Anybody can start a poultry farm, but it only takes an expert in the poultry business to hold newbies’ hands and guide them on how to start a poultry farm. Here’s the rub. Searching around for a professional poultry farmer to guide you on poultry production could be challenging, time-consuming, and money-consuming. But the good news is this, this guide can help you get started even as a novice.
This is a poultry farming for beginners guide compiled by professionals with a shared vision of helping beginners successfully set their foot in chicken production. So, let’s get started.
For years now, eggs and poultry meats have become a part of people’s diet. They are good sources of protein aside from their unique taste and economic values. So, you would agree that it is logical to consider poultry farming either as a side business or a profession.
For clarification, poultry farming includes rearing all kinds of poultry birds for eggs, meat, or other by-products. Most people often use poultry production and chicken production interchangeably. Poultry farming does not limit itself to commercial chicken farming but extends to rearing other poultry birds like Turkey, quail, guinea fowl, etc. However, the typical poultry farm business in Nigeria is chicken production.
Nevertheless, you can leverage this poultry farming guide and integrate it into any type of poultry production you desire. The poultry farming techniques and production management in this guide are practical and efficient for all kinds of poultry birds. So let’s get started with it
As earlier mentioned, poultry farming extends beyond the commonly reared chicken and turkeys. There are many other Poultry birds, like the quails, guinea fowls, ducks, and ostriches. Although you can combine these poultry birds for higher turnovers, beginners are advised to start and focus on a specific poultry bird. Then, with time, you can diversify and integrate other poultry birds. So, the first thing to do is to figure out what type of poultry bird you want to focus on.
Commercial poultry farm business covers a wide range of production, from egg production to meat production, hatchery, poultry feed processing, etc. Surprising, isn’t it? Depending on the availability of space, your budget, availability of time, and your ability, you can combine two or more of these poultry businesses. But, still, it is advisable to focus on one aspect as a beginner. There’s always room for expansion. Quickly, let me highlight the different poultry business niches that are recommended for beginners.
Meat production: Poultry birds are commonly raised on the farm for their meat. The best part about this poultry niche is that it is less expensive and less demanding compared to other poultry niches. Going into poultry meat production means continuous sales and profits because people are always buying and eating meat. It is not a seasonal business.
Egg production: This involves the rearing of layers solely for eggs. And like meat production, poultry eggs are ever in demand. So, be rest assured of seamless patronage if you decide to venture into poultry eggs production.
Hatchery production: Although hatchery requires higher capital and a little technical know-how, still, it is a common niche among poultry farmers. It is highly profitable if you know what and what to do. The only downside to hatchery production is that it is a seasonal business. There are seasons where demands for birds are higher, and there are times demands go down. So, bear this in mind if you want to venture into hatchery production.
Regardless of the kind of poultry birds you want to rear, the location is as important as the birds themselves. While selecting a location, you must consider nearest to the market, nearest to water and other resources, and the location’s security. While your poultry farm should not be located in a remote zone, it should be kept away from industrial areas. This is to protect your poultry birds from inhaling toxic waste products released into the environment. In all, your poultry farm Should be located in a safe and clean environment.
When you have all the necessary poultry farm equipment, it makes your production easier and faster. Besides, you need them to make your poultry birds grow healthier to give you the desired results. So, here is a few poultry farming equipments every poultry farm should have.
Water troughs: To keep your poultry birds hydrated at all times, you need to provide them with clean water in a water trough. A water trough is a long-shallowed container, often in the shape of a “V.” It is made with plastic and tailored to hold water.
Feed Troughs: Just like the water troughs, a feed trough is customized to allow poultry birds to access their feed more healthily. A feed trough is not the same as a feed tray. A feed tray is a flat plastic tray used to provide to young poultry birds, usually between weeks 1-4. At week 4, feed troughs are provided to substitute the feed trays.
Lightning equipment: Make sure to provide a source of light in the poultry farm. A good example is providing light bulbs, torchlights, or lanterns. However, make sure the lighting instruments are kept at arm’s length to prevent injury to the birds.
Heaters: For brooders, a heater is required to keep the birds warm. You can consider buying a charcoal pot to this effect. And make sure it is kept safe, away from their(poultry birds) reach.
Others: You also need other items like a shovel, broom, packer, buckets, etc. These items are for keeping the poultry farm clean and healthy for production. You also need them to maintain healthy litter management practices on your farm.
There are hundreds of hatcheries scattered all around the Country. However, it is down to you to choose a good hatchery to buy your birds. A good hatchery should produce quality poultry birds free of diseases and deformities. In addition, a good hatchery should be consistent in delivering the best chicks.
From the housing system down to feeding management, ensure you carry out the best poultry production practices. Feed your poultry birds with quality feeds to increase their conversion rate. The poultry farm surroundings should be kept clean at all times to ward away predators and disease-carrying pests. Only with a good poultry management system will you succeed and thrive in your poultry business.