Poultry Farming simply put, means the keeping of domestic birds for the purpose of their meat, egg or even feathers.
A lot of farmers shy away from poultry farming because they perceive it as painstaking, messy and time consuming.
While those conclusions may not be entirely untrue, it is also important to be aware that poultry farming is one of the most dependable agribusiness for ages.
It is an effective way of making money with very low capital while targeting super high returns from it. Poultry keeping gives room for “do as you can”.
This is to say that while some people pump hundreds of thousands of naira into poultry and get successful in it, it also allows for few thousands of naira as a starting capital while still guaranteeing success at the end.
Some people have given poultry farming a try at a particular point in time in the past but because they weren’t grounded in the field, most of the chicks died even before a month and they ran into loss.
This is not to scare you but to point out the fact that knowledge is sacrosanct before embarking on any endeavour.
Yes, Poultry Farming can be very lucrative but so as not to go into it and wreck half way into the business, one has to take the following powerful ten tips seriously.
Top 10 Tips On Starting A Lucrative Poultry Farming Business In Nigeria
Here are the top 10 tips on starting a lucrative poultry farming business in Nigeria
1. Seek Some More Knowledge About Poultry
“My people perish because of lack of knowledge” this depicts the fact that knowing a little about something is always beneficial and knowing even more is excellent.
There are local poultry farmers who have long time experience that you can ask questions and learn from.
If not, there are industrial poultry farms that you can take internship under for a more modern knowledge because you will even be taught how to create an efficient poultry business plan to start with. All these depends on your time, zeal and financial capacity.
A local poultry farmer might not even require anything from you to be able to teach you the rudiments of poultry farming but an industrial poultry house might demand a little stipend since you are looking to be an intern under them for a period of time.
Either ways, your investigations or observations are very important to ensure a successful poultry farming practice.
2. Carefully Select Your Line Of Poultry Farming
While the layman perceives poultry farming as connectible to only the keeping of Chickens for their meat and egg, it is pertinent that there should be an understanding that poultry business is far beyond just chicken and eggs.
While that is truly the most common aspect of poultry keeping in the world, please note that the following areas too, are part and parcel of poultry farming:
i. Chicken production
The most common component of poultry farming which involves the production of birds for their meat and egg.
Broiler production means the keeping of the chicken called “broiler” solely for their meat while egg production involves the breeding of chickens called “layers” for their eggs.
You should know where you want to focus on if you choose chicken production, whether to raise broilers or layers, or combine the two.
Chickens grow faster and get mature as either meat or egg producers than any other breeds of poultry.
This is an aspect of poultry farming that deals with the production of young chickens.
As most people don’t buy unhatched eggs to incubate before beginning a poultry farm, they buy day old chicks as the raw materials to begin poultry production.
Specializing in hatchery means you are guiding the laying of eggs by hens and taking care till the eggs are hatched either by the hens or by the use of poultry incubators.
You get your money mainly from the sales of the young chicks in this part of the business.
iii. Turkey/Peacock Production
This involves the keeping of peacocks and turkey. Turkeys and peacocks are more expensive and more capital intensive. A person with higher level of capital can consider turkey and peacock production.
Turkeys and peacocks take longer time to mature and more care to give but when they are ready, they are more profit yielding in all ramifications.
Apart from just the meat, the feathers of peacocks are rare and expensive, because of the rarity, beautiful and alluring effects of brilliant colours that their feathers have.
iv. Duck/Geese Production
Just like turkey production, Ducks and geese are more capital intensive but can be very compensating eventually.
v. Other Areas
The other areas that one can get involved in poultry farming may not really be directly connected to raising the birds only.
These are areas that concern the technological process of making poultry farming better for the poultry farmers.
These include Poultry feed storage/transportation, Residue treatment, Power supply, Air cleaning, Poultry house lighting, Poultry climate control, Poultry house management and Broiler Breeder management.
All these are the areas of poultry keeping/farming and you will have to choose which one of these areas you would desire to go into; 1 of the area, 2 or all of them. The remaining tips will determine the direction of your decision.
3. Provide Good Poultry Location
It is good to locate the poultry in a clean environment with clean water, easy access to feeds, and adequate power supply.
You may be wondering why adequate power supply is needed. Poultry houses need adequate lighting for birds to move about in clear vision even at nights.
Also young chicks/ducklings who are at the early stage of their lives really need adequate sources of heat especially when the mother hen has been separated from them.
Poultry birds also need access to clean water supply and a good environment to ensure healthy growth.
You may also consider setting up a poultry house that has proximity to the market or point of sale of the birds when they are ready for sales.
While making all these arrangements, please consider that keeping poultry houses away from residential homes is very important because it is illegal to keep poultry farms close to houses due to the strong offensive odour that emanates from there and fill the air around the perimeters.
4. Preparation For A Good Poultry House
While the location of the poultry house has been dealt with successfully, you will need to consider the level of your capital which determines whether to build poultry cages that can accommodate large amount of birds or to just keep them uncaged in a well-protected enclosure.
Whichever one you choose however, it should be noted that source of heat is very important in the raising of chicken as cold can easily kill them especially at younger ages.
Most farmers who do not have air heaters make sure that the rooms/cages are well wired with heat producing violet bulbs so as to serve as sources of heat to the birds when needed.
The birds proceed to the source of heat themselves when needed as long as it is adequately provided. Also, the ease of feeding and drinking for the birds should be considered.
Those who cage the chickens (battery cage) make sure that there are adequate openings where chickens can put their heads through to pick on food and drink water while those that are open (litter house) ensure that the food and water source are hanging down from above at the chicken’s height so they don’t contaminate the food and water for the others.
5. Acquire The Starters
This involves the acquisition of day old chicks/goslings/ducklings etc. depending on the type of poultry you want to keep.
Get your young birds from trustworthy vendors so as to avoid getting birds with low survivor probabilities.
Some farmers go for layers, some go for broilers, and some go for ducks, turkeys, geese or peacocks. Whatever your choice is, learn to know the most disease-resistant breeds and go for them.
Example, Noilers are mixed breeds of layers and broilers and they are more disease resistant in nature, although, it takes longer time for them to mature. Do your research well before purchasing your starter birds.
6. Get Appropriate Feeds And Medications
You must have known that chicks die easily at the trigger of any slightest ailments either from hunger, waterborne diseases, weather or infections.
It is important that the different kind of food for each breed should be strictly adhered to.
A food called “grower” for example, is meant for chicks because they are granulated in tiny particles fit for the size and fragility of beaks of the birds at younger age and as they grow older, their feeds can be changed.
Also, antibiotics, supplements and water treatment are added to the water of the birds to prevent any diseases that could affect the young chickens.
All these must be well planned for and acquired and properly administered.
7. Purchase Affordable Poultry Equipment
These equipment just simply refer to the items used in feeding, medicating, easing and hydrating the birds.
Some are made with stainless steels, and aluminum while others are wood with cheaper items like wood, foil or plastics.
These items are important because they are tactically created to ease the feeding of birds without needing to waste effort more regularly to ensure their eating and drinking.
Some of them are feeders (for putting the feeds of the birds), waterers (for supplying water to the birds), nests (for hen/broiler eggs laying), Cages, Coops, Ventilation systems, Perches (where chickens perch on within their cages), incubators (for hatching eggs), lighting instruments, heaters and egg trays.
All these may not be affordable with your capital level but when the absolutely important ones are gotten, others can be easily provided.
8. Ensure Regular Feeding Routines
You don’t just want to raise poultry, you want to produce beneficial ones. When you go to the market to get items from different vendors of the same item, it is natural that you look for the biggest, neatest, freshest and attractive ones.
When it is time to sell your chickens/eggs, you should note that they will be worth more in the market if they can beat the outlook of the others.
When you feed your chicken regularly and treat them well, they grow healthily, gigantic and attractive to the potential buyers.
A chicken buyer may not mind how much the chicken or the egg costs but he is attracted by the beauty in what he sees and wants to get it at all cost.
Chickens when not well fed will look skinny and unattractive to a buyer except those with very low budgets and this may not be profitable for you who has spent a lot of capital in managing the poultry.
Get the best of your poultry business by following a regular pattern of feeding and catering for the birds.
9. Carry Out Good Poultry Health Management
This is to say that you as a poultry farmer must be very observant of your birds. You must know when there is an abnormal behavior in the chicks and how to detect anomalies that call for special attention and actions.
When a bird begins to behave weak, inactive or slouch around the cage, it may be infected and should be separated (isolated) from the others so as to avoid infecting others in case its disease is contagious.
You must hire the service of reliable veterinary experts to report emerging poultry issues to and save yourself from potential loss.
10. Make Your Poultry At The Right Time
I do not blame some poultry farmers who hoard their chickens and refuse to sell them until festive periods.
This is because they make much more profits at these times because of the high demand.
Selling poultry birds at Christmas/Sallah for example is a more profitable idea because people are willing to buy at whatever prices at these times.
However, there are frozen food outlets/ fast food eateries too, who are very deep into purchasing large quantities of poultry birds at huge prices from whosoever is available.
Create a connection with these buyers and make your money at the peak of financial flourish.
It is a proud scenario to stand by the gate of your poultry house someday and look far down to the almost endless boundary of the poultry house, seeing innumerable poultry birds, both young and mature in their thousands and their noisy chirps, strutting and cuckooing echoing in your ears and being satisfied about the product of your hard work.
As if the high stack of countless egg crates are not enough, people will be queuing to buy all sort of poultry products from your investment.
This is the dream and you have the right to dream this big but determination and motivation is all you need.
If these tips above are carefully used, then your dreams will become a reality.