Do you ever wonder what it will take to start a poultry farm and succeed?
Deciding to start an agribusiness can be challenging especially if you are a newbie.
There are many lucrative agriculture businesses you can venture into but if you decide to go into livestock farming, poultry farming and catfish farming are two of the most profitable livestock you can start.
Before making a decision, there are factors you need to put into consideration. But, if you have finally decided to go for poultry farming, then let me take you on a ride.
What Is Poultry Farming?
Poultry farming is raising different types of domestic birds as a pet, for personal use, or for commercial consumption. You can also raise these birds either for egg production, meat consumption, or for both purposes.
Types Of Poultry Farming
There are different types of poultry birds you can decide to raise on your farm. The most common types are chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, geese, etc.
The choice of the type of birds you raise on your farm will depend on so many factors which are not limited to the following:
- And so on
Is Poultry Farming A Good Business?
As of 2015, poultry production is about 111 million metric tons globally and this is to increase by 24% in 2025.
As of 2019, The United States, China and Brazil have the highest volume of poultry meat production in the world with 23 million tonnes, 20 million tonnes, and 16 million tonnes respectively.
By the forecast and projections mentioned above, you can say poultry is one of the most profitable businesses in the world anyone can go into.
How Much Does Poultry Farmers Earn?
Raising birds generally for meat consumption and egg production is very lucrative and the amount poultry farmers earn is not constant.
The amount will vary depending on the number of birds you raise, the capacity of birds, and the types of poultry you are raising on your farm.
Benefits Of Poultry Farming
There are different advantages of poultry farming both to individuals and also to the community as a whole.
The benefits of poultry farming are:
- Poultry farming provides job opportunities for people in the community – Having a poultry farm in a community can provide job opportunities to habitats in that community.
Sometimes, raising chickens on a large scale in a community where there are no jobs, or they are underemployed, will help these people get jobs easily. Poultry farming is lucrative – Poultry farming is one of the most lucrative businesses around the world. If you are confused about which agriculture business to go into, poultry farming is one huge opportunity you can explore.
2. It is easy to begin – Poultry farming is one of the easiest agriculture businesses you can start. If you want to try things out, you can start at the back of your house with just four chickens to try things out because you become established.
3. You don’t need a license to start a poultry farm – One of the biggest wins of poultry farming is that you don’t need to obtain a government license to start your poultry farm. Most poultry farmers don’t register their farms not to talk of obtaining a license to operate.
4. It has a quick ROI – One of the biggest flex of poultry farming is that it has a quick return on investment (ROI).
For example, if you own a broiler farm, you can raise the birds for six weeks, sell them, and make your money back.
Compared to other types of livestock business, poultry farming is one business that you can quickly turn into cash when you are broke.
Sometimes around September 2020, I bought some day-old broilers to raise, and within 5 weeks of purchase, I sold them out to people that will raise them for another 3 weeks before disposing of the birds.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Poultry Farming?
- Poultry farming is risky – The first disadvantage of poultry farming is how risky it is to operate. An outbreak of diseases can make you lose your investment, and this happening might make it difficult for you to bounce back.
- Poultry farming requires huge capital – Yes, you can start a poultry farm at the back of your house and on a small scale. But, if you want to go commercial, you need huge capital to start this business. The initial cost of putting things together might weigh you down, and before you recoup back your money, it might take a while.
- Poultry farming needs close monitoring – If you are a poultry farmer, you need to always be on the ground now and then to monitor the performance of the birds. If you are going to be far away, you need to explore the service of someone that has an idea about poultry farming.
It is important because you don’t want a situation where the birds you have invested so much in don’t perform well due to a lack of maintenance.
- Bird-Human Infections – One of the disadvantages of poultry farming is there might be a bird-to-human infection. Although this infection is not common when it occurs, it is usually serious. The major bird-to-human infection that can could spread is known as Avian flu. It affects the respiratory system of humans.
Equipment To Start A Poultry Business
The most common equipment you need to start a poultry farm are:
- Coop – Where the birds will be staying
- Drinkers – This is what the birds will be drinking from
- Feeders – This is where you will put the feed.
- Birds – This is the reason why you are starting a poultry farm. This may include chicken, turkey, duck, etc.
- Incubators – If you will hatch the eggs yourself, you will need to have an incubator where you will put the bird eggs for some time before they are being hatched.
- Cages – This is where you will put the birds after 14 weeks if you will not be practicing the free-range or deep litter system of poultry farming.
You can read more about the equipment you will need to start poultry farming HERE.
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Poultry Farm?
The amount you will need to start a poultry farm will depend on how large or small you want your farm to be.
Some prefer to start a backyard poultry farm which most times might not require so much to begin while others might want to go all out to start big.
With as low as ₦10,000 ($26.23), you can start a poultry farm in your backyard.
How Do Poultry Farmers Make Money?
There are different ways poultry farmers make money. These include but are not limited to:
- Selling eggs
- Selling meats
- Selling the feathers
Common Poultry Diseases
Every livestock has its diseases that affect them. Poultry is no exception.
The most common diseases that affect poultry birds are:
- Newcastle disease
- Avian influenza
- Duck virus hepatitis
- Pullorum typhoid
How To Start A Poultry Farming Business
When you want to start a poultry farm, you need to know the requirement for starting this business.
1. Have A Plan
The first requirement for starting a poultry farm is to draft a plan. You need a poultry business plan which will contain the type of poultry birds you want to raise on your farm, the cost of starting the farm, your capacity, etc.
A well-written business plan will save you stress now and in the future because you will have something you are working with as a guide.
You can write your business plan yourself or pay a professional to do the job for you.
2. Get Training
The second thing you need to do before you start a poultry farm business is to go for extensive training.
You don’t want to just start a poultry business without having prior knowledge of the business. You need to ask professionals who have been in the business for a long time to put you on the right path.
When choosing where you train, you need to see that your coach is ready to show you the right thing without hiding anything from you.
Such a person should be a good listener and not just a sweet talker that will tell you the theoretical aspect of the business without the practical aspect.
The next thing you need to do is to conduct some market survey and research where you will be selling your product to when you eventually start the farm.
This step is very important because you want to be sure that you are not starting a business in an area where people are not going to patronize you.
A few questions you need to ask when conducting your research are:
- Is my farm location a good site?
- Is the farm easily accessible to customers?
- Is there a good market for whatever I will be selling?
- Is the site motorable?
And so on.
4. Source Of Capital
The next step to starting a poultry business is to decide how you will finance your poultry project.
There are different ways to finance your poultry farm. It is left for you to decide whichever way you want to fund it.
It is advisable not to start a poultry farm with borrowed money. This is because you are not sure of what it’s going to happen when you begin the business.
The best thing, start small and expand little by little till you are a guru.
5. Decide The Type Of Poultry You Want To Raise
The next step to start a poultry farm is to decide the type of poultry bird you will be raising on your farm.
There are different types of poultry birds you can go into although the most common ones are chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, and duck farming.
I know most people when they want to start a poultry farm, prefer to start with raising chicken even if they will raise other types of birds.
It is easy to start a chicken farm compared to other types of poultry.
Beyond deciding the types of poultry birds you want to raise, you need to be specific about what will be on your farm.
For example, if you decide to raise chicken on your farm, you might want to go further to decide if it is for egg production (layers bird), meat consumption (broilers bird), or dual purposes.
You don’t want to start a farm without direction.
6. Decide The Quantity
The next step to starting a poultry farm is deciding on the number of birds you will like to start raising on your farm.
This should be part of your plan. Now is taking it a bit further and making it actionable.
You need to look at your pocket and use that to decide on the number of birds you want to purchase.
For example, if you are starting a layers bird farm, you need to ask yourself am I buying point of lays or pullets? Knowing this will ease you of some stress when it is time to splash the cash.
7. Get A Space
The next requirement to start a poultry farm is to get a space where you will be farming. It is always advisable when you want to start a large-scale poultry farm, you get a space far away from the city.
If you will be raising the birds in your backyard, then you need to decide specifically where the farm will be. Map out the different areas that will be for farming.
If you will be renting space to farm, it is time to put that in order.
8. Set Up The Space
Now that you have decided where your farm will be, the next thing you need to do is to start setting up your farm.
The process of setting up your farm will include clearing the space, building a coop, putting the necessary measures in place, and so on.
- Clearing The Space: if you are buying virgin land, it is very sure it will be full of bushes and thorns. The first step to building a good farm is to clear the bush.
If you are renting a ready-made pen, you need to ensure that the space is not messy. If the place is messy, you need to clean it up and get it ready to use.
- Build A Coop/Pen House: The next thing after you clear your land is to build a pen house where your birds will be. If you will be practicing deep litter chicken farming, you need to set up the feeders, drinkers, wood shaving, etc.
If you will raise the birds in a cage, you need to buy the cages where you will put the birds. One unit of battery cage can contain 96 birds.
- Put a Water System In Place: The next thing you need to set up is to make sure there is a good water system on the farm. For the successful running of the farm, birds need water, make sure there is a constant supply of water on your farm.
9. Get A Personnel
You are getting closer to starting up your farm. Before you order your birds, you need to get someone that will be in charge of the farm.
If you will not be available every day on the farm, you will need someone that will run the day-to-day activities of the farm.
Reach an agreement with whoever you want to employ, share your plan with the person, and let him/her know when everything will be set.
You need to also to get a security person that will overlook the farm at night.
10. Get Your Birds
The next thing you need to start a poultry business is to stock your farm with the birds you desire to raise.
Whichever type of birds you might want to raise, make sure you get them from a reliable source. Although nothing is guaranteed, if you get the birds from a good hatchery company, things will be easy for you.
I will advise you as a beginner to buy the birds in small quantities to test the waters.
After a while, you can increase the number of birds on your farm till you become a pro.
11. Decide The Type of Feed
Another major factor before you start a poultry farm is to decide on which feed you will give your birds.
If you are in raising your birds in Nigeria for example and you are into chicken farming, there are different types of companies that produce feeds that you can give your birds.
One factor you need to consider before choosing the type of feed for your birds is the availability of the feeds in the market. Also, consider the authenticity of the feeds before you buy them and start feeding the birds.
You don’t want to be changing the feeds every two weeks.
12. Put Up The Right Management System
After purchasing the birds, the next thing is to put up the right management system. This will include but is not limited to:
- Feeding the birds well – if you want to make money from the poultry business, you need to buy the right feed and give it to them.
- Feeding the birds well will increase their weight (broilers, turkeys) and help them form bigger eggs and lay more often (layers birds).
- Set Up An Healthy System on the farm – Having a hygienic system on the farm is important to the success of your business. If your birds are in a ventilated area, they will grow s fast. Another thing to consider is to ensure that the farm is clean always. Doing this will prevent all sorts of poultry diseases.
- Train Your Staff – Another thing in the process of setting up a good management system is to train your staff. This is why it is necessary for you as the owner of the farm to have an idea of how to run a poultry farm.
This will help you train your workers on the different aspects of the farm like how to feed the birds, how to clean the coop, the right way to collect eggs from the hens, etc.
13. Market! Market!! Market!!!
The final step in starting a poultry farm is marketing your products.
Part of the research you need to do at the early stage is how to market your birds and eggs.
When this is done early, this step will be easy for you because you would have to know what your customers want and how to approach them.
The best practice that will help your business is to start marketing your birds at least 2 months before harvest.
For example, if you raise layer birds, you should start telling people about eggs at 14 – 15 weeks when they have not started laying eggs.
This is important because, by the time they start laying full capacity, you will not have trouble selling the eggs.
Poultry farming is an interesting business that is very lucrative if you follow the right steps and learn from the masters.
It does not mean you will not face different challenges, but if you are not there for just the money, you will scale through the difficulties and run a profitable business at the end of the day.
It is not just enough to have an idea, read an article, or get training. The most important thing is to take a bold step and START.
Start small, grow big, and enjoy the learning curve.
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