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Are you stuck on making a decision on which agribusiness you should invest in between Poultry farming and catfish farming?
After going through this article, you will be able to decide without issue the best agribusiness you should start.
Two of the most profitable livestock business in Nigeria are poultry farming and catfish farming but people still find it difficult to decide which one they should venture into.
If you are part of the many that are still confused about which of the business is profitable, read on, your curiosity will be answered.
Before making your decisions, there are factors you should consider to better help your decision-making process.
Poultry Farming and Catfish Farming
What is Poultry farming?
Poultry farming is the process of raising birds for either meat consumption, egg production, or both. Poultry farming can be done domestically if you don’t want to go into the commercial aspect of it.
There are different types of poultry farming you can go into depending on where you are and the type of poultry business you wish you invest in. These types include but are not limited to Chicken, Turkey, Quail, Geese, Duck, among others.
What Is Catfish farming?
Catfish farming is an aquaculture business where you raise fish whether for commercial purposes or personal consumption. Catfish is one of the most popular and also the most consumed types of fish in Africa with hotels, bars, and restaurants always demanding it either for making pepper soup or for grilling.
The most common classifications of catfish are Clarias, Heterobrachus, and Hybrid.
Factors To Consider Before Starting A Poultry and Catfish Farming
Now that you know the definition of both poultry farming and catfish farming, let’s look at what you need to consider before choosing the business you will invest in.
The first factor you need to consider when deciding on which agribusiness to go into is the location of your farm.
For poultry farming, the location of your farm will determine whether or not you are going to succeed. For you to truly succeed in poultry farming, if you are going into it on a large scale, the farm needs to be located in a place far away from the city, but also not too far to the market.
Why is this so? Starting a commercial poultry farm tends to disturb the environment in different ways. One is the smell of the chicken waste if not well managed. Except you’re turning the waste into something else immediately, people will definitely complain.
For catfish farming, the location of your farm does not really matter.
You can start your farm at the back of your house and if you decide to go into the business on a large scale, you can buy a place that is not too far from the city provided it has the required things you need in the location
If you are going to make your decision based on the location of your farm, I will personally recommend you go into farming catfish.
These are the amount you need to start, run, and operate the business.
This is very important because you don’t want to start a business and halfway into the business, you are unable to meet up with the expenses, especially the daily costs.
The classification of costs you will need to consider are:
No matter the business you want to go into, you will need capital to start such a business.
If that is the case, you need to estimate the amount you will need to start the business. These will include the costs of purchasing assets and others.
- Birds/fish, etc
For a poultry business, the cost of starting might be expensive putting into consideration the different things you will need to buy.
Although these costs are one-offs, you still need to look at your pocket before making your decision.
For example, let’s say you want to start a chicken farm of 1,000 birds (layers to be precise), you will need to put some things in place before you start.
This will include land – purchased or rented (if you don’t have one yet), building a coop where you will put the birds, drinkers, feeders, etc.
The total cost might end up to roughly $21,025 (depending on your area and the quality of materials you want to use).
If you are someone that doesn’t have enough money, you might want to go for other options, although you can start a poultry business on a budget.
If you decide to start a catfish farm instead, putting into consideration the same quantity of 1,000 fries, the cost of putting up the equipment will not be much compared to that of a poultry farm.
The things you will need to start will be
- Space (bought or rented)
- Ponds – where you will put the fish
- Source of water (this is very important)
- Fish etc.
Putting all these costs together, the total amount is not up to $3,942 (It also, depends on the quality of equipment you want to use and your location).
NOTE: The costs mentioned above do not include the feeding cost for both businesses – This is intentional because, poultry businesses, will start paying their feeds at around 24 – 25 weeks.
– Operating Cost
This is the amount you will need to run the day-to-day activity of the business. This cost might include but is not limited to: feeds, fuel, medication, vaccination, etc.
For Poultry farming, the amount you will need to run the day-to-day activity of the farm might be on the high but this will only last for a certain period before they start paying for their cost if the birds are from a very good source.
For example, if you are into layer chicken farming, the cost of feeding and other costs will be left for you to pay from day-old chick till like 25 weeks when they start laying eggs and they will start paying their bills.
The daily costs will include feeds, medication, and vaccination (this will come at maybe every two weeks except if there is an outbreak of diseases), salaries, etc.
If you don’t have enough money on you, you might quit before even starting. Poultry farming is not for the faint-hearted.
For catfish farming, the operating cost will include feeds, utility bills, labor costs, and so on. The cost might not be on the high side like poultry farming but the downside to this business is the fact that you will not recoup the amount immediately until their harvest period which is usually after 4 and half months or 5 months depending on the aspect of catfish farming you want to go into and how big the fish are.
The amazing thing about catfish farming is that they don’t need to take vaccinations or medications and even if they have to, their treatment is natural except if there is an outbreak of diseases.
You can use things like salt, and bitter leaves to treat them if need be.
You can read this article on the different ways of treating catfish.
Another factor you need to consider before making a decision is the profitability of the business.
Whoever you are, aside from the fact that you want to do something you are passionate about, you go into a business to make money.
If that is the case, you need to consider the profitability of the agribusiness you want to go into before venturing into such a business.
Both the poultry business and catfish business are profitable depending on the perspective you are looking at it from.
You need to ask yourself, do I want short-term profit/daily income? or do I want something that will give me money once?
For Poultry farming, there are different ways you can money from this business but even at that, you need to decide how you want to make that money.
Using our case study of 1,000 layer birds, the ways you will make money from these birds are selling eggs daily when they start laying after 25 weeks and this will go on for 45 to 55 weeks when you will sell them at 70 weeks as old layers.
So, if you want daily income, starting a layers chicken farm is something you should consider.
As I mentioned before, catfish farming is also profitable. The only thing about this business is if you are into the traditional way of raising catfish (raising from fingerling/juvenile to table size), you will not make your money back until after 4 to 5 months when the fish will be ready for harvest.
You can make money from catfish farming earlier than four months, that is if you decide to try other ways of making money from catfish.
This is how you will manage the business. This will include the personnel that will be taking care of the business if you are not going to be actively involved in the running of the day-to-day activities.
Business management is very important if you want to survive ruining your investment.
You can start a poultry farm as a novice, but to successfully run the business, you will need to go through some training and some kind of experience about it. If you are not going to be actively involved, you will need to employ an experienced person to manage the farm.
If you are starting a 1000 layers bird farm, you will need to employ at least 2 persons to take care of things on the farm.
So, starting and managing a poultry farm needs a lot of experience.
To run a catfish farm and succeed, you don’t need a lot of experience but still, you need patience to succeed.
The major things that you need to know when starting a catfish business are:
- how to feed your catfish,
- when to change their water,
- the type of feed to use for them,
- when and how to sort the fish, etc.
Another thing about the catfish business is you can start at the back of your house and monitor things personally without you needing to employ anyone.
What is the purpose of starting a business without a market to buy the products/services you are selling?
As you know agriculture is life and people cannot go without eating every day. If that is the case, you need to do some research on where you will sell your eggs, meat, or fish when you start.
Generally, there is a market for both the catfish and the poultry business, but bringing it down to your location, you need to look around to see that whichever agriculture business you decide to venture into, you will be selling them fast.
For poultry farming, people buy and eat eggs every day which means if you are in an area that has a lot of schools, malls, bakeries, and general markets, you will easily succeed in that location.
Also, you need to study your competitors to see what they are doing before starting at all.
For catfish farming, you need to position yourself around restaurants, bars, hotels, and even viewing centers. These are the major buyers of catfish.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can decide to go into processing and packaging catfish and target customers not only in your local vicinity but around the globe.
This is an untapped area for making money from the catfish business.
6. Risks Involved
This is a major factor you need to consider before even buying anything.
You need to ask yourself, am I a risk-taker or a risk-averse?
If you are a risk-taker, then the poultry business is for you. Going into poultry farming involves a lot of risk and uncertainty, but if you are ready to take these risks, then go for it.
Part of the risks involved in poultry farming is the unavailability of feeds, high cost and adulterated feed, flu, and so on.
It applies to fish farming as well but can still be managed.
If you happen to start a poultry farm of about 1,000 layer birds and after like 20 weeks, there is an outbreak of flu, you might lose money in thousands and millions depending on your currency. If this happens, it might be difficult to bounce back.
Although there are other low-risk poultry birds that you can raise but using our example, it is riskier to start a layers chicken farm than to start a turkey farm.
For the catfish business, there are risks involved but not many, and can be easily managed if you know how to do things.
You are likely to lose money if any of these happen:
- Buy low-quality fish (i.e fish that are not from a good parent stock)
- Use low-quality feeds for your fish
- Rationalize feeds for your fish
- An outbreak of diseases.
Another risk you might likely face is when you are raising your fish in earthen ponds and there is heavy rain and flood washes your fish away.
This does not happen often but when it does, it hits you big.
From a personal point of view who is into both businesses, I will say both poultry farming and catfish farming are profitable.
No matter the agribusiness you decide to go into at the end of the day, you will surely make money from it if you play your game well.
If you are someone that has a lot of money and you are ready to take risks in life and business, then I will advise that you go for the poultry business. The risk is much, but the profit is also there.
If you will be doing a layer chicken farm, then you will be making money from it every day for more than a year and a half before disposing of them.
If you are someone that wants to just make money on the side from the agriculture business and you have little experience, space, and money, then It will be advisable to start a catfish farm.
Considering the factors above, which of the two businesses will you be starting, poultry farming or catfish farming? Drop your opinion in the comment section.
Do let us know when you finally start any of this business so we can celebrate you and also use that to motivate others.
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