in the system.
For instances: when layers are about to start laying, they makes a lot of noise, feeding rate and body weight increases, and sometimes when there is disease outbreak you can quickly take note of this happenings by their droppings, if it changes from what it use to be when they are healthy then something is wrong, you can call on your vet doctor for inspection.
Besensitive to regular changes in your poultry farm always.
(4) Vaccinate your Chickens
Thevaccination of your chickens is simply vital for their well-being andproductivity. From time to time, the veterinarian doctor needs tovisit the chickens and vaccinate them in order to preserve theirhealth.
If youfail to give them proper vaccines regularly, they will be exposed tothe number of flu and various diseases. The bird flu outbreaks arehappening quite often in the rural areas, and it is possible that thebirds who were not properly vaccinated will massively die because ofthis. Remember about the light.
Yourpoultry farm should be kept in a good light, as this is important forthe well-being of the birds. You also will have to regulate thetemperature to keep the birds in warmth and comfort.
You should especially pay attention to this during the season of raining when there is low humidity. The hen house needs to be supplied with light and heat, and you will have to find reliable power sources.
Read Also: Poultry Feed-Mill and Formulation of Rations
Theseare probably the most important things you need to remember aboutpoultry farming. Speaking of profitability, you should know that itusually increases during the peak seasons, by which we mean theperiod of festivities like Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, andother festive days.
Duringthese, the demand for poultry naturally increases as the broilers areusually demanded for meat, and the demand on eggs also enhancesbecause many people use them for making snacks. You will have toremember that during these festivities, there is the highest chanceto earn some profit, so you should pay special attention to thehealth and well-being of your birds.
(5) Record Keeping
This is another very important factor in poultry system management. A proper record keeping can foster your poultry business development, record keeping will help you determine your success and failures, flaws and where amendment is needed, keep a proper record for your poultry farm in order to increase your production level always.
Some farmers don’t even know how many birds they have or the mortality level in their flock.I have been to some farms where a farmer requests me to count the birds for him/her during vaccination or debeaking because of poor records.