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.
Broilers grow very fast as in about twelve weeks after the hatch, they are ready for selling.
The major advantage of Layers is that they are very lucrative because they 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.
You probably already know that poultry farming is capital intensive and requires plenty of effort, but the money that you will earn will make up for it in the end.
Besides, It appears very expensive especially if you want to start your business on a higher scale.
With that being said, before you start your business ventures in poultry farming, the first thing you need to do is to properly calculate all the costs.
There is a very high chance that if you invest in farming, you will gain profit soon and here are the things you need to do first to get your poultry farming business started:
(1) Acquire the Land in a Comfortable Location and Housing
This is a very important factor you need to put into consideration, no matter the number of birds you are keeping the housing can make or destroy your success in poultry farming.
If you have successfully worked on the housing system more than 40% of problems have been solved. I have met some farmers who have poorly constructed houses. Some poultry farming problems and loses are as a result of poor housing.
Therefore I will encourage you to ensure that you source for the services of a good poultry farming house mason. Note that housing is the second most expensive 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 the developing areas, the piece of land of the same size can be acquired for 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.
According to some sources, getting a piece of land in the remote areas of Lagos like Odogunnya, Imota, and Ijebu can cost about N500,000.
You will have to plan this according to your financial capabilities. But it is highly recommended to acquire your own piece of land instead of leasing.
From what many poultry farmers know, the owner of leased property might ask you to quit any time, and when you are already making progress in business, it will cost you a lot to relocate.
Building a chicken house for the birds. Poultry house, or chicken coop, is the place where you will keep your birds. This is an extremely important part of the farm set-up.
The size of your chicken house, as well as construction, will depend on your needs, but you will have to make sure that it contains enough space so that your birds would be able to move around.
There also has to be ventilation for the air to move. You should hire an engineer for building the house and designing it for you if you are planning to do large-scale farming. The engineer’s prices will vary depending 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.
They need to be one day old normally, and you are supposed to take care of them during the first 7-9 weeks of their life.
Usually, the farmers buy their chickens from the hatchery which is dealing with the chicken supplies and selling the various species of chickens.
Purchasing from the hatchery is good because there are mostly good quantities of chicks which are grown in the incubators and please until you see the chickens with your own eyes or you are very sure you are dealing with fully tested, certified and trusted people or companies and make sure that you want to buy them, do not pay anyone money as there are always advance-fee scammers that want to take advantage of people and even the photos of chickens are not always convincing and should not convince you to pay since they can be easily found on the Internet these 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 do not forget to get the water troughs, feeds, and feeders. Feeding your chickens with the good feed is extremely important if you want the profit.
You need to map out a feasibility studies on poultry farming before you kick-start anything this will go a long way to help you achieve your goals and succeed,feeds and feeding carries larger part of the expenses in a poultry farm and adequate plan towards feeding can help make 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 even at that, new farmers should not make their own feeds until they break -even.
Remember feed making increases the cost of raw materials as you will have to buy machineries like feed grinder/hammer mill and feed mixer which are very expensive.
Only Farmers with over 500 birds can make their own feeds as this will prove economical.
The feeds can be bought in the special stores, and you should also ensure that you are buying exactly the feed for the kinds of chickens that you are in charge of as there are different types of feed for different 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 good feed is high quality, and it will contain the high amount of nutritional value.
The young chickens require a lot of protein foods, and they will not eat the grain until they are at least 6-8 weeks old.
The birds need to be fed 2-3 times a day, and you also need to give them water of good quality so they would always stay hydrated.
You also need to be sensitive to changes and differences in your poultry farm, which includes the growth, feeding, their droppings, the laying capacities, 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.
Be sensitive to regular changes in your poultry farm always.
(4) Vaccinate your Chickens
The vaccination of your chickens is simply vital for their well-being and productivity. From time to time, the veterinarian doctor needs to visit the chickens and vaccinate them in order to preserve their health.
If you fail to give them proper vaccines regularly, they will be exposed to the number of flu and various diseases. The bird flu outbreaks are happening quite often in the rural areas, and it is possible that the birds who were not properly vaccinated will massively die because of this. Remember about the light.
Your poultry farm should be kept in a good light, as this is important for the well-being of the birds. You also will have to regulate the temperature 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
These are probably the most important things you need to remember about poultry farming. Speaking of profitability, you should know that it usually increases during the peak seasons, by which we mean the period of festivities like Christmas, New Year’s Day, Easter, and other festive days.
During these, the demand for poultry naturally increases as the broilers are usually demanded for meat, and the demand on eggs also enhances because many people use them for making snacks. You will have to remember that during these festivities, there is the highest chance to earn some profit, so you should pay special attention to the health and well-being of your birds.
(5) Record Keeping in Poultry Farming
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.
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