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Whether you want to start a poultry farm, a fish farm, or even a pig farm no matter where you are in the world, there are some basic things that must be available when everything is put in place and you’re ready to kick start your business. I call these things must-have items on the farm.
As an expert in agriculture with over 5 years of experience in this business, I have been opportune to visit farms around Nigeria and even Africa and I find out there are pieces of equipment that every farm should possess but are missing, WHY? Because they do not know about it or maybe they don’t pay attention to it.
These pieces of equipment are things that will make life easier for you and your employees on the farm and I assure you, after reading this article, you will notice what you’ve been missing and appreciate easy farming
What Are Farm Equipment?
Farm equipment is anything that is needed daily on the farm to make work go smoothly.
It could range from a shovel, knife, plastic, and a host of others.
These pieces of equipment are supposed to be handy at all times and make the running of the day-to-day activity of the farm easier.
Must-Have Items on The Farm
A wheelbarrow is equipment used to move materials on the farm. Whether it’s dirt, feed, or other items around the farm.
Imagine there is no wheelbarrow on the farm and you need to pack like 3 dozens of fish feed or poultry feed to the coop or pond, you might suffer the workers on the farm, but with wheelbarrows available, it makes life easy and safe time.
How important is a knife or knives in the house? If you can answer this question genuinely, then you will know how important it is to own a knife on the farm.
You will use a knife to do many things like cutting the feed bag(s), dice things on the farm, and so on.
If you run a small-scale poultry farm or a medium farm, I bet you won’t want your staff to pack chicken waste with their bare hands.
Even if it is a pig farm you’re running, the glove is important on the farm at all times, whether the employees want to pack and dispose of waste or administer drugs and medication to the animals.
Handling all these things with a glove on will keep infection and diseases away from the animals and the staff.
Even if you don’t own and run a livestock farm but a plantation, I bet you don’t want to plow the soil with your hands. Doing this will lead to contamination that can affect your health just as I have mentioned earlier.
Next on the list of must-have items on the farm is a shovel. Yes, a shovel is needed to do some cleaning on the farm.
If you own and run a poultry farm, a shovel is one of the equipment you will need to scrap chicken waste when you are ready to do some cleaning.
Another reason why you will need a shovel on your farm is that if you will be producing your own feed, you will likely be mixing the ingredients for the local feeds.
A separate shovel for this course will be needed and appreciated at least for hygiene purposes.
So, whenever you want to go and buy some equipment, you need to put a shovel on your list.
Another must-have item on the farm is a rake. A shovel and a rake go hand in hand most times when you want to purchase these pieces of equipment.
No matter how clean your farm is, there will definitely be dirt around that you and your employees will clean. If you want to make things easy for yourself and your colleagues, getting a rake alongside a shovel is what you should consider.
This is another must-have item that you will need one way or the other on your farm one day.
I always advise clients that they should leave space for planting some vegetables on the side that they can much on whenever they come to the farm.
Some of the things that you can plant on your farm no matter how small are but are not limited to vegetables, oranges, bitter leaf, yam, maize, and so on.
If you are going to be planting these items, then you will definitely a hoe and also a cutlass on the side.
Another must-have item on the farm is a bucket or plastics.
Why do I need a bucket or plastic on my farm? Well, even if you run a completely computerized farm, there are still moments when you will need a bucket to take water or other liquids around the farm.
For instance, when you want to mix medication for your animals, you will need small plastics and even buckets to do this depending on the size of your farm.
Next on the must-have item on your farm is a scale.
I’ve visited farms (both catfish and poultry), and when they need to measure their fish and/or bird, they start to scratch their heads, what does that mean to you? They don’t have a scale on the farm.
No matter how small your farm is, one of the minimum things you could own on a farm is the scale. Whether a digital or manual scale, it will save you some mess.
Let me give you an instance, in my early days in catfish farming, we wanted to sell our big fish and these people came to the farm, unfortunately for us, we don’t have a good scale so we asked the buyers to use their scale to measure the quantity they wanted to buy.
After everything, your guess is as good as mine, we made a loss from that sale. They have tricked their scales to favor them only. From that day, we never made such mistakes again.
I always tell people, DON’T EVER MEASURE YOUR PRODUCTS WITH CUSTOMER’s SCALE. Don’t be bullied to yield to buyers’ demands, especially for fish farmers.
There will be weeds on your farm definitely except you don’t have a farm.
Another must-have item on the farm is a sprayer. An insecticide sprayer is one piece of equipment you will need when you need to either disinfect the farm before taking new stocks or kill insects before planting on the farm.
NOTE: Whenever you have a sprayer and the insecticide on the farm, kindly keep it away from where feeds are kept so it doesn’t contaminate the feed and in the process affect your stocks.
This next item is very essential to have on a farm no matter how small your farm is.
A fire extinguisher on the farm could save your investment a lot if something unusual happens.
Just like in other industries that have offices where people work, if you look around the offices, they have a fire extinguisher in case of a fire outbreak.
Your farm is your office, so you need a fire extinguisher on the farm, especially in the dry season and there are leaves around the compound of the farm.
I have heard of people that lost millions of naira (or thousand of dollars) just because there was a fire outbreak on the farm and there was no way to savor the situation for a lack of an extinguisher on the farm.
We all don’t pray for something bad to happen but it is always good to plan ahead for any unforeseen circumstances in the future.
11. Farm Truck
This piece of equipment is not really important but it’s necessary especially if you own a big farm.
Some farmers don’t know how much they spend on external machinery when they need to purchase items and they need to use public vehicles. Maybe because they’ve not sat down to calculate the amount they spend on it.
You might spend high when you are buying a farm vehicle at the beginning but at the end of the day, it will save you some cash during your farming period.
There are other basic must-have items that should be at arm’s length on the farm that will make your day-to-day activities smooth but the ones mentioned above are just easy to have and not to be forgotten.
Whether you want to start a fish farm, a poultry farm, or a crop plantation, there is equipment that is specifically for each type of agriculture section.
I have written different types of equipment for fish farming and equipment for poultry farming. You can check the articles, read and enjoy them.
But generally, the items listed above should be first on your checklist anytime you want to start any farm.
Let me know in the comment section if I missed any must-have items above.