When it comes to farmers trying to know the type of poultry bird they can actually start with a low capital and the quantity they can start with, I first of all try to find out how much capital they have and is referring to as the low capital.
However, cockerels are the cheapest of all to maintain because the cost of purchasing them and their feeds are minimal. You can also consult an expert to know how much each can cost you.
Note that your interest is much more important than the capital because if your money can raise only 50 layers for example and you are interested in raising layers definitely you can start with that.
The number of birds you start with depends on the space you have, the money at hand and your target market for the products.
Meanwhile, Broilers and Cockerels should be better targeted towards festive periods like: Ramadan, Christmas, Easter and New Year Celebrations because this is the time the demand for poultry is highest.
Meanwhile Pullets (Layers) can be raised at any time of the year because of the continuous demand of eggs.
N/B: it is generally advisable that you do not raise more than the birds that you can conveniently carter for.
Let us look at the the different breeds of birds we have below
Egg Productive Poultry Breeds (Layers)
The chickens raised for egg production are known as layer chickens. Almost all types of commercial layer poultry breed start laying eggs within their five to six month of age. They continuously lay about 275 to 300 eggs per year. Some strain lay about 330 eggs per year. Some highly egg productive breeds are leghorn, minorca, ancona, fayoumi, isa brown, babcock, star cross, lohmann etc.
Their features include the following:
- Comparatively weights less than other poultry breeds.
- Gain sexual maturity earlier.
- Less egg incubating trend.
- Start laying eggs within their five to six month of age.
- Converting efficiency of food to egg is very high.
- Contain less fat in their body.
- Egg producing power is very high.
- Lay big sized eggs.
Meat Productive Poultry Breeds (Broilers)
This type of poultry birds are used for only meat production purpose. Their meat become very soft and tasty. They weights about 2 to 2.5 kg within their 7 to 8 weeks of age, consuming about 4 kg food. They become suitable for marketing within 8 weeks. The world’s most popular breeds of broiler poultry are starbro, plymouth rock, cornish, sussex, brahma, hy-line, rose broiler, asil, cochin etc.
- Comparatively weights much than other poultry breeds.
- Don’t incubate their eggs.
- Food to meat converting efficiency is very high.
- Grow very fast.
- Contain much fat in their body.
- Egg producing power is very low.
- They become very big sized.
Dual-Purpose Poultry Bird Breeds
Popular dual-purpose breeds for both meat and egg production are new hampshire, australorp, rhode island red, plymouth etc. Characteristics of this types of poultry birds are described below.
- This types of poultry breeds are of medium sized.
- Weight high.
- They may have trend for hatching eggs.
- Lay less eggs than egg productive breeds.
- They contain proper ratio of fat in their body.
- Grows very well.
- Gain maturity very fast.
Therefore the choice of which type of poultry bird you wish to raise largely depends on the purpose you want them to serve either as meat, for egg production or dual purpose. Also the quantity of birds you should stock will also depend on the amount of available fund under your possession.
Meanwhile there is no harm with starting little as a beginner and grow gradually into the level of your dream poultry farm and it will also help you improve your understanding in the poultry business to enable you become more successful as you learn practically on the job.